General health

CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE: STREET KIDS

The same goes for a child who keeps running away from home. Every city has its share of homeless street kids. Obviously there will be a number of reasons a child would run away from home but things would have to be pretty unbearable for them to find life on the streets more appealing.

A percentage of these children would be escaping from sexual abuse.

Kay is now twenty-three. She was abused by her stepfather from the age of seven until she was fifteen. ‘At first he would turn out my light and get under the covers with me and fondle me. He told me I had to keep it a secret or he would kill my kitten. Later he would tell me that if I said anything to Mum he would kill me or my sister. After a while … I can’t remember exactly how long … he started putting his finger inside my vagina. When I was about ten he started putting his penis inside me. It felt like I was being torn apart. I felt bad and I felt dirty and I can remember this horrible nausea and panic whenever he told my mother he was going to take me up to bed and tell me a story. I used to think it was somehow my fault and I wanted to stop it happening but I didn’t know how. So I ran away and they came to get me. So I ran away again and they came to get me again. I even tried killing myself with pills I found in the bathroom cupboard when I thought there was just no way out. When I was fifteen I ran away and this time I made sure they didn’t find me.’

Kindergarten staff and schoolteachers have a special responsibility to look out for children who are withdrawn or seem depressed, especially if the child’s moods swing obviously from day to day. They also take notice of a child whose grades start to suffer. Now these signs can result from any serious problems at home (like parents in the process of separating) so they need to be seen in perspective.

The other sign that teachers look for is unusual behavior with a sexual theme. Children learn by watching their world and copying what they see. Overt and inappropriate sexual behavior or language doesn’t come naturally to a child, so if that’s the case it’s being copied from someone.

Warning bells need to sound for parents if a child shows an intense dislike for a relative or a family friend. Tina was molested by the family’s nextdoor neighbor for two years from the age of eight. ‘I remember he would ask Mum if I could bring -him over some garden tool or some ingredient he needed in the kitchen. I always knew it was just an excuse to get me over there on my own. I used to try and find any excuse I could think of to get out of it. I would even point blank refuse, go and hide, or cry that it was unfair that I had to run all the errands. Mum would tell me to stop being so naughty and that I had to do what she asked. Of course she had no idea what was happening.’

The reaction a person gets when they reveal the secret makes a big difference to their future. Susie sought counselling for the eating disorder bulimia nervosa. Through her counselling she revealed that she had been abused by her babysitter when she was five. She tried to tell her mother what was happening but she did not believe her, so did nothing to stop it. ‘I don’t trust anyone. Even when I find myself attracted to another person I stop myself getting too close because I don’t want to get hurt.’ Marie told her counsellor what she wanted to achieve. ‘One day I want to be able to put myself first sometimes; to look after myself instead of always satisfying the needs of other people. I find I even put people I don’t particularly like ahead of myself. Mind you, I hate myself. I’d like to be able to like myself.’

Not liking yourself is a serious business because, like Susie, it can mean you don’t care enough to look after yourself. That can mean taking serious risks with your personal safety and not caring about your diet, your general health or your appearance. Sexual abuse has also been linked to substance abuse as a way of numbing the emotional pain or trying to make the bad memories go away. That can mean drinking too much alcohol, doing drugs like cocaine or Ecstasy, or taking tranquilizers that artificially alter your moods for a while. Unfortunately when the drugs wear off the pain is still there. It is just a temporary way of covering up one problem with a different problem. You have a real uphill battle overcoming the drug or alcohol problem until you are able to contend with the feelings you are needing to cover up.
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CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE: SECRETS

Is it possible that this framework of isolated family units creates the environment where child sexual assault is more 1ikely to occur?

The perpetrator is far less likely to be some psychotic stranger than someone in their own family or a person well known to them. Perpetrators of child abuse look just like any other men and women. They may be fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers, babysitters, mothers, uncles, nextdoor neighbors or family friends. They may use bribes, threats or physical force to involve the child in sexual activity and keep it a secret. But no matter how well kept the secret is, like any crime there are clues for those who are prepared to look.

As a community, the first step in protecting children from sexual abuse is to acknowledge that it happens. Sexual abuse is not a phenomenon of the nineties, or the eighties, or even lust of this century. What is relatively new is our awareness of it. But it takes more than just knowing about it. We have to believe that it happens and, most importantly, believe the child who reports or even hints at abuse. When you are dealing with children you realize that they do not always use the same words to describe their bodies or their feelings as an adult would. A child may say something like, ‘When Gary gives me a bath he hurts my bottom’ or ‘I don’t want Joe to come over anymore.’ You may not get very many chances to pick up on these clues because the fear of what might happen if they ‘tell’ means that it takes all the courage they can muster to try to let you know. This fear of what might happen will frequently hold back disclosure of sexual abuse for many years. Even when a child does reveal sexual abuse, they may be so terrified of the repercussions, like parents’ anger or distress, rejection by other family members and the threat of their family disintegrating, that they retract the story.

The clues may be even more subtle than this, particularly if the child is frightened of direct threats of what will happen if they ‘tell’. This fear will not necessarily be in anything the child says. Happy, secure children never consider, and certainly do not attempt, suicide, so any child who talks about killing themselves must be taken seriously. The alarm bells should immediately ring that abuse is a possibility.

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DEADLY EMOTIONS: HOSTILITY AND ITS STAGES

Dr. Williams says hostility has three stages, and he gives this example: You are in an express line at the supermarket checkout with a sign saying, “No more than 10 items.”
Stage 1: You distrust others. You count the items in the baskets of the people in front of you. You expect somebody to cheat and thereby take advantage of you.
Stage 2: You feel angry when you find somebody cheating. The guy in front of you has 12 items.
Stage 3: You show the anger by saying something nasty to the “cheater.”
According to Dr. Williams, all three stages can damage you. In one study, high levels of hostility found in healthy men at age 25 were seen as predictors that they were up to seven times more likely to get heart disease or die by age 50.
In another test, young men with and without high hostility levels worked on a complex mental task. Blood pressure in both groups rose at about the same rate. At one point, a psychologist began to harass the test takers. In the non-hostile men, blood pressure remained steady. In the hostile men, however, the pressure went through the roof.
Other studies show that hostility can spur the release of a hormone called epinephrine, which makes your heart beat fast and your blood pressure rise. High blood pressure leads to damaged arteries and heart attack.
Dr. Williams says those who cynically mistrust other people are most at risk. Dr. Friedman says hostility comes from unbridled greed, low self-esteem, or insecurity – feelings that you will be hurt, might fail, or won’t be loved. Whatever its source, doctors agree that hostility is a factor in heart attack.
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GENERAL HEALTH

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NUTRITION FOR INFANT: GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT

Infants vary widely in their growth patterns, and it is not wise to compare one infant with another; yet, there is some value in being familiar with typical patterns of development and growth. On the average, infants gain 140 to 225 gm (5 to 8 oz) per week during the first five months, and double their birth weight in this time. For the remainder of the year the weight increase is about 110 to 140 gm (4 to 5 oz) per week; the birth weight is tripled by the age of 10 to 12 months. The initial height of 50 to 55 cm (20 to 22 in.) has increased to 75 cm (30 in.) or more by the end of the first year.
The body content of water at birth is high and that of fat is low. The relative lack of subcutaneous fat and the proportionately high surface area explain why additional precautions must be taken to keep infants warm. The bones are comparatively soft in the newborn baby, but they continue to add mineral substance throughout childhood and adolescence. Teeth begin to erupt at five to six months. By the end of the year the infant will have five to ten teeth.
The baby is born with a large head and short arms and legs. In the first years of life the nervous system continues to develop rapidly so that the brain will have reached 90 per cent of adult size at the age of four years. Severe malnutrition during pregnancy and the first months of life leads to inadequate development of the central nervous system, and the poorly nourished infant and child may never reach his full mental potential.
The newborn infant’s stomach has a capacity of about 30 ml, and at one year can hold about 240 ml. The ability to digest protein, simple sugars, and emulsified fats is present at birth in the full-term infant. During the early months of life the production of amylase and lipase increases so that starchy foods and fats may be gradually included.
The kidneys achieve their full functional capacity by the end of the first year. Young infants are unable to excrete high concentrations of waste that might occur if undiluted cow’s milk were fed or if the intake of fluid is inadequate.
Normal infants have a hemoglobin level of 17 to 20 gm per 100 ml. This high level protects against anemia until the iron intake is adequate from the diet.
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GENERAL HEALTH

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CHILD’S HEALTH CARE/INFECTIOUS DISEASES: ACQUIRED IMMUNE DEFICIENCY SYNDROME (AIDS)

AIDS has received wide publicity in recent years. It is important to remember that it is still a rare disease in children in this community. Infected children have usually acquired AIDS from their mothers, in particular during pregnancy if she is infected. In the past there was a risk of contracting AIDS through transfusions with contaminated blood. All blood is now carefully screened for HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus, which causes AIDS). Children infected with HIV are likely to develop AIDS. This causes marked suppression of their immune system, and they are prone to developing life-threatening diseases. There is currently no cure for AIDS, although certain drugs being developed show promise.

The HIV virus is spread by the exchange of human fluids such as blood or semen. It cannot be acquired by direct body contact or by kissing. There is no danger of your child contracting HIV by coming into normal contact with another child or adult who has HIV, unless there is an exchange of bodily fluids.

A family who has a child with AIDS requires expert medical and counselling support. If you need further information, contact your doctor. Each state has organisations which provide both information and support to those with AIDS and their families.

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LEAVING YOUR CHILDREN SOMETHING TO LOVE BY: ONE OF THE RULE OF FAMILY SEX EDUCATION

    Your children know a lot already, but they think they know a lot more than they do, and a lot of what they know just is not so. What they know something about is the mechanics, but much less about values and right and wrong. They wonder about love, about how and what to do with whom sexually. They want to know what love is, what it means, how you know when you are in love. Start talking about that openly and see how much

discussion takes place. Another guideline is that the more they pretend to know, the more mechanical and mythological their knowledge really is. Teens seldom come to you and say, “You know, Mom and Dad, I’m really very vulnerable and immature. Your experience is so much broader than mine. Could you please fill me in?” Such statements may occur only when there is emergency need to use the family car, not when there is real need to know.

There are really four basic areas that need to be addressed. These are what I call the “BARE” facts. Â stands for biology. As I have said, many kids have learned something about the basic biology of sex. You may want to make sure all four, not just the first three perspectives of sexuality, are a part of your children’s biological knowledge. Most formal sex education emphasizes the same genital/energy approach of the early sex perspectives, not the fourth perspective of this twenty-first-century marriage manual.

A stands for attitudes. They need to know yours, you need to know theirs. What is their attitude toward premarital sex and intercourse, abortion, masturbation, various sexual behaviors and preferences?

R stands for reproduction. They need to know about menstruation, conception and contraception, sexually transmitted diseases, responsibility for sex, children, and family.

E stands for emotion. They need to know about your feelings, be able to clarify and express their own feelings. An important warning here! Your feelings, their feelings, change. Sometimes they may shock you and test you. Give it some time. They may try a feeling out for a while. Teenagers particularly use the “feeling for a day” system of trying out for life. They are less moody than they act, and they do tend to “act” moody. Don’t overreact, because overreaction is what they are testing for and afraid of, in you and within themselves. When you overreact, teens go from the more acceptable playacting and testing of parents to acting-out, which almost always signals unexpressed feelings of helplessness.

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YOUR MARITAL HEALTH/WHY WIVES HAVE TOO MANY ORGASMS: “SEXUAL WITCH” FALLACY

He gestured with his hand as if he were erasing a chalkboard. “On and on and on. I work on her until she comes. She has two, maybe even three or four orgasms, then it’s my turn.” The husband described his typical patterned sexual process of pleasing as if it were an indelible code of sexual marital conduct.

“I know, and I feel worked on,” said the wife as she grabbed his hand from its circular path, took it in her own, and held it in her lap. “It’s like I have to come, usually a couple of times, for him to feel that he has done his job. Then he does it. I feel like a prerequisite instead of a partner.”

“Name one time, just one time we have ever had sex when you were not completed,” demanded the husband as he pulled his hand from hers and rested it in his own lap. “You are satisfied every damned time. I make sure of it. I know how it is with women. I know that they, I mean you, can go on and on and need a lot to get going but then you keep going.” His hand returned to its circular motion in the air. “I just use this technique and you know it takes work. I can’t believe after all of these years you don’t appreciate the fact that I take your feelings into account. Some men just don’t care. At least I’m not the T don’t care as long as I’m happy’ type.”

“No, you’re not that type,” answered the wife, again grabbing his hand, this time stopping it in mid-air. “You’re the ‘make ‘em come, then you get some’ type. You seem to think I’m some sexual object that needs preparing for your pleasure, some bagful of orgasms that you withdraw from until you deposit yours, ejaculation, I mean.” She held his hand firmly to her chest as she began to cry. “Why can’t we just make love? I’m sick of orgasm, orgasm, orgasm.”

The first three perspectives freed women^ at least theoretically, to be sexual persons, to respond, to enjoy, to be orgasmic, to be multiply orgasmic, to have sexual choices. Women were viewed as not only the erotic “equals” of men, but as somehow sexually superior, mystical persons with sexual capacities far exceeding those of men. In fact, their sexual-response model was seen not only as different, but as a goal, the standard against which the male sexual capacity fell woefully short. They became ”sexual witches” with almost magical sexual powers.

As many as nine million women were murdered in the 1500s and 1600s, burned, hanged, and tortured as possessed with erotic demons. The Malleus Maleficarum (The Witches’ Hammer) was written in 1486 by Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger. They wrote mat “all witchcraft comes from carnal lust which is in women insatiable.” Early sex researchers unknowingly gave indirect physiological and alleged psychological credence to the idea that women were much different, much more erotic, much more sexually responsive than men. The evil ascribed to women was related to their mysterious sexual prowess, the “evil woman” syndrome.

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TRUE HEALING – PRACTICAL ADVICE/DETOXIFICATION PROCESS: OXYGEN THERAPIES-ORAL INTAKE

It has been demonstrated (see Oxygen Therapies by Ed McCabe listed in the References), that taking diluted hydrogen peroxide orally also is beneficial to our health. The most controversial issue is the concentration. In my opinion we should not exceed by much the concentrations which occur naturally in the rain water high in the mountains or in the water from natural mineral springs. Another good gauge is taste. The taste of hydrogen peroxide is extremely unpleasant and we are quite sensitive to it. So, if you cannot feel discomfort drinking the solution, the concentration is most likely safe. Again, do not use hydrogen peroxide sold in pharmacies for external use only, as it contains so called “stabilisers” which may be toxic. Use only “analytical” or “food” grade hydrogen peroxide.

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MIGRAINE – INCREASING THE FREQUENCY

The menopause often brings relief to many women.

The contraceptive Pill and added oestrogen for other conditions may bring on migraine or increase the frequency and severity of migraine.

Many foods, such as red wine, chocolate, fatty foods, nuts, garlic, citrus fruits, flat beans and alcohol have, at times, been known to cause migraine.

Nervous tension, overtiredness or bright lights may all bring on an attack.

One feature which may be misinterpreted is a feeling of well-being before the attack.

A woman may wake up feeling great. She does all her cleaning, shopping and other tasks she, maybe, has put off for some time. Next day she wakes with a splitting migraine and blames overdoing it for causing the headache.

The typical migraine headache starts with some warning, usually a disturbance in vision. The headache is usually throbbing in character and, in a third of cases, is on one side only. Nausea and vomiting are common.

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CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME – INTRODUCTION

Pain is the commonest warning signal that something is wrong with our bodies. Pressure on nerves anywhere in the body will usually result in pain as the main symptom.

At the front of the wrist there is a groove formed by the small bones of the wrist. Lying in this groove and passing through it, as though a tunnel, run the tendons that flex the fingers and also the median nerve.

This nerve carries sensations from the thumb, index finger, middle finger and half the ring finger. It also carries nerve fibres to some of the muscles of the hand.

The fifth finger and the outer half of the ring finger are supplied by the ulnar nerve which does not run through this groove.

Roofing over and converting the groove into a tunnel is a broad band of ligament tissue. The median nerve can be compressed as it runs through this tunnel and cause the condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome.

This disorder is more likely to occur in the middle-aged. The cause is unknown although occasionally it is attributed to work, but this is not always definite. It may occur in the young as the presenting feature of rheumatoid arthritis. In this condition it is the swelling of the tendon sheaths which compress the nerve.

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