Need to Review the Definition of Health by WHO in the Light of Research in the Parapsychology Field

The current definition of health by World Health Organization includes physical, mental and social dimensions of health. But even a cursory look at the current state of the world reveals that social health is conspicuous by its absence. There is severe unrest in almost every country.

Crime rate is increasing in almost every country. There is steady increase in alcohol abuse, drug abuse, human trafficking, child abuse (physical, psychological and sexual), terrorism, rampant corruption and breakdown of families. Not a day passes without reports of murder and rape.

All the advances in science and technology have not helped people to enjoy peace of mind and happiness. The reason is the neglect of spiritual development. Today's average man is running without knowing where he is going.

Leading psychiatrists while trying to manage problems like anxiety, depression and phobias have realized that man is not just a combination of body and mind but has a soul as well which survives the death of the body. Specialists in other fields have also realized that man has a spiritual dimension as well. Many reputed scientists including a few Nobel Prize winners are convinced about the existence of soul. Hence there is a need to redefine health and include the spiritual dimension of health.

We still do not know the exact cause of many diseases. Extensive research in the field of past life regression has revealed that many health related problems have their roots in our previous lives. Reincarnation is not a myth but a fact. Searching for reincarnation research or reincarnation proof will yield a long list of results.

Mere redefinition of health by itself will not solve all the problems. But if more and more people understand the cosmic law of cause and effect and realize that their actions come back to them they will certainly try to reform themselves. When leading doctors in every country start organizing seminars, radio talks and TV shows about the scientific evidence for the existence of soul and reincarnation people will certainly take interest in the topic. People will begin to understand that the purpose of human life is to grow spiritually and realize our true nature.

WHO should encourage every member country to accept the new definition of health which includes the spiritual dimension and modify the medical education accordingly. Doctors have to play an important role in helping people to enjoy sound health. In order to do this effectively doctors should first have comprehensive understanding of health.

Physical health cannot be maintained without taking care of psychological health and psychological health cannot be protected without tackling spiritual ignorance. Needless to say psychological disturbances lead to social problems.

Modern medicine has been a predominantly disease centered and treatment oriented system. There is a need to change this approach and give primary importance to prevention of disease and maintenance of health.

It is also desirable to combine modern medicine with Ayurveda in order to promote holistic health. Ayurveda which is at least five thousand years old gave the most comprehensive definition of health incorporating physical, psychological and spiritual dimensions of health.

Ideally everyone should have some social responsibility. Doctors perhaps should have it to a greater extent as they are responsible for health. We are affected by what happens in our society. No one can be safe in his house if his neighbor's house is on fire.

Humanity has paid a heavy price for neglecting spiritual development. Another equally serious threat to world peace is religious fundamentalism. By promoting scientific spirituality we can counter both the threats and establish a new world order based on Truth, Right conduct, Peace, Love and Non-violence.

I request all the like minded people to support an online petition requesting the World Health Organization to review the definition of health and include the spiritual dimension. This is the link- http://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/world-health-organization-review-the-definition-of-health-and-include-the-spiritual-dimension

Arun Kumar Suri is a pediatrician by profession. His website Healthy Family Happy Family is dedicated to various family issues with particular attention to child and adolescent health. The articles on the site look at the common childhood problems from different angles. It stresses the need to lead a balanced life giving equal importance to materialistic and spiritual aspects of life. You can visit his website at http://www.homebusinessandfamilylife.com/

Adolescent Girls and Mental Health Treatment Centers

It may be a sign of the times that an increasing number of adolescent girls require admission into various types of mental health treatment centers, yet this fact is undeniable. Fortunately mental health treatment centers for adolescent girls offer several programs. Some treatment centers specialize in one specific mental health issue. Others offer counseling for several disorders. The centers are highly confidential, compassionate and sensitive to the needs of these young women. Therapists are college or university educated and are typically certified.

Typical issues that adolescent girls struggle with include eating disorders, family dysfunction, drug addictions, behavioral problems and anger management, among others. These issues are disturbing yet surprisingly common.

There are many reasons why adolescent girls suffer from such serious disorders. Girls with eating disorders may be affected by media portrayals of women with unlikely figures that are thin yet bosomy. Adolescent girls fail to realize that such pictures are usually airbrushed to attain bodily perfection and they may not be aware that many of their role models themselves suffer from serious eating disorders.

Girls with anger management issues likely hail from abusive or neglectful households. The same holds true for girls with behavioral problems, drug addictions and low self-esteem. Families experiencing divorce, unemployment, poverty and racism also produce unhappy and dysfunctional adolescent girls.

Fortunately mental health treatment centers for adolescent girls are becoming increasingly common and are usually very effective. Their programs directly and openly address these issues, both in group therapy and in individual counseling, particularly for girls with severe problems. Often the girls' families are invited for a number of therapy sessions, since they too suffer from various dysfunctions that need to be acknowledged and treated.

Many mental health treatment centers for adolescent girls are residential. The girls reside within the centers during the week but are often released to their families on weekends. Some mental health treatment centers also offer outpatient programs as an alternative for adolescent girls who are reluctant to live inside treatment centers.

All mental health treatment centers have a set of rules the girls must abide by. Most centers only permit a minimum age of 12 or 13 years old. The girls cannot have any legal problems that will restrict their participation in the program. The girls must abide by the center's rules and they cannot have a history of excessive violence. Most centers rely upon schools, doctor reports and family in order to compile a girl's psychological assessment before admission into the program is granted. These assessments may include information regarding educational, medical, psychiatric, physical conditions, trauma, sexual behaviors and neurological history.

Although it can be difficult for a family to make the decision to enter an adolescent girl into a mental health treatment center ultimately it is a wise route for a trouble child. The acknowledgment that a child is troubled and requires help is a a crucial first step towards her recovery. Many girls and their families experience immediate, positive benefits due to the programs offered in these centers. The programs tend to be highly beneficial to both the child and her family, helping to resolve or at least begin to work through the complex stages of adolescent development and family dysfunction.

Ian Pennington is an accomplished niche website developer and author.

To learn more about teen mental health [http://teengirlshealth.info/adolescent-girls-and-mental-health-treatment-centers], please visit Teen Girls Health [http://teengirlshealth.info] for current articles and discussions.

Nutritional Diet Supplements: Keeping Adolescents Healthy

The modern adolescent is more overweight and obese now than at anytime before. According to the American Obesity Association about 30.4% of teenagers are overweight and 15.5% are obese. Recent figures published in both Canada and the UK show a similar situation in those countries.

The reasons for this are numerous but the situation is caused by the lifestyle most people choose, particularly the tendency towards fast food and a lack of exercise. Sadly more knowledge about the world around us has served to make us fearful for the safety of our offspring. This means that children and teenagers are kept on a short leash and encouraged to stay indoors so good, healthy outdoor exercise is neglected. Protecting our children thus actually threatens their health.

This problem is exacerbated by the growth of recreational technology that further promotes inactivity and less time in the fresh air. In other cases, parents are less controlling and teenagers are left to make their own decisions, leading to choices made from peer pressure rather than common sense. This means the good healthy and active lifestyle is rejected in favour of a more sugar, fat and alcohol fuelled existence combined with reduced exercise. This is not what the mind and body need for optimum performance.

So what can a concerned parent do?

Teenagers tend to ignore direct instructions or suggestions so effective methods need to be more subtle. Undoubtably the most successful method is to teach them when young. Canny parents get their offspring involved in healthy eating and sport and exercise well before the adolescent years.

One important habit is for the whole family to remove unhealthy foods and drinks from its kitchen shelves. If sugar laden drinks and fatty foods are no longer easily available then any youngsters are more likely to get into healthy habits too. Having more fruit and vegetables around and creating the habit of drinking water will create an atmosphere where healthy habits seem normal.

Getting a son or daughter involved in the cooking at home really works. A normal child will be curious about foods and how nutrition is used. Make the sessions fun and learning will follow naturally. This means the hard education will be completed before the troublesome teenage years.

Equally children are more likely to get excited about sport at a younger age. The easiest activities tend to be those with a strong perceived image and have a representation in the media. Good examples are martial arts (with their links with movies and comics) and football or soccer (emulation of the skills of famous footballers can do little harm, as long as their private lives are not too turbulent!). The impending Olympic coverage gives parents the ideal opportunity to get children excited about sport.

Even if you are a parent and have not managed to interest your child in sport and exercise before adolescence it is never too late. If an activity can be seen as 'cool' or adventurous then a teenager will still be attracted to it. The important thing is to put your offspring in contact with activities that would help them lead a healthy lifestyle.

School sports are often a great way to find something in which a child might be interested. Equally doing something as a family might trigger the enthusiasm for which you work. It is certainly true that many teenage boys and girls respond to peer pressure so it would make sense for a smart parent to steer their child towards those who would provide a positive environment in a sport or activity.

Football, or soccer, tennis, cricket, athletics, Rugby or cricket clubs would provide just the right mix of enjoyment, activity, social interaction and positive influence a growing person needs. Even joining a gym would help. Often the experience is enhanced if a group of friends the same age join an appropriate organization.

Following criticism as one reason why children get little exercise, computer game companies are now responding to the need for exercise. Nintendo are the best example, producing their Wii system with the ability to play various sports by replicating the actions of the players. A wide range of activities are now represented and can be great fun for the whole family. Other computer game manufacturers have produced active games too.

Among the most popular are those where the player follows dance steps or even create their own. Obviously dancing is an excellent way to exercise and appeals to teenagers in particular.

But by far the best activities for health are those that take place outside in the fresh air. There are many activities available as part of a family activity, with a club or an organization such as the Scouts, Guides or one of the cadet forces. Mountain biking is a relatively new sport that has gained great popularity but other activities that may attract adolescents include adventure camping, hillwalking, hiking, sailing or scuba diving.

There are other benefits to outdoor sports, other than the healthy exercise it gives. Learning and experiencing a new activity will give a group of youngsters a shared experience and bind them as a group. New friends will always be made and social skills are developed.

My own experience includes hillwalking and I have seen young people arrive to an expedition shy and often with social challenges and depart at the end with new found skills and confidence. Indeed some legal bodies are experimenting with schemes to encourage problem teenagers to try outdoor activities, especially walking expeditions and yacht sailing. Putting such youngsters under mental and physical stress to achieve a shared goal means they often lose the negative influences and energies that get them into trouble.

Organized sports are not the only way to get your teenager active however. Other interests can involve healthy activity. Quite a few television programmes get people interested in gardening for example and it is possible for youngsters to get interested in horticulture by watching a parent or grandparent working in the garden, especially if encouraged to help out. In any case, a busy adolescent will be more physically active and less likely to lounge around being lazy! The skill is to get them interested and broaden their minds and their body will follow.

It may seem impossible at times to get a youngster interested in healthy habits but the right approach early enough can provide dividends throughout the rest of his or her life. There is no doubt it is worth the effort.

Keith Braithwaite has had twenty years in and keenly observing direct selling. He is an accredited Proto-col affiliate. Other passions include personal development, painting, drawing, photography cycling, walking and the outdoors generally.
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Helping the One You Love - Parents of Adolescents With Borderline Personality Disorder

Are you a parent of an adolescent who experiences their extreme mood swings, addictive and self-destructive behaviours, intense and unstable relationships, and black and white thinking? Your child may be suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). And BPD is scary, isn't it? One moment your child can't stand to be away from you; they think you are the most wonderful person in the world! A few hours later, they despise you and pummel you with hurtful words and possibly physical violence. Most of the time you feel as if you have to literally walk on eggshells around him or her, because you never know how he or she is going to react or what they might do next. A person suffering from BPD may appear completely "normal" and may often have the ability to act "as if" he or she has no problems. Although some may be tempted to abandon a BDP sufferer, you are their parent and cannot do that. The worst part is that you feel helpless. You want to help your child; you don't know how. There is recent research-based evidence of a treatment model that can address the fundamental and important need that parents are longing to satisfy: help for their child. Before we look at this new model, let us review what therapies have been used to date, and where they may fall short.

For BPD adolescents, up to now they have likely been in individual therapy with some skills-based Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), and perhaps group counselling. DBT is a therapy developed by Marsha Linehan in Washington State, and combines person-centred empathy and acceptance with cognitive behavioural problem-solving (CBT), social-skills training and Middle-Eastern philosophy. It helps BPD individuals to modulate and control their extreme emotionality and behaviours, tolerate their distress as "normal", and trust their thoughts and emotions. Although these components are helpful, therapy needs to include family members and to address core family processes unique to BPD, as well as the complexities of an adolescent's development. During this developmental stage in an adolescent's life, there is substantial physical change along with hormonal development, there is development of key cognitive abilities as the brain grows, honing of social skills, and immense peer pressure to perform competently. While your child is experiencing this turmoil, they are interacting with family members as they develop their identity and seek support as they grow. A positive family role is particularly important in the life of a BPD adolescent, and this component would address the need for an effective, holistic and systemic treatment approach to adolescents with BPD and drug abuse.

If these approaches have been working for some time now, then what is missing, and how does this new model address the need? With Integrative Borderline Adolescent Family Therapy (I-BAFT), the researchers believe that they have created an approach that incorporates three necessary treatment components: structural family therapy (SFT), which assists families to restructure out of fragmentation and under organization to help with role definition and boundary setting; empirically-tested brief strategic family therapy (BSFT) to help with communication; and dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) discussed above. The approach also includes that developmental focus which is more critical here than in adult BPD. This multi-component treatment model brings together varied activities for the adolescent and their family to combat this disorder, and to lift their burden. This includes weekly family therapy; individual therapy; and skills-building interventions. It is designed to be offered in 3-sessions per week over a 6-8 month period, and involves separate therapists and a psychosocial skills trainer.

There are a number of specific issues which are a source of concern to parents and unhelpful to the adolescent, including: self harm; drug abuse; emotion dysregulation & impulsivity; failure to establish life goals & skills; unstable family relationships; and family interactions that maintain the behavioural problems. Although it isn't cheap, this approach focuses on changing these factors. It also encompasses comprehensive strategies that are designed to target and alter behaviours which hinder the child's ability to cope effectively with BPD. These include: no suicide-related behaviour; continued therapy during crisis; crises framed as opportunities; and working with family members to provide structure.

Because parents are concerned whether their child is able to cope with BPD, the adolescent's treatment goals are: increasing skills in regulating emotions and maintaining healthy relationships; setting life goals; increasing motivation to achieve goals; modifying suicidal & parasuicidal behaviour; eliminating drug abuse; reducing impulsive behaviours, and reducing severe emotional dysfunction. While parents will see their child's learning grow, the family can also learn and grow. Therefore, family treatment goals are: increasing parental leadership, guidance and nurturance; fostering parent-adolescent attachment; promoting familial validation through communication; eliminating ongoing verbal, physical or sexual violence; reducing interactions that reward emotion dysregulation; and promoting parent-adolescent engagement. All these will create a healthy and supportive environment for your child.

But will this approach produce results? The researchers found that an adolescent population is difficult to engage, retain and treat, and that the therapy is intensive. Despite these difficult obstacles, through this effective and successful treatment, they were able to engage 70% of the adolescents and families that enrolled. High parent and adolescent satisfaction reflected a positive assessment of the three treatment components by both adolescents and their parents. This is especially significant as the adolescent clients were not self-referred nor were they originally interested in treatment. They also found that unhealthy family patterns may precede the BPD behaviours and help them to blossom, so treatment that deals with adapting these is positive for parents and children. A positive note was that adolescent BPD traits were less entrenched than those of an adult BPD sufferer, and so the outlook for parents is brighter.

Key learnings during the conducting of this research were that there is a negative impact on the adolescent when parental figures are lacking, there are adult-adolescent attachment problems to be addressed, and generic family therapy alone is insufficient. The research convincingly emphasizes the importance of providing a developmental and growth approach during the adolescent's developmental stage.

Parents will be pleased to note that this research contributes to the growing impetus for integrative, systemic and holistic approaches to mental health, which include a variety of treatments that had been offered separately before now. If you are a parent or family member of an adolescent diagnosed with BPD, don't think that you have to battle this alone. Contact your local Child and Youth Mental Health branch to discuss these treatment options that will not only help your child, but also help the whole family to become more resilient and take a role in meeting the challenge of adolescent BPD.

Admittedly BPD may be a struggle, yet the goal is to struggle well!

SEAN LATIMER, b.Comm; CA(SA); MA
Registered Clinical Counsellor
15391 Russell Avenue,
Lower Suite,
White Rock, BC
V4B 2R2
CANADA

http://www.seanlatimer.com