life

Fearful days

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There is so much to do. Get out of bed, put on clothes. Go to the bathroom, get breakfast. Taste it while you prepare for another day. Getting inside your car, being aware of the cars snailing away in front of you. Then work, all these tasks that must be done.

The day is coming to an end. I have run back and forth, from one meeting to another, from one anxious patient to one anxious nurse trying to manage all the anxiety floating around us. Is fright what wakes us up in the morning? The uncertainty about all these tasks we must do? The fear of not making it?

What do we do when everything stops? Is there a safety net for us, with holes that we might fall through? Sometimes people jump, and land on the net without bouncing away. But sometimes they just fall and fall.

I just read a paragraph in a new book from one of my favorite authors (Lars Saabye Christensen).

“When you first have gotten a son, you can never lose him”

We can never lose our memories, they can be forgotten, altered and kept away, but they will still be there, somewhere. We can`t undo what is done, and the faces we have seen in the past, are etched into our mental canvasses. We remember how people look when they are afraid, and we want to soothe them and ourselves fear appears. As time goes, and anxiousness gets replaced by calm, we know that we made it through another day. When we wake up next day, we know we already lived through the day before. We have new memories to build on, new experiences. We can`t loose what we already have. We are anxious that we can`t do everything that is expected of us, but we already have. We have always done our best.

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The sound of busy bees

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The bees make a buzzing sound that you either run away from in fear, or simply enjoy because it reminds you of lazy summer days when nature feels like a part of you. Right now my thoughts are buzzing around in a hectic tempo. Almost like they are in a frenzy because there is so much that needs to be done. The queen bee, who organizes it all, is my prefrontal cortex. My writing tries to create an overview of the disconnected thoughts so they can work harmoniously together. I haven`t written for some time, so I needed to do so now. The need is like a crawling insect, it itches until I sit down and take my time to get it all down on paper. The bees have a need to get the honey in and I need to collect my experiences and bring them home.

Yesteday I was at a book launch where one of my friends presented his book together with another local author. My heart swells with pride, as he is a dear friend who I have known since I was 17. We have so many memories together, and many of them were reactivated today. I remember visiting him at a writing school when he struggled to produce a text for review. He was so nervous, afraid that his piece wasn´t good enough. I was flabbergasted, as I never would have been able to write anything like that myself. But he was so critical of his own work, and didn`t feel it was good enough. Funny how we compare ourselves to unreasonable standards. This can be harmful when the people we compare ourselves with, are brilliant themselves. That`s when we lose sight of our own talents, that`s when we forget that we actually are up there ourselves. I read Malcom Gladwell`s book “David and Goliat” where he discussed this phenomena. What struck me, was that students who go to Harvard or other prestigious universities, struggle more later in life, than those who choose other universities. One of the reasons, was that only a few make it to the top even if every student are really talented. But they forget that when they start competing. They start to doubt themselves, and their self-esteem are easily attacked when they don´t reach the top three percent where they found themselves in high school. Now my friend has made it, he has written a book that got published, and it proves that he has talent. I think he still doesn`t quite believe it, and I know he is not completely satisfied with some parts of the book. I can understand that, because we are all perfectionists. I am so happy for my friend the busy bee, because after all his hard work, he really deserves it.

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His book

Sometime we need to fail, to know how to succeedd

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We are often our own worst enemies. When others do something wrong, we try to understand. We forgive them, think about the hard life they have lived. How they have always tried their best, even after tragic events. We want to hug them, make them feel better. Our empathic hearts reach out. So why can’t we be as kind to ourselves as to others? 

We need to remember that failing is normal , that we can’t be too hard on ourselves. After all, sometimes we need to fail, to know how to succeed.

 
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The sound of taking everything away

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Pain envelops me in a tight hug. I wake up, tears falling. In my dream I was in a panicked state. I was at a local swimming hall, a place I never have felt safe. Swimmings lessons were one long ordeal I had to get through, it felt like I would drown every time. In this swimming hall, I see my belongings everywhere. I can see my iPhone, money, clothes and precious items. I am hurt, after swimming and barely making it. Around me I see people I know and some people I never have encountered before. Some of them are fellow coworkers, that I trust and like. The unknown people start stealing my things. I run up to them, ask them not to. Beg them to please let it be, that I have done nothing wrong. They don`t stop, and I run over to the people I think might help since they know me. But they look at me, and even start helping the thieves. I cry out: “Why are you doing this?” They give an answer that doesn`t make sense. After a while i just sit on the floor, helpless. I don`t get it. I try to process the losses and the feeling of betrayal. I believed in people, in their good intention.

When I look up, some of the thieves walk over to me. One of the girls, start throwing some of the money back at me. It is not as much as I had, but a fair amount of money. But I continue crying. They can`t take something away from me, and then give it back. It still shattered the world I thought I knew. With eyes wide open, I ask what the point of this was. They mutter something about teaching me a lesson. It was punishment, but I still don`t know what for. It must have been something bad. With that feeling lingering, I come back to reality.

Child Sex Trafficking Victims Easily Missed by Doctors and Social Workers

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Victims ‘hide in plain sight,’ experts say, and survey finds more training is needed.

Child Sex Trafficking Victims Easily Missed by Doctors, Social Workers: Study

TUESDAY, March 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Most health care workers may lack the knowledge, awareness and training to identify potential victims of child sex trafficking, a new study suggests.

“We need to become more aware that trafficking exists and [more] educated about what we can do to identify and provide resources to victims,” said study author Dr. Angela Rabbitt, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

Sex trafficking occurs when a child engages in any sexual act, including stripping or engaging in pornography, in exchange for something of value, which could include money, drugs, food, shelter or other survival needs, Rabbitt explained. This legal definition does not require proof of coercion because minors are legally incapable of consenting to sexual activity.

Rabbitt and her colleagues distributed approximately 500 surveys about sex trafficking to doctors, nurses, physician assistants, social workers, and patient and family advocates at hospitals and clinics in urban, suburban and rural parts of southeastern Wisconsin. Of these, 168 were completed, primarily by social workers and physicians.

The survey asked the respondents to read and answer questions about two vignettes, which were scenarios about potential sex trafficking victims. Only half the respondents correctly identified the child in the first scenario as a sex trafficking victim. In the second scenario, 42 percent correctly identified the child as a sex trafficking victim in addition to being a child abuse victim.

The findings were published online March 16 in the journal Pediatrics.

One expert noted the importance of the findings.

“We need more individuals — especially doctors, teachers, youth leaders, coaches, etcetera — to help identify when a child is either at risk for trafficking or currently being exploited,” said Nicole Levy, research project director at the Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault at the University of Texas at Austin.

“Runaways and homeless youth, youth in the foster care system and youth who have left home due to neglect or abuse are especially vulnerable to trafficking,” she said. “Traffickers and pimps are aware of these vulnerabilities and prey upon such youth — they provide food, shelter, attention and affection.”

Common misconceptions about sex trafficking are that it involves smuggling, transportation or movement across borders or being held against one’s will, Levy said, adding that the average youth’s age of introduction to trafficking is 13.

In the survey, one in five respondents said lack of awareness was a barrier to identifying sex trafficking victims, and about a third said lack of training was an obstacle. Of those surveyed, 63 percent had never received training.

Those with training, however, were more likely to have encountered a victim in their practice, to be more confident about identifying victims, and to say sex trafficking was a major problem in their area.

It’s difficult to determine how many victims of child sex trafficking exist in the United States, Rabbitt said. An estimated 100,000 to 300,000 children and teens under 18 may be at risk. But no centralized database collects reports, research is limited, and victims are often afraid or unwilling to identify themselves or are never asked, she said.

“Trafficking often hides in plain sight — we know that there are trafficking victims whose cases never come to light,” Levy said.

Red flags signaling a possible victim include a history of multiple reproductive or violence-related health problems, such as prior pregnancies, multiple tests for sexually transmitted infections or suspicious injuries, Rabbitt said.

The study authors also reported that 10 percent of providers classified a child victim as a “prostitute” instead of a sex trafficking victim. This reflects “community beliefs that children involved in the sex trade are responsible for their victimization,” the authors wrote.

“I think when the community sees a victim of domestic sex trafficking, their first thought is that he or she is a prostitute who chose that lifestyle,” Rabbitt said. “There is now a growing awareness that many ‘prostitutes’ start out as children or as young adults who were forced into the sex trade, and now, due to fear, addiction or many other reasons, find it very hard to get out of the life.

“For the general community, the best way to prevent a child from becoming a victim of trafficking is to help them develop healthy coping skills and confidence when they are very young, and then continue to support them as they grow,” she said. Volunteering for youth mentoring programs and reporting suspected child abuse and neglect are two ways people can help, she added.



Visit UNICEF External Links Disclaimer Logo    for more on sex trafficking.

High as a kite

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At the moment, lhighasife is lovely. The weekend has been so good, thanks to people I care about. It has also helped that I did many activities I love. I made several songs, watched “New Girl”, ate proper food, exercised, read and did some scrapbooking. Now I have come to the end of the weekend, and even though I am ready for bed, I just wanted to write a tiny bit about the good things in life. I also want to remind everyone that doing more of what you like, will give you energy. Sometimes it will feel like this is not possible, for several reasons. It can be lack of time, lack of motivation or problems that block the road to fulfillment. But like the mental trainer Øyvind Hammer underlines, there is few excuses for not trying. He asks three questions every time motivation drops or something bad happens.

1. Would this be so bad internationally?
2. Could it be worse?
3. Would someone in the world like to exchange your problems with theirs?

I liked those questions.

Life can be hard, no doubt about it, but by trying to change the way we view things, we will have more mental energy to cope with the real catastrophes when they strike.

Protected: Disengaging from engagement

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Judgement day

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imagesCAISXD6SWhy is it so easy for us to judge? Wikipedia states:

A cognitive bias is a pattern of deviation in judgment, whereby inferences about other people and situations may be drawn in an illogical fashion.[1] Individuals create their own “subjective social reality” from their perception of the input.[2] An individual’s construction of social reality, not the objective input, may dictate their behaviour in the social world.[3] Thus, cognitive biases may sometimes lead to perceptual distortion, inaccurate judgment, illogical interpretation, or what is broadly called irrationality.[4][5][6]

Some cognitive biases are presumably adaptive. Cognitive biases may lead to more effective actions in a given context.[7] Furthermore, cognitive biases enable faster decisions when timeliness is more valuable than accuracy, as illustrated in heuristics.[8] Other cognitive biases are a “by-product” of human processing limitations,[9] resulting from a lack of appropriate mental mechanisms (bounded rationality), or simply from a limited capacity for information processing.[10]

Written on wikipedia, it looks so straightforward. So logical. But understanding it is not the same as living With it. Seeing that People judge others for several reasons, helps, but it still hurts to BE judged. In normal circumstances we judge everything all the time, but what about judgment in the Health service? What irks me is how the People who`ve read page after page about cognitive biases and heuristics, still fall into the judgement trap without realizing it. Not that I don`t do, myself. We all do, no matter how we try not to. But still, shouldn`t it be more panic rooms available, more safety nets to protect us from human fallibility? Let us take an example: Someone is diagnosed With  schizophrenia. Suddenly the Person is not just a Person. He or she is the “Person With Schizophrenia”. Suddenly everything the person does will be interpreted in the light of that diagnosis. If things don`t work out, it might because they have a serious mental illness, if it does, it must be because they have some special resources. Expectation are based on what we know about schizophrenia as a groups. Most Health Professionals are taught to always keep their eyes open, so that we don`t fall into judgment traps. But we still do and often there is no rope to haul us back up. We need constant reminders so that we don`t fall into those traps too often. And when we do, we need to see it. Because judgement is the opposite of seeing. Without others to correct us, everything is dark.

Judgment comes from experience

The sound of brains singing in tune

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Brain Power.” and to the weekly challenge

Let’s assume we do, in fact, use only 10% of our brain. If you could unlock the remaining 90%, what would you do with it? And  what does it mean to be the same thing, in different forms?

Our brains are magnificent. In it sits our personality, our potential and our own worst enemies. It stores all of our memories. It is our identity, our saviors and our sinners.

I have been interested in the brain since I started to study psychology. That this grey mass was us , was almost impossible to grasp. In our study we even had to touch a brain, and it felt both surreal and wonderful at the same time. This year I did a brain scan, and it felt even more surreal to watch ME on the screen in front of me.

Lateral side: Medulla, pons, corpus callosum, cerebellum
My brain: Lateral side: Medulla, pons, corpus callosum, cerebellum

You can see the picture of it, here.

So, what would I do if I could unlock 90 % of my potential? I would save the world.

Naive, I know. But impossible tasks have always intrigued me, as I know that thousands of people have made the impossible possible time and time again. The people who challenge prejudices and borders, changed the world. Without them, we would have no internet, no wheels, no knowledge.

Photo 05.09.14 16 02 59I know exactly what I would do to change the world.  I would ask everyone I knew to do one random act of kindness every week. I believe in the butterfly effect, that states that all we do, has an effect on something else. Like ripples in a pond, kind acts would reinforce themselves. They would grow exponentially, and many catastrophes would be avoided. Just think about it: How do you feel when someone helps you? Most people would want to return the favor, and even if some people would`t, kindness still would spread like a fire in the forest. We would be unable to stop it, because love and compassion respects no boundaries. Kindness has greater force than anything else. Our logical brains would`t have a chance, because love is stronger and more potent.. We would beat even the most intelligent brains, and nothing could stop us. My ideal way to use 100 % of my brain, would be to connect all the brains in the world. If we all knew everything, by drinking from the well of wisdom that we all possess, there would be nothing we could`t do.

Protected: The sound of speaking out loud

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