Join us at this event! You can make a positive difference! Learn to identify and prevent: Bullying, Youth Violence, Self-Injury and School Threats.
Mental Health is often a topic we avoid discussing, reading about or asking…how does this apply to my life?! Thankfully there are people like Aimee J and her Chasing Dreams podcast who do a fantastic job of having the pro-active, positive and frank conversations on Mental Health and how it relates to our lives. Please listen in to her and my podcast conversation and read her show-notes below. I would love to know how this chat resonates with you!
Aimee J’s Show-Notes:
How would you define “abuse”? Unfortunately, such a stigma exists around the idea of abuse, how it occurs, and what it entails, that people are afraid to even talk about it. The truth is that many people have some sort of abuse either in their past or in their present. This conversation is another way to honor and recognize Mental Health Awareness Month. I’m thrilled to bring you another expert, who has amazing things to teach us today!
Abigail Manning is creating awareness on authentic health, which prevents and ends ALL forms of abuse. She has done five years of research on abuse and is an Indiana University Communications double major in cognitive, social, and behavioral theories. Combining her academic background with her personal experience with childhood abuse and domestic violence, she provides unique and transformative workshops and speeches that truly empower others.
The Mental Health Stigma
Do you know someone who suffers from mental illness? As more and more people are affected by backgrounds of abuse and depression, we must realize that ANYONE can suffer from mental illness. Common responses might be, “It doesn’t happen in MY family; it doesn’t happen to strong people; it doesn’t happen to smart people.” Mental health is simply a topic that we don’t talk about. Abigail’s focus is on “Authentic Health.” Depression can be a product of past abuse and can be linked to other things. Whatever the circumstance, it takes ownership to work past the struggles. Abigail tells us why the words we use really matter in getting the help we need and deserve.
TWEET: People choose #addictions to mask their feelings and sometimes see suicide as the only way out. @abigailgmanning #chasingdreams
What are the words that a struggling person needs to hear? How about “I believe you and I care about you. Let’s get you some qualified help.” Abigail’s advice is to find a trusted person and don’t let yourself become isolated. Use language that feels comfortable to you and don’t be afraid to ask for help and resources. It’s hard to look someone in the eye and reveal that you’re struggling with mental health. Find phone resources that can help. Abigail’s workshops are designed to help any group navigate through all forms of abuse and build a pathway to Authentic Health. Perpetrators want nothing more than to take your power and control. If you are strong, then no one can take that from you.
TWEET: The #1 thing an abuser or perpetrator wants to take from you is CONTROL. @abigailgmanning #chasingdreams
How to Look for Bullying Behavior
Have you seen bullying behavior on social media? It’s all around us in different forms. Abigail has a “purple threads” theory, showing how bullying behavior gets reinforced, either positively or negatively. She teaches people verbal skills so they don’t have to hide. Most people aren’t even aware of what abuse really is, and even though it is complicated, it’s easy to spot if you simplify the definition. Look for a repeated cycle of any psychological, verbal, physical, sexual, or financial abuse. It takes work to strengthen yourself and become aware of abusive behavior, but Abigail can teach you how to spot the red flags in any relationship.
TWEET: Don’t go it alone. Find the qualified help you need. @abigailgmanning #chasingdreams
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE:
- [:22] The importance of mental health
- [2:31] The power of words
- [3:36] How addictions mask our feelings
- [5:39] Places to find help
- [7:16] Abigail’s work on a national scale
- [9:04] Going into schools and workplaces with help for the abused and the abusers
- [13:04] Is abuse a socioeconomic issue?[
- [14:59] Bullying
- [19:56] What financial abuse is: using money for power and control
- [21:19] The different forms of abuse
- [26:19] Ways to strengthen yourself to prevent abuse
- [33:11] The ripple effect
In the next four blogs, we will be walking through our definition of abuse which includes unhealthy behavior, harassment, neglect, bullying, and mistreatment. By clearly defining the problem it is easier to recognize, understand and prevent all forms of abuse.
We truly care about you and encourage you to live your best life. No one ever deserves to be abused, mistreated or neglected. It is our intent to provide the skills to help you create the fulfilling life you deserve!
We define abuse as…“Repeated mistreatment, where one person uses manipulations to gain and maintain power and control over another person.”
PART ONE: REPEATED MISTREATMENT
* This means it happens more than one time…it’s repeated! There is a pattern or a cycle to the mistreatment.
* Mistreatment is typically one of the “Big 5” forms of abuse: Psychological, Verbal, Physical, Sexual or Financial. Throughout the life-span of a relationship, the mistreatment often changes in intensities going from mild to severe and everything in-between. It also changes forms…bouncing from one type of the Big 5 to another. By using different forms and intensities, it makes it harder to track and more confusing for the person being mistreated to recognize a pattern. That’s the offender’s point…to confuse you!
* People debate which form of abuse is “worse”…trust me, they are all “worse!” Examples include: “She just belittles me all the time, it’s not like she’s hitting me.” “My father hit me a lot but it wasn’t as bad as my friend who experienced sexual abuse.” Justifying, minimizing and comparing any negative behavior is a form of self-protection. Fear will make many of us bury our heads…but that continues the cycle of abuse. All forms of abuse are unacceptable and by knowing how to pro-actively address the mistreatment, the abused is empowered to successfully face the fear and end the cycle.
* Mistreatments start small (think of it as them testing the water to see how you will respond) and grown big. They ALWAYS grow big. There are warning signs but most of us haven’t been trained to recognize them…until now!
* Side Note: Assault includes physical contact and does not always have warning signs and certainly does not need to be repeated in order for it to be abuse.
We love hearing from you! Please leave your comments, insights, feedback, and questions. You can also email or call us with your personal experiences with repeated mistreatment.
Please remember, you are not alone. We care about you! We are here as a support to you while you learn more about all forms of abuse. We are also here with encouragement as you move along your path to Authentic Health!
720.219.3631 or contact me directly at Abigail@AbigailGManning.com