“Nearly a quarter of all black men under the age of 35 reported to having been treated less fairly by a police officer in the last month, according to a recent Gallup poll. Researchers surveyed 4,373 men and women from ages 18 to older than 55, including 1,010 non-Hispanic blacks, and found that younger black adults more often reported that they felt they were treated less fairly because of their race. For men ages 35 to 54, the percentage dropped from 24 to 22 percent, and down to 11 percent for men over the age of 55. The percentage of women who said they felt they were treated unfairly was lower – 18 percent of women under 34, 12 percent of women between 35 and 54 and 10 percent of women over 55.” Read on…

All Blacks stand to suffer due to the amplified nature of violence by some. Unfortunately, there is a need to maintain power (im)balances both through committing crime, masking it and prosecuting it. Most have no idea how tangled this web really is.

Categories: Black Men, research, stress | Leave a comment

Between Racial Lines

“Racial health disparities are not new but most of us don’t really know the specifics, possibly because there is relatively little discussion of this both in the media and among health care providers. The data in race-conscious societies are bleak. Not only in the United States, but also in Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, South Africa, and the U.K., non-dominant racial groups have significantly worse health outcomes than the dominant racial group.”

Healthcare professionals and mental healthcare workers always try to avoid looking at race when helping clients. In my experience it is almost impossible to talk to a client about biopsychosocial factors and mental/physical illnesses without also discussing identity, economics and genealogy. How can we help heal a client without looking at the whole person??? With African-Americans for example, their identity at some point will most often countenance part of a shared and very common black experience on some level. Ask yourself, “what motivates a caregiver to avoid this?” Check out this recent conference.

Categories: Black Men, mental illness, research | Leave a comment

Racism can feel life-threatening…

“One major factor in understanding PTSD in ethnoracial minorities is the impact of racism on emotional and psychological well-being. Racism continues to be a daily part of American culture, and racial barriers have an overwhelming impact on the oppressed. Much research has been conducted on the social, economic, and political effects of racism, but little research recognizes the psychological effects of racism on people of color (Carter, 2007).Chou, Asnaani, and Hofmann (2012) found that perceived racial discrimination was associated with increased mental disorders in African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans, suggesting that racism may in itself be a traumatic experience.”

This is a very thought-provoking piece on dealing with racism as a mental health professional.

Categories: Black Men, mental illness, research, stress | Leave a comment

Criminality & Mental Illness in Gangs

If you have ever wondered…please read the whole article and ask questions!

New research shows that young men in the UK who are members of gangs suffer from “unprecedented” levels of psychiatric illness, placing a heavy burden on mental health services.

1. 85.8 percent had an antisocial personality disorder
2. Two-thirds were alcohol dependent
3. 25.1 percent screened positive for psychosis
4. More than half (57.4 percent) were drug dependent
5. Around a third (34.2 percent) had attempted suicide
6. More than half (58.9 percent) had an anxiety disorder

Read more here.

“No research has previously investigated whether gang violence is related to psychiatric illness, other than substance misuse, or if it places a burden on mental health services,” said Professor Jeremy Coid, Ph.D., Director of Forensic Psychiatry Research Unit at Queen Mary, and lead author of the paper. Here we have shown unprecedented levels among this group, identifying a complex public health problem at the intersection of violence, substance misuse, and mental health problems among young men.”

Categories: Black Men, children, mental illness, research, teens | 2 Comments

Bath Salt Outperforms Meth

“Bath salts, the synthetic drug made infamous by incidents of psychotic “zombie” attacks, is more potent and potentially addictive than methamphetamine, a study has found…The study, published online Wednesday ahead of the August print edition of Neuropharmocology represents the most extensive examination to date of the effects of 3,4 methylenedioxypyrovalerone, or MDPV. The drug, marketed as “bath salts” and other names, is the latest generation of designer stimulants to hit the U.S. markets.”

Categories: addiction, chemicals, research | Leave a comment

Conflict & Power Resolution

“The goal of an argument with your partner is not an apology, rather a willingness to relinquish power, say researchers. Power may be defined in many forms including giving a partner more independence, admitting faults, showing respect and being willing to compromise. The research, published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology is based on two studies of married or cohabitating people and build upon previous investigations by Keith Sanford, Ph.D.”

“Earlier studies of more than 3,500 married people found that there are just two basic types of underlying concerns that couples experience during conflicts: “perceived threat,” in which a person thinks that his or her status is threatened by a critical or demanding partner; and “perceived neglect,” in which an individual sees a partner as being disloyal or inattentive and showing a lack of investment in the relationship.”

Most of us want to gain in relationships; we never desire to lose anything and though it takes two to tango, we eventually settle on protecting our own best interests.

“When we feel criticized, we are likely to have underlying concerns about a perceived threat to status, and when that happens, we usually want a partner simply to disengage and back off” says Sanford.

Here, one needs to understand that “backing off” or wanting a person to back off is an easy display of passive or passive-aggressive behavior which eventually amounts to enabling a furtherance of the behavior needing to be changed in the first place.

Often, in sobriety circles there are hundreds of sayings and mantras that have been adopted by recovering addicts. One of my favorites is, “If Nothing Changes, Nothing Changes”. This means, in terms of relationships, that if we don’t change our behavior the relationship will not change nor will the people enact change. Unfortunately, most people see conflict as negative and avoid it at the cost of possible healthy outcomes.

Categories: research, stress | Leave a comment

Choice or Disease?

“To call addiction a disease requires some explanation. Taking that first drink or smoking marijuana for the first time is clearly a choice. Developing an addiction (and hence “catching” this disease) is thus linked with choices or behaviors. Teasing apart the choice from the disease seems a little tricky at first glance.” Read more here.

Categories: addiction, mental illness, research | Leave a comment

Youth & Early Drinking

“Research shows that the earlier the age at which youth take their first alcoholic drink, the greater the risk of developing alcohol problems. Thus, age at first drink (AFD) is generally considered a powerful predictor of progression to alcohol-related harm. A new study shows that individuals who have their first drink during puberty subsequently have higher drinking levels than do individuals with a post-pubertal drinking onset.” More below.

Categories: addiction, research, teens | Leave a comment

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