Currently viewing the tag: "dysfunction"

thursday regrets

There are no ghosts. There is no such thing, little Poppy. No ghosts — only our regrets. –Water Ghosts by Shawna Yang Ryan

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story, poem, or haiku about the regrets that haunt your protagonist.

Journaling Prompt: What do you regret right now? How are you handling it?

Art Prompt: The ghosts of regrets

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a touching story about something you regretted and use the story to teach them how to handle regrets in a healthy way.

Photo Credit: Neil Moralee on Flickr

monday mental illness

One in five people struggle with mental illness, and many don’t get help, Lannin said. Those who do wait an average of 11 years, before finally seeking treatment. Lannin says distressed students in the study were more likely to click the link for information (8.5 percent probability for those with high self-stigma, compared to 17.1 percent for those with low self-stigma). Distress is like the gas pedal and stigma the brake, he said. Unfortunately, by the time someone reaches a high level of distress, he or she is often struggling to function.

“Identifying distressed students can be difficult because distress affects people in different ways. The main thing we notice is impairment in functioning across multiple spheres. They struggle with school work or with family relationships and friendships. If it gets bad enough, they might struggle with hygiene or start strongly contemplating suicide,” Lannin said. “It’s not just that they feel bad; it’s that functionally they’re impaired.”

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, three-quarters of all chronic mental illness begins by age 24. Lannin says for many young adults this is a time of transition — going to college, working full-time and moving away from home — adding to the reasons they may not seek help. This is another consideration when designing interventions and educational information, Lannin said. –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story or scene from the point of view of someone with an untreated mental illness.

Journaling Prompt: Write about your experience with mental illness in yourself, a friend, or a family member.

Art Prompt: Stigma

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the stigma of mental illness and give some suggestions as to how we can change the stigmatizing.

Photo Credit: reinekaos on Flickr

dreadful Thursday

You isolate the single event
As something so dreadful that it couldn’t have happened
Because you could not bear it. So you must believe
That I suffer from delusions. It is not my conscience
Not my mind, that is diseased, but the world I have to live in.

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a family fight based on the poem above.

Journaling Prompt: Write about your family’s dysfunction.

Art Prompt: Dysfunctional family

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about common types of family dysfunction.

Photo Credit: Dogan Kokdemir on Flickr

children in Angola

I had traveled to Angola as part of an effort by the World Bank… the destruction of the people and their way of life had been so complete, the loss and pain so debilitating that they had lost the capacity to celebrate or affirm their lives in a way that we might recognize as recovery. The traditional sources of ritual and cultural teaching – the tribal shaman or medicine man, the death rituals, spiritual practice, music, dance, and tribal arts, for instance – had been wiped out or severely disabled in the war. Without these key elements of cultural survival, the struggle for individual survival was made even more difficult. –In the Moment: Celebrating the Everyday by Harvey L Rich, MD

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a people that has lost its culture. 

Journaling Prompt: Write about one aspect of you personal culture that you could not live without.

Art Prompt: My culture

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about your culture and what makes it special to you.

Photo Credit: wilsonbentos on Flickr


Hilda Nilsson (1876 – 10 August 1917) was a Swedish serial killer from Helsingborg who became known as “the angel maker on Bruks Street.”…

As a way to raise cash, Nilsson cared for infants in return for money from mothers who were not married and needed help. At that time, having a child outside of marriage was a shameful moral crime, and caring for these children for a fee (known as baby farming) was a common practice…

Nilsson murdered the children she took care of shortly after their mothers left them in her care. This was possible because the authorities rarely knew of these babies’ existence. Furthermore, the mothers almost never wanted to come back to learn how their children were doing…

Nilsson was different from other baby-farmer child killers of that time, in that she actively killed the children. Most others simply left the children with insufficient food and in unhealthy living conditions, which led to their death. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about baby farms.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel when you see a mother abusing or neglecting a child? How should our society handle that/

Art Prompt: Neglect

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about how child protective services shelters resemble the baby farms of the past. Make a suggestion as to how to protect children in our society. 

painful memory

Memory was a terrible and intensely physical thing. Unlike guilt, it lost none of its power over time. –A Darker Place by Laurie R. King

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the internal monologue of your protagonist as he/she struggles with a painful memory.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a painful memory and how you deal with it.

Art Prompt: Painful Memory

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience how to deal with painful memories.

Photo Credit: JustCallMe_Bethy_ on Flickr

toddler tantrum

In their second and third years of life, then, boys decisively will turn away from their mother. They de-identify with what she is. But their pulling away, their protective shield, may involve a number of anti-female defenses. And so it may be that the price males pay for de-identification is a disdain, a contempt, sometimes even a hatred for women, a disowning of the “feminine” parts of themselves and an enduring fear of intimacy because it undermines the separation upon which their male identity has been founded.

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a man whose protective shield blocks him from having any meaningful relationships.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a man you know who can’t identify with the feminine aspects of his being. How does that affect his relationships?

Art Prompt: De-Identification with Mom

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience why de-identification with your parents is important and give them strategies for making sure that they have a healthy relationship with all aspects of themselves.

Photo Credit: Jessica Lucia on Flickr

protest against abuse

By the time we’re ready to tell others of our abusive experience, we realize that the narcissist has preempted us and gotten THEIR WORD OUT FIRST. While we’ve been dealing with what we thought were real emotions and a real relationship, the narcissist has already strategized their exit plan. They get their words out: The words that we know intimately are nothing short of pathological lying and twisting revisionist history. The narcissist will tell others we’re crazy, a stalker, vengeful, a poor loser, losers, or emotionally unstable. They’ll cite our reactions to their abuse as evidence, never mentioning the abuse that caused our reactions.

Those who have been manipulated by the narcissist’s façade, who have been purposefully themselves manipulated by the image the narcissist wishes to portray, these “onlookers”, by believing or even lending their ears to the narcissists tall tales and outright lies, become unknowing participants in our further abuse. –What Happens When Targets Aren’t Believed at ANA

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of someone escaping from a narcissistic abuser.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you felt like you were manipulated, but you didn’t understand how.

Art Prompt: Protest abuse

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about narcissistic abuse and how they can help people trapped in these relationships.

Photo Credit: Global Panorama on Flickr

Some stressful experiences — such as chronic childhood abuse — are so overwhelming and traumatic, the memories hide like a shadow in the brain.

At first, hidden memories that can’t be consciously accessed may protect the individual from the emotional pain of recalling the event. But eventually those suppressed memories can cause debilitating psychological problems, such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or dissociative disorders.

A process known as state-dependent learning is believed to contribute to the formation of memories that are inaccessible to normal consciousness. Thus, memories formed in a particular mood, arousal or drug-induced state can best be retrieved when the brain is back in that state. –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a survivor of child abuse.

Journaling Prompt: What memories would you like to suppress?

Art Prompt: Child abuse

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about child abuse and how the survivors deal with their memories.

Photo Credit: CT Senate Democrats on Flickr

…military-connected students reported higher levels of lifetime and recent substance use, violence, harassment and weapon-carrying compared with nonmilitary-connected students. For example:
* 45.2 percent of military-connected youth reported lifetime alcohol use compared with 39.2 percent of their nonmilitary-connected peers
* 12.2 percent of military-connected youth reported recently smoking cigarettes in the previous 30 days compared with about 8.4 percent of their nonmilitary peers
* 62.5 percent of military-connected students reported any physical violence compared with 51.6 percent of nonmilitary-connected students
* 17.7 percent of military-connected youth reported carrying a weapon at school compared with 9.9 percent of nonmilitary students
* 11.9 percent of military-connected students reported recent other drug use (e.g., cocaine and lysergic acid diethylamide [LSD]) compared with 7.3 percent of nonmilitary peers
Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story or poem about a military-connected student who is struggling with inner demons.

Journaling Prompt: What inner demons did you struggle with as a teen?

Art Prompt: Inner demons

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the problems that military-connected students struggle with and give them a call to action to help.

Photo Credit: Army Sustainment Command on Flickr