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Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

College Abuse of ADHD Medications: What You Should Know

posted by Linda Mintle

ID-10077874Mike is a 20-year-old college student who needs to score well on his next big test. If he doesn’t get a high grade, it could jeopardize his grade point average and chances of getting into medical school.

Mike knows that one of his roommates takes Adderall, a stimulant medication for ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder). He has heard that taking the drug would help him focus better when studying. Several of the guys in the dorm “share” their roommate’s medication around exam and tests times.

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ADHD is a legitimate psychiatric diagnosis based in neurobiology. When a diagnosed person takes an ADHD medication, it helps him or her focus and be less impulsive. For people with ADHD, the medication can make all the difference in their ability to succeed in a day.

However, we now see a portion of people taking these drugs who do not have a physiological need or a diagnosis. They are taking the drug without a prescription in order to lose weight or improve their focus  And those who crush the drug and then inject or snort it, can experience a euphoric high, feel a false sense of self-confidence, and develop a dependency.

Furthermore, taking a drug like Adderall (“Addy”) with no monitoring or diagnosis can produce side effects like dangerously high BP, irregular heartbeat, difficulty breathing, seizures and tremors, and mood disorders. With repeated and high use, there is also a danger of  stroke and cognition changes such as confusion, hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia.

The message to Mike and his buddies who are not diagnosed with ADHD and looking for a little help to do better on exams is to find a better way. Using your roommate’s ADHD medication is not only illegal, but potentially dangerous to your health and well-being.

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March Madness: 8 Tips for Anger Management

posted by Linda Mintle

basketballMarch Madness, as most of you know, is a term referring to college basketball play offs that are scheduled in March. We are now in the thick of those playoffs. What you might have noticed is  aggressive and violent acts among coaches, players and fans throughout the year. Here are a few examples of what we are seeing.

Fans who taunt and are aggressive:

After a technical foul was called on Hawaii in a game against UC Santa Barbara, a fan ran onto the court to confront Hawaii head coach Gib Arnold. The fan  jumped in the coaches face, was verbally aggressive before being pushed by a few Hawaii players on his way back to his seat.

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In February, Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State) was suspended for three games for shoving a fan in the closing seconds of OSU’s  loss at Texas Tech. Smart fell out of bounds when trying to block a shot, was helped to his feet, and then shoved a fan who said something to him. Neither Marcus or the fan responded well.

Coaches who lose it:

Who could forget the brief tirade of Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim against Duke as he screamed obscenities at an official while running on to the court, peeling off his jacket.

Kentucky coach John Calipari did what more and more coaches are seen doing–leaving  the coaching box while yelling at an official.

Players who become overly aggressive: 

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During the Iowa –Michigan State game, Zach McCabe and Travis Trice (State) battled for position. Then, when the play was dead,  McCabe decided to yank Trice’s arm. McCabe was given a technical foul and Russell Byrd (Michigan State) launched himself from the bench to engage in a mini scuffle on the court. He was ejected from the game.

Why do tempers flare? Well, it is competition, but the line between appropriate aggression and lack of self-control seems blurred at times.

One thought is that sports mirror what is happening in our larger society–more violence, a sense of entitlement, a erosion of civility and fair play, and a growing narcissism as acceptable behavior.

So what can you do to counter this trend? Here are 8 tips to manage anger in sports:

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1) Less blame, more responsibility. Rather than blaming a ref, ranting on the side line, take responsibility and work on skills. If more parents would model less talk about unfair officials and take the time to help their kids accept responsibility and work on their skills, we would all do better.

2) Understand the difference between anger and over aggression. Anger is not wrong, but aggression that is over the top  to others is a problem.

3) Parents, coaches and league officials follow the guidelines of your sport. There should be consequences for violence, rule violations  and overly aggressive behaviors.

4) Model good sportsmanship. Whether you are a coach, player or official, you can model good sportsmanship. The other team has been working hard to be their best. If they beat you, work harder for the next game.

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5) Keep your perspective. Remember this is a game, not a fight for life or death!

6) Lose well. If you lose, show some character and lose well. Respect the skills and great play of the other team.

7) Learn self-control at an early age. Everyone gets upset during a competitive game, but we can’t always act on our impulses and expect the outcome to be positive. Exercise self-restraint.

8)  Show your skills, not your temper. The best way to get even is to win with a great performance, not by your mouth, bravado and fists!

 

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Can’t Sleep? 8 Tips For a Good Night’s Rest

posted by Linda Mintle

ID-100116409You turn on the TV  with the hope that the late night show will put you to sleep, but does it? That depends …

1) If your female, it will take you longer to fall asleep than your male counterpart. Women take an average of about 9 minutes to fall asleep compared to the 23 minutes for men. Gender matters.

2) If you had caffeine after dinner with that yummy dessert, you may be feeling the effect of the caffeine now. The effects of caffeine can last as long as 8 hours. Switch to decaf!

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3) You stayed up late and slept in all weekend. Different sleep and wake schedules on the weekends can reek havoc on your sleep rhythm. Limit the difference to no more than an hour on weekends.

4) You’ve become more European and are eating dinner around 9:00p.m. The problem with this is that unless it is a very light dinner, heavy or large meals within a couple of hours of bedtime, can keep you awake.

5) Your bedroom is toasty and hot. This might feel good on a cold winter night, but turn down the heat around bedtime. Keep the bedroom cool and dark for better sleep.

6) The TV is on, remember? Turn it off and make it quiet. Bright light from a TV or computer screen can signal the brain to wake up!

7) It was a busy day and you took that late night exercise class. Now you are too wound up to fall asleep. Schedule the exercise class for very early evening.

8) Your mind is racing with so much to do. Switch gears and pray. End your day with prayer and thanksgiving to God. He will keep you in perfect peace if your mind is stayed on Him. Begin and end your day with prayer.

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Relationship Dissatisfaction? Could be a Power Imbalance?

posted by Linda Mintle

ID-100122426When  Donna and Jim were asked if they want an equal relationship, they answered, “Yes.” What they mean by that answer is where communication breaks down. People have widely different ideas about what equal means in a relationship.

Power usually relates to a person’s ability to influence the other towards his/her own interests or goals. Power sharing means both people’s needs are heard and met. Equal influence means couples accommodate each other.  It doesn’t mean that one person is always right. And it certainly doesn’t mean that one person must convince the other of his or her rightness!

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So if you are in a relationship, ask these questions:

Is each partner able to express personal goals, wishes and needs?

Do you influence one another?

Whose interests are shaping the relationship?

Does one dominate the other?

How are menial tasks like housework viewed?

How are decisions made?

Do both of you feel entitled to follow your dreams, calling, or personal goals?

If you cannot answer YES to most of these, there may be a power imbalance.  And one researcher tells us that equal power is related to relationship satisfaction for both men and women.  Specifically, when mutual support is shared in relationship responsibility, vulnerability, attunement and influence, couples feel good. [1]

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In other words, when a person feels heard, is able to influence the other and share responsibilities, the relationship feels more satisfying.


[1] Janice M. Steil, (1997). Marital Equality: Its Relationship to the Well-being of Husbands and Wives (Newbury Park Oaks: CA: Sage, 1997).

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