Welcome to the May 2017 edition of Keeping PACE.
PACE will be starting two new support groups at Morphett Vale this month, one for people with eating disorders and one for people with obsessive compulsive disorder. The Eating Disorders Recovery Support Group will be held on Thursday mornings, and the OCD Recovery Support Group will be held on Friday mornings. Both groups will be held fortnightly at the Woodcroft Morphett Vale Neighbourhood Centre. We will also be starting a new Panic and Anxiety Recovery Support Group at Mount Barker this month. The group will be held fortnightly on Monday afternoons at Infuse Church. For more information about the groups contact PACE on 8159 1400 or at email@example.com
Over the last few months PACE has been involved in the Lived Experience Workforce Project (LEWP), an initiative funded by SA Health to support the development and growth of the lived experience workforce in the non-government mental health sector. A lived experience worker, or peer worker, is someone who has experienced a mental illness themselves, and who uses this experience to help other people with mental illness. Peer workers are important because they give people hope that recovery is possible. Hope is critical to recovery, and peer workers are living proof that recovery is possible. They also provide a level of understanding that only comes from experience. Many people with mental illness feel misunderstood and alone in their struggle, and it can make a huge difference to speak to someone who really does understand what they are going through. I am proud to be part of a team that values lived experience, and pleased to be part of the LEWP.
Until next time, look after yourself.
Team Leader, PACE
Perfectionism linked to anxiety and depression in teens
Many people think that perfectionism is a positive trait, but it can actually be quite harmful. A recent article in Huffington Post Australia discusses the negative impact perfectionism can have on teenagers. In the article Professor Tracey Wade from Flinders University highlights the problems with perfectionism, and explains how it can lead to anxiety and depression.
The online article can be accessed via the following link:
MAYDAYS for eating disorders 2017
MAYDAYS for Eating Disorders is the Butterfly Foundation’s annual awareness and advocacy campaign which takes place nationally throughout the month of May to raise vital funds for the prevention and treatment of eating disorders in Australia. The campaign draws on the experiences of Australians to highlight key concerns relating to eating disorders, and calls for change! MAYDAYS asks Australians to spread the message about the seriousness of eating disorders and the desperate need to have access to appropriate treatment and care.
For more information visit: https://thebutterflyfoundation.org.au/support-us/maydays-for-eating-disorders/
National Volunteer Week 2017
National volunteer week is an annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution of our nation’s volunteers. From 8–14 May 2017 thousands of events across the country were held to say thank you to the 6 million Australians who volunteer.
On Tuesday May 9 Centacare held a Volunteers Dinner at the Buckingham Arms Hotel. The dinner, which is held annually, is a way for Centacare to thank our volunteers for the contribution they make to our programs.
If you would like more information about volunteering with Centacare you can speak to our Volunteer Co-ordinator Vicki on 8252 2311.
Are anxiety and depression caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain?
We had an interesting discussion in a support group recently about the impact of brain chemistry on anxiety and depression. One of the women attending the group commented that she had been depressed for many years, but there was nothing she could do about it because it was caused by a chemical imbalance in her brain. Like many other people who share the same belief, she was resigned to the fact that she would never recover and would suffer from depression for the rest of her life. But is the belief that anxiety and depression are caused by a chemical imbalance actually true?
The simple answer is NO! Although anxiety and depression do involve chemical differences in the brain, they are not caused by those chemical differences. This is why medication alone doesn’t cure anxiety and depression. If they were caused purely by chemical issues in the brain, medication would resolve them, but it doesn’t. Medication can help to reduce the symptoms but it doesn’t cure anxiety and depression. Although there are other factors that can contribute to their development, anxiety and depression are mainly caused by our thoughts. Every thought we have results in the release of chemicals in our brain, and these chemicals determine how we feel. Different thoughts lead to the release of different chemicals, and over time certain thinking patterns can cause our brain chemistry to change, and we can become anxious or depressed.
So what does this mean for people with anxiety and depression? It means they no longer need to resign themselves to the fact that they will never recover. It means there IS something they can do. They can change the way they think. With the right treatment and support, people can develop more helpful thinking patterns, and over time this will lead to recovery. In PACE we know that recovery is possible, and everything we do is aimed at helping people achieve recovery. If you would like more information give us a call and speak to one of our friendly team.
Centacare Catholic Family Services
413 Grange Rd Seaton SA 5023 | T: 1800 809 304 or 8159 1400 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hands up who is perfect? ………………………………………………………………………………..Waiting.
Yeeeh, it’s a loaded question? I mean, how do we know what constitutes ‘perfect’. Who dictates this? How do we know when we’ve reached it?
Are we supposed to be feeling ‘perfect’ just the way we are, or is ‘perfect’ an unrealistic ideal we’ll never reach?
After pondering that question… and then pondering it again….I still couldn’t come up with the perfect answer!!!!
I did find a quote this week from Julia Cameron that said, “perfectionism is not a quest for the best. It is a pursuit of the worst in ourselves, the part that tells us that nothing we do will ever be good enough – that we should try again”. And yet, in my quest to be recovered, my loved ones were always telling me…”you’re perfect just the way you are”. Well, tell THAT to Julia! This is so confusing!
I am starting to understand that there really is a big difference between the healthy and helpful pursuit of excellence and the unhealthy and unhelpful striving for perfection. But when does one morph into the other and how will I know the difference?
Is it that the high standard or goal I’ve set is unrealistic? And how will I know if or when it is has become unrealistic? Tennis great Serena Williams considers herself a perfectionist. Has it done her any harm? When did she understand that her seemingly unrealistic goal could become reality? What’s more, has she now reached her goal? Is being ‘great’ good enough for her? When will she be ‘perfect’ in her eyes?
Eating disorders thrive on the obsession with perfection. It appears to be fertile ground for an ED to flourish in. So, perhaps when we start to chip away at our view of perfection, we may start to see our choices, behaviours and fears in a whole new light. It was comforting to find that a lot of famous people didn’t believe in ‘perfection’… and that they’ve done ok in life! They aimed high. They just didn’t aim for ‘perfect’ or let it get in their way.
Is ‘perfection’ getting in YOUR way?
I’ll finish with some quotes from some of those famous folk I spoke of, and wish you all a (redefined) perfect month ahead….
“Perfection has one grave defect: it is apt to be dull.” W. Somerset Maugham
“If I waited for perfection… I would never write a word.” Margaret Atwood
“I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence I can reach for; perfection is God’s business.” Michael J. Fox
“Imperfection is perfection”. Flume
Welcome to the February 2017 edition of Keeping PACE.
It’s been a busy start to the year with our Recovery Support Groups up and running again. We have support groups for Panic and Anxiety, OCD, Eating Disorders, Binge Eating and Hoarding across the metropolitan area. Support groups can play an important role in recovery, and our groups are designed to help people move towards recovery by providing support, information and management strategies. Information about our groups can be found on the Recovery Groups page of our website.
In January we welcomed a new Peer Support Worker to the team. Her name is Astrid, and she will be working in PACE while Alyce is away on maternity leave. Astrid brings a great deal of knowledge and experience to PACE, and we are extremely pleased to have her in the team. Astrid will be co-facilitating the Eating Disorders and Binge Eating Recovery Support Groups, and several Panic and Anxiety Recovery Support Groups.
Part of our role in PACE is to provide information about anxiety, OCD, eating disorders and hoarding to organisations with staff who come across these issues in their work with clients. We have already delivered several information sessions to organisations this year, and we have more booked over the next few months. Our sessions provide workers with information about a particular issue and how to support someone facing the issue more effectively. If you would like to know more about our workshops give us a call or send us an email.
Until next time, look after yourself.
Team Leader, PACE
National Eating Disorders Forum
The Butterfly Foundation was asked by the Commonwealth Department of Health to consult with services in the eating disorder sector to gain information about what would be needed to develop an effective national response to eating disorders. They were asked to provide a submission to the Department, who are in the process of drafting the next National Mental Health Plan. The National Eating Disorders Agenda Forum was held on February 6 in Victoria to bring together services who represent people with eating disorders and their families to discuss the submission. PACE was represented by the program manager, Nigel, who reported that the forum was a positive step towards the development of national plan for tackling the issue of eating disorders. Nigel appreciated the opportunity to attend the forum and contribute to the development of Government policies which will have a significant impact on the lives of our clients.
International Women’s Day
March 8th is International Women’s Day. The theme for this year is #BeBoldForChange. The day is an opportunity to:
- celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women because visibility and awareness help drive positive change for women
- declare bold actions you’ll take as an individual or organization to help progress the gender agenda because purposeful action can accelerate gender parity across the world
For more information visit www.internationalwomensday.com
State-wide eating disorder network for SA
A new network has been established in South Australia to bring together services who support people with eating disorders and their families. The South Australian Eating Disorder Network Group will enable services to communicate with each other and work together, which will result in better outcomes for clients with eating disorders. In PACE we realise how important it is for services to work together, and our manager, Nigel, has been instrumental in establishing the group.
The war we can never win
When I was in high school, I used to dream about having Melissa Morris’ legs, Toni Oliver’s eyes and Amy Breyers hair. I liked my skin, my breasts and my lips, but everything else had to go. Then, in my twenties, I dreamed about slicing off pieces of my thighs and arms, the way you carve a turkey, certain that if I could cut away what was wrong, only the good parts – the pretty parts, the thin parts – would be left.
I believed there was an end goal, a place at which I would arrive and forevermore be at peace. And since I also believed that the way to get there was by judging and shaming and hating myself, I also believed in diets.
Diets are based on the unspoken fear that you are a madwoman, a food terrorist, a lunatic. Eventually you will destroy all that you love and so you need to be stopped. The promise of a diet is not only that you will have a different body; it is that in having a different body, you will have a different life. If you hate yourself enough, you will love yourself. If you torture yourself enough, you will become a peaceful, relaxed human being.
Although the very notion the hatred leads to love and that torture leads to relaxation is absolutely insane, we hypnotize ourselves into believing that the end justifies the means. We treat ourselves and the rest of the world as if deprivation, punishment and shame lead to change. We treat our bodies as if they are the enemy and the only acceptable outcome is annihilation. Our deeply imagined belief is that hatred and torture work. And although I’ve never met anyone – not one person – for whom warring with their bodies led to long-lasting change, we continue to believe that with a little more self-disgust, we’ll prevail.
Taken from “Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything”, by Geneen Roth
Centacare Catholic Family Services
413 Grange Rd Seaton SA 5023 | T: 1800 809 304 or 8159 1400 | E: email@example.com | pacesupport.org.au
Hoarding has become a high profile topic over the past few years. With the inclusion of Hoarding Disorder as a diagnosable mental illness in the most recent DSM 5, greater awareness and understanding has developed, although we have a long way to go. Many people with hoarding issues are living in secret, hidden by high fences and isolating themselves from the world.
Centacare has responded to the issue by implementing the structured 15 session, 20 week Buried in Treasures program for people with hoarding issues. So far we have completed 5 courses over the past 18 months and we are currently half way through the 6th. The program focuses on understanding why people hoard, the challenges they face and appropriate strategies to overcome the problem.
We are happy to report that, according to the self-report assessment that measures attendees’ overall clutter, difficulty discarding and the urge to acquire items, participants are showing a significant improvement across all areas. Using the Savings Inventory Rating scale, we’ve found that, on average, participants’ hoarding symptoms have decreased by 31.3% from a score of 59.9 to 45.6. To be deemed not to have a clinical problem, a participant’s overall score on the scale must be less than 40, so the participants are well on their way to recovery.
Posted by Di
Excerpts from Generation Next (29 Sept, 2015) article “Science of stress: how neuroscience can help teachers switch off this summer” written by neurologist Judy Willis and adapted by PACE
The science of stress: how neuroscience can help
Spring is here and summer is already being felt so it’s time to shake off your stress and focus on staying positive. Worries can get in the way of success. It’s important to develop a positive mindset by setting yourself small achievable goals.
There are simple steps you can take to build a positive mindset, strengthen your stamina and approach the new season with less anxiety and greater expectations of success.
Don’t waste mental energy on blame
When circumstances limit one’s ability to be in control, self-doubt builds and confidence drops. Start increasing your positive mindset by recognising that these concerns are not always a reflection of your skills and abilities but possibly time factors or other issues. Be kind to yourself.
Understand your brain’s stress mode
The brain has a system that strengthens the memories and emotions that are most frequently used or experienced. The term for this is neuroplasticity and it refers to the brain’s ability to change or adapt in response to thoughts and experiences.
This means that you can reboot your brain by strengthening the circuits needed to activate motivation and effort.
A little background on neuroplasticity: all memory is held in the brain’s neurons and each neuron only holds a tiny bit of a memory. But when connections form among neurons holding the information, it becomes a brain circuit holding a retrievable idea.
Neuroplastic construction is the brain’s response to its own electrical activity. As neurons communicate through their connections (axons and dendrites) the information travels as electrical impulses. The more a circuit is activated, the greater the neuroplastic response of constructing thicker, stronger and faster connections. Thus the expressions “neurons that fire together wire together” and “practice makes permanent.”
It is this neuroplastic response that builds skills when learning is practised and applied. However, neuroplastic strengthening also takes place when emotional circuits are activated. When stress is frequent, the circuit producing that response becomes stronger – which means that after repeated frustrations and unachieved goals, your brain becomes more efficient at dropping into its stress response mode.
Switch from stressful reactions to positive actions
If you’ve repeatedly experienced failure in some area of your life, your brain will have built up a strong stress response circuit. But you can reboot your brain by strengthening the circuits needed to activate motivation and effort. Your weapon of mass reconstruction comes from one of your brain’s own chemicals – dopamine.
The satisfaction you feel when you persevere through a challenge or achieve a goal is a response to an increased level of dopamine, which brings feelings of pleasure and heightened motivation. You can build a more positive mindset circuit simply by setting yourself achievable challenges.
You can use the dopamine response to build strong circuits of positivity and renewed motivation by giving yourself opportunities to experience accomplishment. Plan activities that will provide frequent feedback on your development.
This is not the time to challenge yourself with things that you feel you should do but won’t look forward to, such as dieting. Select goals that you will enjoy and that will provide tangible evidence of your progress. These could include planting a garden, taking a pottery or cooking class, taking up an instrument or developing a new physical skill such as ballroom dancing or Tai Chi. It can even be as simple as walking along the beach or a scenic path.
Rewire and repeat
As you make progress in new challenges, the repeated satisfaction of the dopamine response will literally change your brain’s circuitry. Repeated effort/reward experiences will promote development of new neural networks that expect positive outcomes. Each time you achieve a goal, your positive mindset circuit will become stronger and this will reboot your confidence.
Just remember that you need to periodically recharge your new mindset to sustain the positive expectations and motivation and stay fortified against the re-emergence of that frustration and negativity.
The complete article can be accessed by clicking on the following link
Posted by Anne
‘For eight years, Kate’s eating disorder has been a daily feature of her life. In the last three months, however, following a period of determined treatment, I can count the number of days that have gone badly on just my fingers.’
Hear more about the journey…
A fascinating look at the world of eating disorders and eating disorder recovery, produced by emerging South Australian filmmakers from MAPs Film School.
Check it out here: