Stress Management Approaches

Everyone experiences stress from time to time, and will need to discover and practice effective stress management approaches for a healthy psychological condition.

As an aside, stress can lead to depression, and the longer depression lasts the better the opportunity for neurotransmitters becoming damaged, requiring an individual to obtain psychotropics from a mental health professional.

The following resources provide beneficial information in reducing/managing stress:



Mayo Clinic: Healthy Lifestyle – Stress Management – Stress Basics Albrecht’s Four Types of Stress – Managing Common Pressures



Stress Management Techniques


Relaxation Video for Stress Management





Brain Atrophy Series – Huntington’s Disease

Brain atrophy (also known as cerebral atrophy) is defined as,

“…a loss of neurons and the connections between them.  Atrophy can be generalized, which means that all of the brain has shrunk; or it can be focal, affecting only a limited area of the brain and resulting in a decrease of the functions that area of the brain controls” (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 2009).

Huntington’s Disease (HD) is similar to having Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia all at once. When a patient’s condition has deteriorated, they are no longer their vibrant self, but a mere shell they’ve grown accustomed.  Margo in the next resource will give further details about the illness:

[Video] “What is Huntington’s Disease?”





National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. (2009). What is Cerebral Atrophy?





Internet Addiction, Psychiatric Disorders

The Journal of the European Psychiatric Association has an abstract titled, The Association Between Internet Addiction and Psychiatric Disorder: A Review of the Literature.



Delicate Subject Series – Anti-Bullying Film “Between the Cracks”

Warning: Graphic images

It’s an epidemic and becoming worse every year.  Young people being harassed, threatened, humiliated, reputations questioned, destroyed. The targets frequently take matters into their own hands through violent means, while others commit suicide.

Between the Cracks “…show the devastating factors that can exist with children who are bullied and find no help from adults” (Epp Films, 2013, Dec. 6). Parents and children are encouraged to see the film together at festivals scheduled this year.  Additional information about the film can be read here.

The following is the trailer:



Epp Films. (2013, December 6).  Between the Cracks Trailer Teaser. [Video file].  Retrieved from


Delicate Subject Series – Family Violence

Warning: Ted Bundy makes an appearance 

Family Violence can destroy an individual from reaching their potential.  Victims can experience low self-esteem, substance abuse, depression, suicidal tendencies, and wreak havoc on society.

  • Examples of Family Violence
    1. Child Abuse + Neglect
    2. Spousal + Partner Abuse
    3. Elder Abuse
    4. Physical Abuse
    5. Sibling Abuse
    6. Verbal Abuse (name calling, cursing)
    7. Verbal Violence (scorch-the-earth tempers)
    8. Sexual Abuse
    9. Financial Exploitation (ex. identity theft)


First, it’s one thing for a parent, or other caregiver, to spank a child** with an open hand showing love and directing the youth to change negative behaviors.  It’s quite another to beat and punch a child out of anger resulting in bodily harm.  Other forms of this type of abuse are getting in the tub with a child and taking a bath or shower with them; leaving pornographic materials around the house*; having sex in front of the child*; walking around in the nude within home environment, or property*; sexually-explicit conversations in front of, or directed towards youth, which provides no proper educational value in their becoming a responsible, well-adjusted individual*; failing to keep them clean, providing a roof over their heads, feeding, sending them to school, and intentional lying about and on child causing dysfunction among siblings.  Also, when a spouse/partner is abused, the child is automatically abused because they witnessed the mistreatment*.  Concerning neglect, to be fair, some of these parents may have mental health, or financial issues, which prevent them from raising their children properly.  Also, perhaps these are abused parents and keep children at home in the belief no additional harm will come towards them from abusive spouse/partner, or some other abusive person in household.

Second, #4, #6 – 9 directed towards a spouse, or partner.

Third, neglect resulting with the elderly suffering nutritionally, grooming, taking necessary medications, and having protected, clean environment; #4, #6 – 9.

Fourth, any physical contact intentionally meant to incur bodily harm.

Fifth, it’s important for parents to resolve negative behavior when a child is harming a sibling.  When there are more than two children, the bully may coax the others in mistreating the target for abuse.

Sixth, name-calling, cursing, mocking with the intention to damage self-worth of others within household.  Also known as psychological abuse.

Seventh, rage from at least one of the adults in the household, even if the behavior isn’t aimed at anyone in particular within that household.

Eighth, inappropriate sexual contact, not necessarily penetration, by a member of the family, and others within the family construct.  Sexual abuse within a family can occur when families double up the household with immediate family members, and extended members.

Finally, family members who open bank accounts and credit cards, purchase insurance, steals tax returns, etc. from a member of the family, or part of family construct.


By the time a child turns the age of six, they’ve either developed a conscience, or haven’t. Ted Bundy didn’t.  The household he was raised in until he was six years old with his mother and maternal grandparents can best be described A House of Horror.  He was a child who saw too much:  The grandfather possessed a violent temper, whipped the family pets, left pornographic materials around the home, and was deceptive (Rule, 2000). Whenever family members saw him coming up the walkway, they ran out the backdoor, except his wife who suffered from agoraphobia.   Bundy was at an impressionable age, thus his grandfather “taught” him these behaviors which he would act out on his victims when he became an adult.  “In the beginning he did not kill.  However, once he murdered—once he crossed that boundary, violated that taboo—killing got easier and easier” (Lewis, 1998). Are there other causations besides family violence and substance abuse which led to his murderous behaviors?  Yes, (Lewis) and we may never discover what they were.

Rule was the former police lieutenant whom Bundy became friendly as an adult at the Seattle Crisis Center, and Dr. Lewis the psychiatrist who worked as a member of his defense team.


Lewis, M.D., D. O. (1998). Guilty by Reason of Insanity. Ivy Books: New York.

Rule, A. (2000). The Stranger Beside Me. (20th Anniversary Ed.). NY: W. W. Norton & Company.

*This brand of abuse also falls under the category Children Who See Too Much

**Spanking a child is illegal in certain states


Anger Management

All of us become angry every now and again.  It’s a healthy emotion. We’re capable of recognizing the anger and calming ourselves down before it gets out of control. But when should individuals seek counseling before the anger governs their lives?  The following are a couple of examples:

  • A want to maintain the anger internally.
  • Repetitive arguments with spouse, friends, and co-workers.

RED ALERT. When the problem has escalated and therapy is a must:

  • Verbal violence (i.e., name calling, swearing, making threats against individuals, their property)
  • Destructive behavior such as breaking items.
  • Problems with the law.
  • Engaging in physical violence towards loved ones.

Individuals with anger management problems may have underlying depression and if  they refuse to enter therapy, may experience psychiatric difficulties because the brain chemistry has altered.

Anger management therapy will teach the patient to use anger constructively.  They will take their frustrations and develop clarity.  The patient will also learn how to discuss feelings they’re experiencing, instead of verbal violence towards others.  Finally, therapy will help the patient avoid searching for alcohol and illegal substances for a means of escape.


Borderline Personality Disorder

Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) have wild mood swings, short-term intense depression and anxiety, engage in risky behaviors (i.e., sexual practices, driving habits, gambling, illegal drug use), and self-injury.  They do not have a sense of themselves, and have a fear of being alone.  The individual with BPD has relationship difficulties because they antagonize people they once held in high regard.  Because they view issues as either positive or negative, they cannot find the middle ground where appropriate.  They exhibit anger management problems and can become violent.

Causes of BPD:

  • Abandonment in childhood (genuine or imagined)
  • Brain Abnormalities (i.e., emotion regulation, aggression)
  • Chemical Imbalance (i.e., serotonin)
  • Child Abuse
  • Genetics

Additional problems resulting from BPD:

  • Alcoholism
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Confrontations with Law Enforcement
  • Eating Disorders
  • Excessive Debt
  • Illegal Substance Abuse Addiction
  • Sexually-Transmitted Diseases
  • Unexpected Pregnancies

Psychotherapy and drug therapy* are treatments for BPD.

*When absolutely necessary.