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Mental Health Certification

Miss RinRin works in the medical field and has taken additional certifications to help her kink clients with mental health. One of these courses was called ‘Talk To Me”: Improving Mental Health And Suicide Prevention In Adults. This course was taken online via course lecturer Dr. Ben Milbourn, Senior Lecturer at Curtin University. Below you will be able to read some of the notes she has taken to help you become a better you!

General look at mental health

Mental health depends on individual attributes, as well as the ability to manage one’s thoughts, emotions, interactions, and behavior with others. The three core components are:

  • Well-Being

  • Effective Functioning Of An Individual, And

  • Effective Functioning Within A Community.

 

Mental health is also affected by many different factors, including physical, psychological, social, cultural, spiritual, and other interrelated factors.

Good mental health is a sense of well-being, confidence, and self-esteem. It enables us to fully enjoy and appreciate other people, day-to-day life, and our environment.

 

Mental ill-health is an umbrella term. We all fit on a continuum between mental health and ill health.

 

A mental illness is a health problem that significantly affects how a person thinks, behaves, and interacts with other people. It is diagnosed according to standardized criteria.

act-belong-commit

Mental health includes social, emotional, and psychological well-being, and is not just the absence of illness, but also the ability to maintain relationships, cope with stress, contribute to the community, and enjoy life. Keeping mentally healthy is just as important as staying physically healthy. And the good news is there are things we can all do to promote our mental well-being and create a stronger, more resilient community.

Being active, having a sense of belonging, and having a purpose in life all contribute to happiness and good mental health.

 

ACT - DO SOMETHING

Keep Active - physically, socially, mentally, and spiritually

  • Go For A Walk Or A Run

  • Read A Book

  • Talk To Someone

  • Meditate Or Pray

 

BELONG – DO SOMETHING WITH SOMEONE

  • Keep Connected - to friends, family, and your community

    • If you do not have family or friends to connect with, think about connecting with Miss RinRin. Not only is she a kinkster like you, but she also understands your struggles and is a trained professional in many aspects of mental illness and therapies regarding and unregarding kink/fetish play.

  • Join A Book Club

  • Take A Cooking Class

  • Go To Community Events

  • Join A Sports Team

 

COMMIT – DO SOMETHING MEANINGFUL, IMPORTANT, AND VALUABLE TO YOU

  • Volunteer

  • Learn Something New

  • Take On A Challenge

  • Teach Others

Negative impacts on mental health

Mental health conditions can be impacted by the following;

 

REDUCED DEVELOPMENT:

 

  • Poverty For Affected Individuals And Families

  • Inequality Between Different Population Groups

  • Reduced Social Capital

  • Hindered Economic Development At Societal Level

 

INCREASED VULNERABILITY:

 

  • Stigma And Discrimination

  • Violence And Abuse

  • Restrictions In Exercising Civil And Political Rights

  • Exclusion From Participating Fully In Society

  • Reduced Access To Health And Social Services

  • Reduced Access To Emergency Relief Services

  • Lack Of Educational Opportunities

  • Exclusion From Income Generation And Employment Opportunities

  • Increased Disability And Premature Death

 

WORSENED MENTAL HEALTH:

  • Sadness And Tiredness

  • Hopelessness And Helplessness

  • Fear About The Future

  • Social Withdrawal And Interpersonal Problems

  • Sleep And Eating Problems

  • Difficulty Concentrating And Problem-Solving

Positive Impacts on Mental Health

Protective factors may include:

 

  • Positive parent or carer relationship that provides structure, limits, monitoring, and predictability

    • These can include sessions via phone, email, telegram, and in person with Miss RinRin

  • Connections to other non-parental adults (through groups, clubs, and organizations)

    • These can include events and outings held by Miss RinRin

  • Closeness to caring friends (having a peer group that checks in on each other)

  • Academic achievement (being supported and provided with opportunities to achieve)

  • School safety (feeling safe to express ideas and identity; systems in school to reduce bullying)

  • Feeling a sense of belonging to something bigger than themselves – community, culture, religion, sports team

  • Neighborhood safety

  • Awareness of and access to local health services

  • Overall resilience.

 

While many interventions are geared towards the reduction of risk factors in suicide prevention, it is equally important to consider and strengthen factors that have been shown to increase resilience and connectedness, and that protect against suicidal behavior.

 

Resilience has a buffering effect on suicide risk; for highly resilient people, the association between the risk of suicide and suicidal behavior is diminished. Some protective factors counter specific risk factors, while others protect individuals against some different suicide risk factors.

 

Let’s look at three of the protective factors in greater detail (from WHO, Preventing Suicide, 2014).

 

STRONG PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS

The cultivation and maintenance of healthy, close relationships can increase individual resilience and act as a protective factor against the risk of suicide. The individual's closest social circle – partners, family members, peers, friends, and significant others – has the most influence and can be supportive in times of crisis. Friends and family can be a significant source of social, emotional, and financial support, and can buffer against the impact of external stressors.

 

RELIGIOUS OR SPIRITUAL BELIEFS

While religion and spiritual beliefs may offer some protection against suicide, this depends on specific cultural and contextual practices and interpretations.

 

LIFESTYLE PRACTICE OF POSITIVE COPING STRATEGIES AND WELL-BEING

Personal well-being and effective positive coping strategies protect against suicide. Well-being is shaped in part by personality traits, which determine vulnerability for - and resilience against - stress and trauma. Emotional stability, an optimistic outlook, and a developed sense of identity assist in coping with life’s difficulties. Good self-esteem, self-efficacy, and effective problem-solving skills, which include the ability to seek help when needed, can mitigate the impact of stressors and childhood adversities. Healthy lifestyle choices which promote mental and physical well-being include regular exercise and sport, adequate sleep and diet, consideration of the impact on the health of alcohol and drugs, healthy relationships and social contact, and effective management of stress.

Mental health and Stress

Stress may be experienced in various ways, including:

 

THOUGHTS: negative thinking, worrying a lot

 

FEELINGS: feeling irritated, tense, frustrated, and/or nervous

 

BEHAVIORS: crying, high levels of frustration, disturbed appetite and sleep, avoiding situations, drinking alcohol or taking drugs

 

PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS: headaches, stomach problems, restlessness, muscle tension, etc.

Red traffic light

Stress Management 

A small amount of stress can increase motivation and can be a good thing, but without the ability to cope with the stress, it can affect physical and mental health. Exposure to prolonged stress can heighten the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior.

 

There are four main ways to reduce stress; Problem-oriented Coping, Emotion-oriented Coping, and Evalution-Oriented Coping, and Kink/Sexual Coping. 

1. PROBLEM-ORIENTED COPING

Using this strategy, we try to find the best possible solutions to deal with the stressor and minimize its impact.

 

In the previous construction noise example, we could look for different study environments, change our study times, or even use earplugs.       

   

2. EMOTION-ORIENTED COPING

If we cannot find a solution using problem-oriented coping strategies, we can try something different: to control our tension, emotions, and thoughts intrapsychically (from within the mind or self).

 

Exercises to alleviate our tension/anxiety could be useful. Or we could perhaps remind ourselves that we have already studied enough, or that there is plenty of time for us to continue our studies in a quieter and more effective environment after the construction workers have finished their work day.   

           

3. EVALUATION-ORIENTED COPING

Evaluation-oriented coping means that we reappraise the stressor: instead of perceiving it as a burden and threat, we take it as a challenge.

This attitude can be quite motivating and lead to a positive workflow. However, one must first have an adequate arousal level to achieve success using this coping strategy (this is illustrated by the Yerkes-Dodson Law, which we will cover on the next page).

Stress Management in Kink

Originally written on Momentum by Katie Soloan. There are many reasons people participate in kink. Some do it as a way of connecting more intimately with their partner(s); some enjoy pushing themselves to extremes through kink; some love giving up control to a partner because they have too much responsibility "in real life"; some enjoy having sexual adventures they can later tell stories about... There are about as many reasons to do kink as there are kinksters in the world!

 

One key motivator for some kinky folks, though, is the way that kink can reduce their stress level, both in the moment during a scene and in a more long-term way over months or years.

 

Here are some of the ways kink lowers stress in the body and brain:

 

THAT SWEET, SWEET ENDORPHIN RUSH

 

You've probably heard of endorphins: they're a type of neurotransmitter that can be released in your body when you exert yourself or experience pain, among other endorphin-boosting situations. These chemicals are the reason why, for example, marathon runners may feel euphoric mid-run rather than exhausted. They're also one of the key reasons that sex and kink can help reduce stress.

 

Intense physical experiences are likelier to cause a burst of endorphins than your regular day-to-day activities – and, as you probably know, sex and kink can be pretty intense. In particular, many people find that engaging in sadomasochism, such as spanking or biting, creates a "natural high." This can be equally true whether you're the person being hurt or the person doing the hurting since providing painful sensations to a partner can be athletic in its own right.

 

SUBSPACE, TOPSPACE, & FLOW STATE

 

"Flow state" is a concept that was coined by Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihaly. Also known as being "in the zone," flow is the state you get into when you're very focused on a task that you find challenging and engrossing. If you've ever gotten so into exercising, playing music, making art, or any other activity that you felt like you lost track of the time and temporarily lost awareness of anything outside of the task at hand, you were very likely in a flow state.

 

Flow has been an important component of a lot of psychological research on kink and BDSM. Some researchers go so far as to say that it is one of the main benefits of this type of play. This makes sense: psychologists who study flow have identified that flow-inducing activities must have 1) clear goals and a sense of progress, 2) real-time feedback, and 3) a good balance between the perceived difficulty level of the task and the doer's perception of their own skills in relation to that difficulty. Kink, and especially sadomasochism, can meet all of these criteria and thus can easily induce a flow state in participants.

 

Experiencing flow regularly has been shown to increase a person's sense of happiness and well-being. Stress tends to be reduced or eliminated while a person is in a flow state; over time, repeated instances of being in this state may enable a person to be less stressed overall in their day-to-day life. So bring on the floggings – it seems that they'll lower your stress and improve your mood!

 

EMOTIONAL CATHARSIS

 

You may have heard of, or experienced firsthand, the cathartic effects of kink. Some people cry when they're cuffed, spanked, or bossed around; some people love taking on a dominant, sadistic role for the duration of a scene and then dissolve into purifying tears after the scene is done; some people reach catharsis from sex or orgasm, particularly when paired with kink. It's a highly emotional way to connect with other people.

 

One of the methods of "completing the stress cycle" – i.e. flushing stress hormones out of your body – is having a "big old cry," according to the book Burnout by Emily and Amelia Nagoski. Crying helps you release some of the tension that accumulates in your body as a result of stress and thereby helps you release the stress itself. So if you find yourself crying during or after a kink scene, keep in mind that it's not necessarily a bad thing at all!

SUCCESSFULLY COPING WITH PERFORMANCE ANXIETIES

PROBLEM-ORIENTED COPING

Some important problem-oriented strategies can be quite helpful.

  • Start with a schedule containing specific learning goals.

  • Making a habit to study, work, etc exclusively at one specific place, and removing anything that distracts you from that activity, can improve your efficiency in learning the problem-solving skill (especially if you postpone any online activity until your free time – the Internet can be a big distraction!).

  • Don’t forget to plan enough breaks. They are necessary for good progress.

    • For example; plan a break every 30 minutes for 10 minutes.

  • Learning can be seen as a mental exercise, in which your knowledge increases with a good training program.

 

EMOTION-ORIENTED COPING

Emotion-oriented coping in the context of performance anxiety focuses on the use of relaxation techniques, such as Jacobson’s progressive muscle relaxation, or breathing exercises, such as abdominal breathing.

In progressive muscle relaxation, tension is alleviated by the deliberate contraction and relaxation of certain muscle groups, e.g. making a fist, holding the tension for a short period, and then easing the tension by relaxing the fingers.

 

In abdominal breathing, you try to guide your breath in the direction of your stomach:

 

  • First, you breathe in, making your tummy bigger, and as you breathe in, count to 7

  • Then you hold your breath and count to 4

  • Finally, you breathe out, counting to 7 again.

  • This exercise should be repeated for 5 minutes.

 

You may also try arousal-reducing cognitions (anti-stress thoughts), for example:

 

  • ‘I will make it’ or

  • ‘I have learned enough’ or

  • ‘There is nothing more I can do’.

  • These thoughts may be used before and during your exams, and help to reduce high arousal levels in order to help you perform well.

 

EVALUATION-ORIENTED COPING

  • In evaluation-oriented coping, you try to regard your exam as a challenge. This means focusing on the Yerkes-Dodson law: it is very important to reach a middle level of arousal (not too low, not too high) for peak performance.

  • Functional anti-disaster thoughts are very helpful. For example, ‘How important is it to have the best result in this exam?’

  • A further helpful cognition is to focus on your goals, by thinking something like, ‘Studying helps me to get closer to my goals, and if I keep on being focused on my goals I will ultimately reach them.’

References and additional readings

Aselton, P. (2012). Sources of stress and coping in American college students who have been diagnosed with depression. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, 25(3), 119-123.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-6171.2012.00341.x

Australian Broadcasting Commission News. (2017). ABS graph 2015.  Retrieved from https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-30/abs-graph-2015/8571774

Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2007). National survey of mental health and wellbeing: Summary of results (cat.no. 4326.0).  Retrieved from http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4326.0Main+Features32007?OpenDocument

Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2017). Causes of death, Australia (3303.0). Canberra, ACT: Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved from http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/3303.0~2017~Main%20Features~Intentional%20self-harm,%20key%20characteristics~3

BZGA Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung. (2012). Resilienz und psychologische schutz-faktoren im erwachsenenalter: Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung.

Dahlin, M., Joneberg, N., & Runeson, B. (2005). Stress and depression among medical students: A cross-sectional study. Medical Education, 39(6), 594-604.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2929.2005.02176.x

Eisenberg, D., Gollust, S., Golberstein, E., & Hefner, J. (2007). Prevalence and correlates of depression, anxiety, and suicidality among university students. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 77(4), 534-542.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0002-9432.77.4.534

Eskin, M., Sumn, J. M., Abuidhail, J., Yoshimasu, K., Kujan, O., Janghorbani, M., . . . Voracek, M. (2016). Suicidal behavior and psychological distress in university students: A 12-nation study. Archives of Suicide Research, 20(3), 368-388.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13811118.2015.1054055

Hamaideh, S. H. (2011). Stressors and reactions to stressors among university students. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 57(1), 69-80.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0020764010348442

HealthyWA. (n.d). Mental health.  Retrieved from https://healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/U_Z/What-is-mental-health

Herman, H., Saxena, S., Moodie, R., Mittelmark, M., Puska, P., O'Byrne, D., . . . Saraceno, B. (2004). Promoting mental health: Concepts, emerging evidence, practice: Summary report. Geneva, Switzerland:  Retrieved from https://www.who.int/mental_health/evidence/en/promoting_mhh.pdf/

Hirsch, J. K., Rabon, J. K., Reynolds, E., Barton, A. L., & Chang, E. C. (2017). Perceived stress and suicidal behaviors in college students: Conditional indirect effects of depressive symptoms and mental health stigma. Stigma and Health, 4(1), 98-106.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/sah0000125

Kacic, V., & Zimmerman, F. (2017). Suicide prevention for children and adolescents: Talk to me! a new initiative of the national suicide prevention program, Germany. International Conference on Health Promoting Hospitals and Health Services. World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Health Promotion in Hospitals and Health Care, held in Stockholm, Sweden,  Retrieved from https://ki.se/kind/kalender/kind-seminar-suicide-prevention-for-children-and-adolescents-talk-to-me

Kinchin, I., & Doran, C. (2014). The cost of youth suicide in Australia. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(4), 1-11.  http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040672

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Mental Health Coordinating Council. (2018). Recovery orientated language guide. Rozelle, NSW:  Retrieved from http://mob.mhcc.org.au/media/5902/recovery-oriented-language-guide_2018ed_v3_201800418-final.pdf

 

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Reivich, K. (2008). Karen Reivich - The Resilience Ingredient List.  Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/id/25464528

 

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