Over working

Hello all!

We are in the middle of a COVID “surge”. Mainly it’s just that we have more patients than we have beds. There is a lot of mental health crisis out there! I am on day 7 of 12-14 days straight, so I will keep this brief.

1. Self care- take care of yourself and try to seek help before it becomes an emergency.

2. Use your PCP and or Urgent care if you can!

3. Wear your mask- vaccinated or not

4. Get vaccinated if you can and check to see if you need a booster if you are already vaccinated

5. If it’s not essential try to put it off, we don’t need more spread than we already have

Bonus: be kind to each other. You never know what others are going through.

With love,

Sarah

Pokémon Go!

So I’m an exciting turn of events, the Twitter protest of hear us niantic worked! Now that Pokémon and gym spin distances have been increased it has caused a huge jump in quality of life!

Here in the US we still suffer from severe systematic racism, there were several tweets from persons of color saying they could play Pokémon go safely with the increased distance but with the decrease in distance, some were afraid to leave the house due to the long standing history of police brutality against persons of color.

It has also been a win for persons with invisible and visible disabilities. Those of us, like myself, who struggle in crowds. For those of us who have mobility issues the spin radius increase was a breath of fresh air. I was able to pick up the game and start a new profile after having abandoned the game due to social anxiety.

This is also a public health win. The Delta variant and COVID is still real. Wear a mask, get vaccinated, stay home if you feel ill, and most importantly, stay safe!

Burnt out gifted and talented kid

Hi readers I seem to have found where I belong and why I am the way I am.

The burnt out formerly gifted and talented group really speaks to me. From third grade through high school I was in “mentally gifted” programs. Where I would either stay after school, be pulled from classes for a day, or otherwise miss some of class to get “enrichment” on topics not covered in classes.

I pushed myself to get the best grades often at the expense of my mental health and frustration of my family. “Why do you try so hard they can’t give you anything better than an A?”

Then college hit me in the face like a ton of bricks. Coming from an inner city charter school that was under funded, and the ceo did not care to fix the funding issues. I begged to be moved to a better school because I had a sense of doom and knew if I didn’t better prepare myself college would be hell.

My parents didn’t understand and didn’t even try to move me. I even had teachers begging them to get me to a better school. Shout out to my high school math teachers who did their best for me!

I went into college thinking I was going to be pre-med. However, I had no social skills, no sense of self, no independence, and no idea what love looked like. The kind of love that isn’t transactional.

Within the first few months of school I found myself stalked by a campus coven, forced into my first kiss, vilified by residents life because of a rich roommate, and isolated. I was failing and on academic probation by the time I went home for Christmas break. I was depressed enough that my parents told me to pretend to be happy or they would force me to drop out of college. So here I was in December and January, working to save money for the next semester, and pretending I was wanted to be alive.

I struggled that entire first year. Between freshman and sophomore year I changed majors from pre-med track with biology, to just biology, to psychology, to sociology, to undeclared, to social work.

I found social work to be natural for me, it had some of the knowledge I wanted and I could help people at the end of the day. The few friends I had made fun of me, saying I’d be the worst social worker and to quit, but they didn’t have a better option in mind besides that college wasn’t the right place for me. Looking back they were just ad toxic as the family I left behind to go to college.

Junior and Senior year were better. I made a few real friends I still talk to, I was doing well in my major. I pulled my gpa from failing to a solid c average. It wasn’t what I hoped and I still find myself frustrated with the turn of events but I was happier.

More on gifted kid burn out in the coming weeks.

Breaking Down a Research Article Part 2

Below is an example of how to start breaking down an article!

Key information: 

  1. Title- Dissociation debates: everything you know is wrong
  2. Arthur(s)-  Richard Loewenstein, MD
  3. Publication- Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience
  4. Publication date – September 2018
  5. DOI- 10.31887
  6. Page numbers/ volume numbers 20(3) p 229-242

Synthesizing information: 

  1. Is this source reliable/ respected? 
    1. The paper is written by a Medical Doctor with an MD license.
    2. The writer works at the Trauma Disorder Program at Sheppard Pratt. This program is one of two well known treatment centers for those with a DID diagnosis, the other program being WIT in Florida. 
    3. The writer is also associated with the University of Maryland, Baltimore School of Medicine, a well know school known to have good research funding on the same campus as the University of Maryland Medical Center  

Without a full read so far this looks like a reliable, informed source in an academic peer reviewed journal. 

  1. APA citation 

Loewenstein, R. J. (2018). Dissociation debates: Everything you know is wrong. Controversies in Psychiatry, 20(3), 229–242. https://doi.org/10.31887

Engagement photos

Hello All!

On a personal note I received some engagement photos back! While I have body image issues and was at first not pleased with my photos I am feeling better now.

Enjoy the beautiful flowers with me!

This is my favorite, I feel the purple really shows off the best features of the ring!

I am so happy to share some of my joy with you!

Covid Wave

Hello Readers,

We are currently in another wave of the pandemic. A spike if you will, there has been an increase in covid and non covid patients here.

For me this means an overfilled ER, every bed is full, every case load is full, and mandated overtime and canceled days off is on the horizon.

Please wear your mask even if you are vaccinated, get vaccinated, keep alert about potential boosters, and stay safe!

How to Break Down a Research Article

Sorry for the delay, I decided to double and triple check my work for social work and researcher jargon. This guide is meant to be for beginners and non-social science persons.

At first you may want to start out with a work sheet, a few pieces of scratch paper, or two copies of the article. 

My method involves two steps:

1. Skimming the article for key information

2. A deep read of the article once the first step is processed

Part 1- Skimming Key information:

1. Title

2. Arthur(s)

3. Publication

4. Publication date

5. DOI

6. Page numbers/ volume numbers

Gathering this information first gives you a jump start on a few important things:

1. Is this source reliable/ respected?

2. The information needed for an appropriate APA citation

3. The information needed to recover the paper if you lose the copy you made/ source you found the article from

Part 2- Collecting the overarching details:

1. What question is this article trying to answer?

2. Why is this question important to the field?

3. What method is the paper using

For this portion of your work you may want to avoid reading the abstract, it could cause a bias when reading the full article and it may not give you a full depiction of the important information. Once you get used to this method of work, the abstract can be used to quickly decide if a paper will fit in with the question you are trying to answer. 

*Other information to consider at this stage*

When you get deeper into research methods you will not only look at what the papers say, but how reliable the source is. 

Key information for this includes-

1. Where was the paper published?

2. Who wrote the paper?

3. Who funded the paper?

4. What biases are acknowledged in the paper?

5. What biases may exist but are NOT acknowledged? (AKA- what can we infer based on what we know of these other factors)

Next up I will use this format to break down an article as an example.

Upcoming Series

Hello All!

I will be writing an upcoming series breaking down a journal article on dissociation. I hope this will show two things, the first will be to teach young or potential mental health professionals how to break down a large article into digestible pieces and the second is to follow up on my dissociation series.

The article holds a call to action for mental health professionals to learn more and be more involved in advocating for those who suffer dissociation. I will continue to take on this series for as long as this population needs support!

Things to look foreword to-

How to break down a journal article

A break down of “Dissociation debates : everything you know is wrong”

Love and light!

Learning Resources

Hello All,

I wanted to take a step back for a minute. I talk about self care, reading, life, love, and being a social worker AKA mental health professional a lot. However, I wanted to take a minute and list out some good resources for people who want to know more about the profession before deciding if it is right for them.

  1. NASW SMART Brief emails- These emails include current articles, advancements, and though provoking discussions about current events and the cutting edge of social work. While I wish NASW has more than 2 part time workers in my area I cannot argue with this resource.
  2. The New Social worker- https://www.socialworker.com/ – They feature articles, a news letter, and many resources for those thinking about getting started
  3. The Social Work Tutor- They have both a podcast and a facebook group that brings social workers from around the globe together to discuss, complain, commiserate, and act as a think tank
  4. Professors and People already in the field- These persons live the life, have the education,, resources, and experiences to give you a taste of the social work world. I personally feel this is an untapped resource. My supervisor, mentor, and friend encouraged me to speak with a drama therapist, a play therapist, a trauma infored hypnotist, and other professionals in my area to really dive deep into my profession. I cannot tell you how much these 45-60 minute meetings contributed to who I am as a clinician today. It fed my appetite for learning, gave me perspective, and at the end of the day gave me hope that even though I was a graduate student then there was a whole life after that world.

Let me know if you would like information on more resources loves!