Social Media

Nicki Minaj Gives Back in Big Way!

With the rising costs of college, paying tuition, as well as all the other costs that come with it, college has become a huge burden for many teens.  However, a few lucky students just got super lucky with the help of rapper Nicki Minaj when she offered to pay some of their bills! A user on Twitter named CJ reached out to Minaj the other day asking for assistance after she tweeted about an unrelated contest. She told him as long as he proved that he got straight A's from school that she would help him out! Nicki also helped out 30 others. It's so great to see celebrities giving to those who really need the help. College is not always attainable for all because of the high costs. We love hearing these kinds of stories! It's just a reminder to always pay it forward when you can. Even if it's not money related, a simple smile on the street to a stranger can go a long way. It also speaks volumes on how stressed teenagers how to around paying for college and how difficult it can be to reach out. A simple reach out helped out 30 students. Social media has great advantages! So the next time you're thinking about holding off on contacting some via social media, don't think twice. You never know what the outcome may be!

Why Do We Post On Social Media

I was talking to a friend about social media the other day and he had told me he was impressed that I shared a negative event in my life on one of my platforms.

Curious, I asked why. He told me that he is feeling so discouraged about his own life by looking at all the positive posts and how great other people’s lives are going. He shared with me his anxiety and fears that he will never catch up with other “friends” he has online and what they have accomplished, where they went, or the sheer number of friends.

I guess I should have been nicer but I stated: Remember, this is what they want you to know. He smiled and we changed the subject. This brought up a question on social media that I thought would be beneficial for our discussions on MINT: why do we post on social media? As a therapist, I came to the only conclusion I thought made sense: self-esteem.

While all of you reading this blog have stuff going on in your life that can be difficult to deal with, most of us, including me, will choose to hold that in and share different positive or perceived positive stuff in our lives in order to get likes, admirations, support, or even jealousy of others.  Is this what we really wanted social media to be?

If you think about it, the community we built around our platforms was really meant to support us and help us if we are struggling. This is not to say that we should only post negative (that is another problem in within itself) but we need to learn to reach out also. It is sad that we have decided to make our social media enterprises a bragfest.

What do you guys think? Would love to get feedback on this blog, how you use social media, how it affects others, etc. Comment directly to me at stevebissonlmhc@gmail.com

Substance Use

Fair warning, this is a raw blog on my part. I hesitated to write this blog but I figured I need to put out there a very silent and deadly killer and its effect.

Background: 2 weeks ago, I lost a client to a possible overdose. I had worked with him over three years and he had been in recovery during this time  I worked with him through  some relapses. He had worked hard to change his life after many  traumatic and devastating losses in his life. He had turned to opiates and opioids at times, to the point he had become addicted before the age of 18. Sure, he had had injuries, but the doctors over prescribed, as he was very charming and convincing with his doctors.

His father, concerned, had contacted my client’s doctor to let him know of his concerns in regards to his prescriptions. The doctor, at the time, citing the confidentiality of all clients over 18, stated he could not talk to his dad. His dad, devastated, wrote a heartfelt letter explaining his concerns and his fear his son would die from opioid issues. The doctor, of course, never acknowledged receipt of the letter or anything to make the father feel recognized.

Fast forward to today: I was at a memorial service for my client with many other of his friends who were distraught. His father, of course, was devastated. The girlfriend, two weeks later, still in shock. Lots of memories were shared of how great he was and how his smile, intelligence, and humor, made everyone feel better for the moment. I was equally devastated, despite the professional distance. Why? I'm a human being who has feelings.

So the effect of substance use should be apparent based on this story but let me make sure I list them:

Family

Partner

Friends

Neighbors

Acquaintances

Colleagues

Professionals

Community

 

Yes community. We should all feel a sense of loss. It needs to be said that we are fighting a war against substance use, a war we are losing because of apathy: not my family, didn't know him, I don't know for a fact what he died from, he should have done something about it. I also see an increase willingness to experiment from younger teens. Why?

 

Apathy. We need to talk about substance use to our teens and the risks associated it. Not minimize it or ignore it. Parents know it's happening but don't want to set limits. So talk about it instead of limits. Open conversations, let others know of these struggles. It is the silence that makes our biggest accidental killer, substance misuse and abuse, the monster that no one talks about.


After all, think about the excuses to not talk about substance use. Would you do that about cancer, heart disease, or diabetes?