Addiction is rooted in childhood trauma

We often think that people can only become addicted to drugs and alcohol. But addiction shows up in any behaviour that a person enjoys, finds some relief in, and therefore craves more of in the short term, but suffers negative consequences in the long term, and doesn’t give up this behaviour despite the negative consequences of their actions.

Addiction can be related to any behaviour, not just substances. It could be cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, marijuana, nicotine, alcohol. But could...

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How to stop your brain from shrinking

brain health dementia Jul 27, 2021

Your brain starts to shrink as early as your 30s. Even if you seem perfectly healthy, you may be losing as much as 0.4% of your brain or about several million brain cells every year. The rate at which your brain gets smaller increases with age and is a major factor in early mental decline.

Brain shrinkage doesn’t happen to all areas of the brain at once. Some areas shrink more and faster than others, and brain shrinkage is likely to get more severe as you get older.

...

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The benefits of swimming for your brain

We’ve long known that swimming is an excellent cardiovascular exercise that strengthens your heart and circulatory system. But it also really benefits your brain and mental health. It helps the brain to release mood-boosting brain chemicals. repair damage to brain cells and grow brain cells.

Your brain is where your thoughts and emotions live, and a healthy brain contributes greatly to good mental health. Swimming can help lower anxiety and depression. It provides extra benefits for...

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Childhood Trauma and Midlife Mental Health

Childhood evokes images of innocence, joy, optimism and wonder. It is a time of security and safety, where you are unconditionally protected, nurtured and loved. Having stability in knowing you are safe and having a secure attachment with your family allows you to form healthy and safe relationships later in life.

But, sadly, the reality of many young people’s experiences and the effect on the rest of their lives is in stark contrast to this description of childhood. Many young people...

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Talking To Teens About Their Mental Health

Day to day ups and downs are are a normal part of adolescence, making it difficult to distinguish between normal teenage moodiness and more serious mental health challenges. Your teen might not always be able to articulate what they’re going through, and they might not want to talk about it to you, but starting the conversation with them will help to protect their mental well-being.

Adolescence is time of enormous change for young people. Their bodies are changing, their...

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Why Are Teenagers So Messy?

parenting teenagers Jun 29, 2021

Clothes left in the bathroom, lids left off things, cups of tea made back at the beginning of the year, plates that seem to be growing some sort of fungi and glasses that you thought had been broken months ago. Why don't our teenage children care about being tidy?

The unbelievable untidiness of teens is a real bug bear for many parents, myself included. For many parents, it just doesn’t make any sense. Why wouldn’t you want to clear up after yourself and have a well...

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How To Rewire A Brain Traumatised During Childhood

When a child experiences neglect or abuse early in their life, it has a significantly detrimental effect on their physical, mental and emotional development. Trauma can be a repeating event, a sudden single event or a pattern of interaction between an abuser and child. Severe neglect is the most common form of trauma and has the biggest impact on brain development.

The brains of children who have been abused and neglected develop differently. Even before they are born, many children in care...

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Food for a Healthy Female Brain

The Mediterranean diet is perfectly suited to improve a woman’s brain health. Women who follow the Mediterranean diet have younger looking brains. But, unlike women who eat a western diet, show no early brain signs of Alzheimer’s disease, and experience fewer and milder menopausal symptoms. I share a simple step-by-step Mediterranean-style diet plan with the right intake of nutrients to help women keep their brain young, reduce menopause symptoms and protect them against...

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'Mum, What's Wrong With You' with Lorraine Candy

parenting teenagers Jun 08, 2021

What happened to the sweet little girl who you’ve loved and nurtured for more than decade? Who is this irrational, untidy and moody young women living in your house, who seems to find everything about you so embarrassing? In this episode, I have a really interesting and wide ranging discussion with parenting columnist, Lorraine Candy, about how to survive the challenges of parenting teenage girls. We cover topics ranging from why teenage girls are so mean to mums to best ways to...

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Managing Menopausal Brain Symptoms

brain health Jun 01, 2021

The menopause opens a new chapter in a woman’s life that can take her on a roller coaster ride of foreign feelings lasting easily a decade or more. From hot flushes to low mood to insomnia to forgetfulness, menopause can be deeply distressing for many women. I look at the impact of fluctuating hormones on a woman’s brain health and how to manage well-being during menopause.

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