Spring Festival – Recalled to Life – Colour Of Meekness & Majesty.

Spring Festival – Recalled to Life

Dr Lalith Mendis

Recalled to Life is the opening chapter of Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. Spring Festivals the world over celebrate life after winter. This Sunday we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Every grain of wheat that falls to the ground anticipates the New Life. Hope springs eternal in every human breast –  expectation of betterment – Resurrection of Christ is the Answer.

Colour Of Meekness & Majesty.
Early Sunday morning, Jerusalem lay in uneasy fretfulness with the affairs of the last 48 hours. Crucifixion – Earthquake, noonday eclipse, Red blood moon – never before never after. Pilate disturbed with bad dream. Centurion – Captain of the guard whispering that He was the Son of God. Priests quaking – if He is seen again. How to do damage control. City felt like a child after epilectic seizure. Like a mother after a violent child birth. Little did Jerusalem know these were the birth pangs of a New Israel birthed in the throes of a Cosmic Conflict – will good triumph over evil? Frenzy of the blood thirsty mob abated. Tremulous after history’s most heinous crime. Three demure figures – all Mary’s, with temerity added their shadows to the shortening silhouette of Joseph’s Garden. Early Sun rays seemed Mauve – colour of meekness & majesty.

 

Resurrection Reminiscences

  1. There is light at the end of the tunnel – night is darkest before the dawn – It’s not over until it’s over
  2. Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity. When there is no plan B possible Plan A becomes the God solution
  3. Move – Rock will Roll – has anything become a rock to you? What are the bandages that hold you?

Resurrection Rewards

If we give him our bruised reed as gift, he turns out a melodious flute fit for King. If we give Him our smouldering wick, He will breathe flames lighting up the world. If we give Him but our ashes he makes beauty from them. If we give him our bruises He makes healing. If we give Him our trembling voice He will make it soothing for the weary. If we give Him our unkempt feet, He will make them swift & beautiful for Him. If we give Him our treasured alabaster perfume casket, He makes resurrection fragrance fill the house.

 

Prof JND Anderson – Witness of Resurrection

Prof JND Anderson, formerly Professor of Oriental Law at London University, has written two books with proof for the death of Christ and proof for the Resurrection of Christ. Any earnest seeker of truth should read both.

The medical cause of death of a crucified victim leaves no doubt that the victim dies. In fact Romans checked out whether the victim was dead and if not would break the legs to prevent the victim prolonging breathing. Breaking the legs produces asphyxia sooner.

Crucifixion was invented by Assyrians and was adopted by Romans as a mode of capital punishment. The barbarism of it was its cruelty, extreme pain and the public display. The crucified person could have died of shock (Cardio-vascular collapse) consequent to the whipping that preceded the crucifixion. The Roman whip had thongs impregnated with nails and the end of the thongs (usually nine) had a spiky lead ball. This ensured that the stripes would tear into the flesh of the condemned and sometimes bowels and pancreas would spill out during the whipping of the back prior to crucifixion.

However, death from crucifixion usually was the result of right heart failure. The crucified victim had his limbs suspended – either nailed or tied to the bars of the cross. It was likely that the nails were driven through the wrist between the ulna and radius bones rather than through the palm. The nails through the palms cannot bear the full weight of the suspended body. In this posture, the diaphragm and the rib cage are not able to function. The victim can breathe in but cannot breathe out. Air is trapped in the lungs and the pressure inside the pleural cavity increases. This causes the pressure in the pulmonary artery to rise. The thinner right ventricle cannot cope with the increased pulmonary arterial pressure and the right ventricle begins to fail. Then fluid begins to accumulate in the pleural cavity (Pleural Effusion) and in the pericardium (Pericardial Effusion). This results in a condition called Acute Cardiac Tamponade. The patient dies slowly struggling for breath asphyxiated. If death is prolonged because the victim attempts to grip the vertical pole of the cross with his thighs and attempts to expire the air trapped in the lungs, soldiers will break the legs of the victim.

Beauty from warring ashes

Oil for mourning & bruises

Garments of compassion

Clothing our civilization

 

Father mother meet in harmony

Nations again in racial symphony

Paternal fraternal fractures healing

Gaps of generations are mending

 

Tombstones rolled freeing the dying

Dungeons open releasing the sighing

Christ arisen – did it for every victim

Oppressor & oppressed meet in Him

 

Three fragile ladies with spice to anoint

Christ meets them – to privilege appoint

“Allow children, Let the weak come to Me

I lift up the fallen transforming the mighty”

 

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Friday That Turned Agony to Ecstasy – Dr Lalith Mendis

Medical Facts of the Crucifixion

  • People were hung by their hands being nailed between the two forearm bones at the wrist (radius & ulnar) or by wrist being tied.
  • This prevented the diaphragm from pushing out the air during expiration. Air comes in but can’t go out.
  • Pressure in thorax goes up. Pulmonary venous pressure increases. Fluid accumulates in pericardial & pleural cavity. He can breathe in (inhale) but can’t breathe out (exhale). Air is trapped in the lungs & pressure increases in pleural cavity & lungs. Lung artery pressure & Right heart pressure which is 25/10 mmHg go up to levels of Left side pressure. Right ventricle is thin & begins to fail.
  • Person is drowning in his own fluids – so to say. Heart cannot fill or pump as fluid increases around it – cardiac tamponade
  • Patient dies in right heart failure – with loud pathetic efforts at
  • Jesus was already dead when they pierced his heart – blood & fluid came. Sometimes the person struggles – then his legs are broken to hasten death. This was not done  – Jesus was already dead.
  • Some doubt that Jesus actually died. They say, He swooned & recovered. This cannot be because the experienced Rona centurion certified death by piercing His side. Straw coloured fluid & blood came out. That was the fluid that accumulated in the pericardium. Furthermore the Jewish burial method includes bandaging the body with aloe & myrrh to the tune of 80kg. this will certainly knock out anyone. Both Roma & Jewish authorities were keen to keep Messiah dead to prevent an insurrection.

 

Messiah suffered all known forensic injuries barring fracture of bones. Crown of thorns caused abrasions. Before that was the whipping.

Medical Facts of Roman Whipping

A Roman Whip was made of 9 leather thongs impregnated with pieces of iron fitted to a grip handle. Each thong had a spike ball of lead. When the victim had the whip lashed & drawn across His back, it would tear the flesh effecting contusions & lacerations. His back would be literally black & blue!! Some collapse & die during the whipping.

Medical Facts of Sweating Blood

Hematidrosis, also called blood sweat, is a very rare condition in which a human sweats blood. The term is from Greek haima/haimatos αἷμα, αἵματος meaning blood and hidrōs ἱδρώς meaning sweat. Jesus Christ experienced hematohidrosis while praying in the garden of Gethsemane before his crucification as mentioned in the Bible by Physician Luke as “and being in anguish he prayed more earnestly and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” True reports of Haematidrosis are available on medical records. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2810702/

Leonardo Da Vinci described a soldier who sweated blood before battle.

The etiopathogenesis according to Dr. Frederick Zugibe is that multiple blood vessels which are present in a net-like form around the sweat gland constrict under pressure of stress. As the anxiety increases, the blood vessels dilate to the point of rupture. The blood goes into the sweat glands, which push it along with sweat to the surface, presenting as droplets of blood mixed with sweat. The extravasated blood has identical cell components as that of peripheral blood. The severe mental anxiety activates the sympathetic nervous system to invoke the stress-fight or flight reaction to such a degree as to cause hemorrhage of the vessels supplying the sweat glands into the ducts of the sweat glands. Effect on the body is weakness and mild to moderate dehydration from the severe anxiety and both blood and sweat loss. Zhang FK, Zheng YL, Liu JH, Chen HS, Liu SH, Xu MQ, et al. Clinical and laboratory study of a case of hematidrosis. Zhonghua Xue Ye Xue Za Zhi. 2004;25:147–50. [PubMed].

Prophets & Pot Shots

Date of Crucifixion – April 3rd AD 33

Joel2:20 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. 21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'”

Then Peter delivered the knockout punch. The Book of Acts, Chapter 2:22 “Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.”

Peter asserts that Joel’s prophesy has been fulfilled and that his listeners know it—that they have seen the signs themselves. This is the same argument the apostle Paul made. This argument would have had exactly no persuasive force unless Paul’s and Peter’s audiences knew that signs had occurred. Both men assumed that everybody knew about the signs. That’s powerful evidence that they had occurred. Of particular interest for us: Joel said there would be astronomical signs. And now Peter says, “you’ve seen them.” What were they?

“The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood…” The gospels do recount that the sun was darkened on the day of the crucifixion from noon until 3 in the afternoon (29). Ancient non-Biblical sources confirm this. Phlegon Trallianus records in his history, Olympiades (41):

“In the fourth year of the 202nd Olympiad [AD 32-33], a failure of the Sun took place greater than any previously known, and night came on at the sixth hour of the day [noon], so that stars actually appeared in the sky; and a great earthquake took place in Bithynia and overthrew the greater part of Niceaea,” obviously not a simple astronomical event.

Father Forgive Them

Cry of the Cross is what made the Founder of Christianity famous. Mercy triumphs over justice. Tooth for tooth Law was just. But turn other cheek is Remedy of Mercy. We write wrongs. Messiah rights the wrong. Trampled like a Rose Messiah arose like the Easter Lily. Messiah broke through the dry hard ground of human tit for tat.

Isa 53:2-5  For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.  (3)  He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.  (4)  Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.  (5)  But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.

 

His Agony turned our sorrows to joy on Easter morning.

 

 

Stopping Your Kid’s Screen Time Without Scream – Defeat Dopamine with Oxytocin

Defeat Dopamine with Oxytocin

Screen driven is by dopamine drive. When you sit with your child & interact – gently joyfully & sacrificially, taking 5 min to distract kid with genuine love (no resentment), oxytocin secreted by your love, overcomes the dopamine drive & will get child off screen

Here is Isabelle Filliozat’s very simple method to end screen-time without the screams.

The science behind screen-time

Have you ever had the electricity cut off just as the football game reached its most nerve-wracking stage?

Or your toddler pressed the “off” switch just as the protagonists in the deeply engrossing romantic comedy were finally going to kiss?

Or you ran out of power just as you were going to kill that alien and move up a level?

It’s hard to come out of the state of pleasure, which is what screen-time creates in our brains. It’s hard for adults. For a child, it can be terrible. Literally. Here, according to Isabelle Filliozat, is why.

When we human beings (not only children!) are absorbed in a film or playing a computer game, we are, mentally, in another world. Screens are hypnotic to our brains. The light, the sounds, the rhythm of the images puts the brain into a state of flow. We feel good, and don’t want to do anything else. We certainly don’t want the situation to change.

During these moments, our brains produce dopamine, a neurotransmitter which relieves stress-and pain. All is well – that is, until the screen is turned off. The dopamine levels in the body drop fast and without warning, which can, literally, create a sensation of pain in the body. This drop in hormones, this physical shock, is where children’s scream-time begins.

It doesn’t matter that we parents are quite clear that now is the end of screen-time. After all, we’d discussed and arranged it beforehand (”20 minutes!”), and/or given them warning (“5 more minutes!”). To us, it’s clear and fair enough, but to the child, it isn’t. When in front of a screen, she isn’t in a state to think that way or to take that information in. Her brain is awash with dopamine, remember? To turn the “off” switch on the television can, for the child, feel like a shock of physical pain. You’re not exactly slapping her in the face, but this is, neurologically speaking, how it might feel to her.

Cutting her off forcefully is hurtful. So instead of simply switching the “off” button, the trick is not to cut her off, but to instead enter her zone.

The trick: build a bridge

Whenever you decide that screen-time should come to an end, take a moment to sit down next to your child and enter his world. Watch TV with him, or sit with him while he plays his game massacring aliens on the screen. This doesn’t have to be long, half a minute is enough. Just share his experience. Then, ask him a question about it.

“What are you watching?” might work for some kids.

Others might need more specific questions. “So what level are you on now?” or “That’s a funny figure there in the background. Who’s he?”

Generally, children love it when their parents take an interest in their world. If they are too absorbed still and don’t engage, don’t give up. Just sit with them a moment longer, then ask another question.

Once the child starts answering your questions or tells you something she has seen or done on screen, it means that she is coming out of the “cut-off” zone and back into the real world. She’s coming out of the state of flow and back into a zone where she is aware of your existence – but slowly. The dopamine doesn’t drop abruptly, because you’ve built a bridge – a bridge between where she is and where you are. You can start to communicate, and this is where the magic happens.

You can choose to start discussing with your child that it’s time to eat, to go have his bath, or simply that screen-time is over now. Because of the minute of easing-in, your child will be in a space where he can listen and react to your request. He might even have been smoothed back into the real world gently enough, and is so happy about the parental attention that he wants turn off the TV/tablet/computer himself. (I’ve experienced my children do this, hand to heart.)

To me, simply the awareness of what’s going on in my children’s minds helps me handle end-of-screen-time much better than before. It isn’t always as smooth as I want it to be, but we haven’t had a scream-time incident since I discovered Isabelle Filliozat’s little trick.

Don’t take my word for it, go and try it yourself

Next time your child is sitting in front of a screen, and you want to end it, try this:

  • Sit with her for 30 seconds, a minute, or longer, and simply watch whatever she is watching/doing.
  • Ask an innocent question about what’s happening on screen. Most children love their parent’s attention, and will provide answers.
  • Once you’ve created a dialogue, you’ve created a bridge – a bridge that will allow your child to, in his mind and body, step from screen back into the real world, without hormones in free-fall, and therefore without crisis.
  • Enjoy the rest of your day together.

Works of Witness Better Than Roaring Rhetoric Transformed Science, Culture & Professions

Among those who believed Jesus Christ as one’s personal Saviour and alleviated human suffering with works rather than rhetoric were Louis Pasteur who eliminated the suffering of Bovine Tuberculosis, Alexandre Fleming discoverer of Penicillin,  Humphrey Davy (1778–1829) Thermokinetics; Safety lamp – saved many lives of miners, ·  Michael Faraday (1791–1867) (WOH) Electromagnetism; Field theory, Generator

  • Samuel F.B. Morse (1791–1872) Telegraph, · William Whewell (1794–1866) Anemometer)
  • Joseph Henry (1797–1878) Electric motor; Galvanometer, James Simpson (1811–1870) Gynecology, Anesthesiology – alleviation of great suffering, James Joule (1818–1889) Thermodynamics, Rudolph Virchow (1821–1902) Pathology, · Gregor Mendel (1822–1884) (WOH) Genetics
  • Louis Pasteur (1822–1895) (WOH) Chemical chirality, Bacteriology, Biochemistry; Sterilization; Immunization, William Thompson, Lord Kelvin (1824–1907) Energetics; Absolute temperatures; Atlantic cable,
  • Bernhard Riemann (1826–1866) Non-Euclidean geometries
  • Joseph Lister (1827–1912) Antiseptic surgery, James Clerk Maxwell (1831–1879) (WOH) Electrodynamics; Statistical thermodynamics, John Ambrose Fleming (1849–1945) Electronics; Electron tube; Thermionic valve, George Washington Carver (1864–1943) Inventor, Dr John Mann, Agriculturist, biological control pioneer,

The Bathwater is institutionalised religion. Baby is Christ the Saviour. Throwing the Baby with the Bathwater is not the solution for the morass in the Bath & in the ocean outside.

Medical Facts of Crucifixion

Friday That Turned Agony to Ecstasy – Dr Lalith Mendis

Messiah suffered all known forensic injuries barring fracture of bones. Crown of thorns caused abrasions. Before that was the whipping.

Medical Facts of Roman Whipping

A Roman Whip was made of 9 leather thongs impregnated with pieces of iron fitted to a grip handle. Each thong had a spike ball of lead. When the victim had the whip lashed & drawn across His back, it would tear the flesh effecting contusions & lacerations. His back would be literally black & blue!! Some collapse & die during the whipping.

Medical Facts of Sweating Blood

Hematidrosis, also called blood sweat, is a very rare condition in which a human sweats blood. The term is from Greek haima/haimatos αἷμα, αἵματος meaning blood and hidrōs ἱδρώς meaning sweat. Jesus Christ experienced hematohidrosis while praying in the garden of Gethsemane before his crucification as mentioned in the Bible by Physician Luke as “and being in anguish he prayed more earnestly and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” True reports of Haematidrosis are available on medical records. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2810702/

Leonardo Da Vinci described a soldier who sweated blood before battle.

The etiopathogenesis according to Dr. Frederick Zugibe is that multiple blood vessels which are present in a net-like form around the sweat gland constrict under pressure of stress. As the anxiety increases, the blood vessels dilate to the point of rupture. The blood goes into the sweat glands, which push it along with sweat to the surface, presenting as droplets of blood mixed with sweat. The extravasated blood has identical cell components as that of peripheral blood. The severe mental anxiety activates the sympathetic nervous system to invoke the stress-fight or flight reaction to such a degree as to cause hemorrhage of the vessels supplying the sweat glands into the ducts of the sweat glands. Effect on the body is weakness and mild to moderate dehydration from the severe anxiety and both blood and sweat loss. Zhang FK, Zheng YL, Liu JH, Chen HS, Liu SH, Xu MQ, et al. Clinical and laboratory study of a case of hematidrosis. Zhonghua Xue Ye Xue Za Zhi. 2004;25:147–50. [PubMed].

Medical Facts of the Crucifixion

  • People were hung by their hands being nailed between the two forearm bones at the wrist (radius & ulnar) or by wrist being tied.
  • This prevented the diaphragm from pushing out the air during expiration. Air comes in but can’t go out.
  • Pressure in thorax goes up. Pulmonary venous pressure increases. Fluid accumulates in pericardial & pleural cavity. He can breathe in (inhale) but can’t breathe out (exhale). Air is trapped in the lungs & pressure increases in pleural cavity & lungs. Lung artery pressure & Right heart pressure which is 25/10 mmHg go up to levels of Left side pressure. Right ventricle is thin & begins to fail.
  • Person is drowning in his own fluids – so to say. Heart cannot fill or pump as fluid increases around it – cardiac tamponade
  • Patient dies in right heart failure – with loud pathetic efforts at
  • Jesus was already dead when they pierced his heart – blood & fluid came. Sometimes the person struggles – then his legs are broken to hasten death. This was not done – Jesus was already dead.
  • Some doubt that Jesus actually died. They say, He swooned & recovered. This cannot be because the experienced Rona centurion certified death by piercing His side. Straw coloured fluid & blood came out. That was the fluid that accumulated in the pericardium. Furthermore the Jewish burial method includes bandaging the body with aloe & myrrh to the tune of 80kg. this will certainly knock out anyone. Both Roma & Jewish authorities were keen to keep Messiah dead to prevent an insurrection.

Prophets & Pot Shots

Date of Crucifixion – April 3rd AD 33

Joel2:20 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. 21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'”

Then Peter delivered the knockout punch. The Book of Acts, Chapter 2:22 “Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.”

Peter asserts that Joel’s prophesy has been fulfilled and that his listeners know it—that they have seen the signs themselves. This is the same argument the apostle Paul made. This argument would have had exactly no persuasive force unless Paul’s and Peter’s audiences knew that signs had occurred. Both men assumed that everybody knew about the signs. That’s powerful evidence that they had occurred. Of particular interest for us: Joel said there would be astronomical signs. And now Peter says, “you’ve seen them.” What were they?

“The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood…” The gospels do recount that the sun was darkened on the day of the crucifixion from noon until 3 in the afternoon (29). Ancient non-Biblical sources confirm this. Phlegon Trallianus records in his history, Olympiades (41):

“In the fourth year of the 202nd Olympiad [AD 32-33], a failure of the Sun took place greater than any previously known, and night came on at the sixth hour of the day [noon], so that stars actually appeared in the sky; and a great earthquake took place in Bithynia and overthrew the greater part of Niceaea,” obviously not a simple astronomical event.

Father Forgive Them

Cry of the Cross is what made the Founder of Christianity famous. Mercy triumphs over justice. Tooth for tooth Law was just. But turn other cheek is Remedy of Mercy. We write wrongs. Messiah rights the wrong. Trampled like a Rose Messiah arose like the Easter Lily. Messiah broke through the dry hard ground of human tit for tat.

Isa 53:2-5  For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.  (3)  He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.  (4)  Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.  (5)  But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.

 

His Agony turned our sorrows to joy on Easter morning.

Neurophysiology of Digital Addiction – Dr Lalith Mendis

Neurophysiology of Digital Addiction – Dr Lalith Mendis

Homeostasis to Allostasis

Pathophysiological Fight, Fright, Flight

Recruiting Antireward Systems

Pain becomes Pleasure

Depletion of Dopamine & Endorphins

 

 

Digital Stimulation & Drug Addiction

Digital stimulation sets dopamine & Serotonin cycles in kid or youth brain at variance with each other – driven without satisfaction – Simulating ADHD. This recruits anti-reward systems involving opioids that interpret pain as pleasure – hence the dyspathic selfie behaviour as happens in chronic stress, PTSD & other addictions. The recent Harvard study FITKids underscores my working hypothesis over last 4 years – try empathic small motor activity to overwrite the multidirectional firing of dopamine connections. Digital screen spurs up dopamine discharge violating the U curve homeostasis. Directed Motor activity provides a respite for the over charged dopamine networks to resume U curve. (1)

Blunt Reward

Chronic digital screen or drug use leads to persistent neurochemical and neurobiological changes, with blunting of the “rewarding” components and persistence of the counter-modulatory components (lowered dopaminergic tone and relative “endorphin deficiency”), which, when coupled with learning and memory, contribute to the resultant “digital or drug craving” and “digital or drug hunger.”

 

Digital Addiction Works Like Other Addictive Conditions.

Salience, initiation, navigation, conclusion – mediated via optimal dopamine response (not too high, not too low) are dysregulated because of continued dopamine drive. Satiety mediated via optimal serotonin producing reward motive has been dysregulated with serotonin spiking to achieve satiety competing with the dopamine drive. In this scenario inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity are only symptoms of underlying dysregulation of motivational systems. (1) Why this simulates ADHD is because executive empathic pathways commencing in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) have been overwritten by the repetitive, reflexive, reactive, cyclical stress survival pathways of the ventero medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) responding to subcortical input from amygdala, hippocampus and hypothalamus. (2)

 

In this framework, digital addiction causes a cycle of decreased function of brain reward systems and recruitment of anti-reward systems that progressively worsen, resulting in the compulsive use of more digital games etc. Counter-adaptive processes, such as opponent process, that are part of the normal homeostatic limitation of reward function fail to return within the normal homeostatic range and repeatedly drive the allostatic state. Excessive digital gaming and cartoons thus results in the short-term amelioration of the reward deficit. However, in the long term, there is worsening of the underlying neurochemical dysregulations that ultimately form an allostatic state (decreased dopamine and opioid peptide function, increased corticotropin-releasing factor activity). This allostatic state is reflected in a chronic deviation of reward set point that is fuelled not only by dysregulation of reward circuits but also by recruitment of brain and hormonal stress responses. (3), (4)

 

D1 receptors of dopamine are overcharged by pixel (digital) stimulation causing poor working memory. D1 receptors function best in a limited middle range of Dopamine concentration. Too low there is apathy; too high there is impulsivity. Excessive stimulation causes delay-related firing of the neurons’ non-preferred directions with brain having increased background “noise”.  Increased dopamine, noradrenaline and cortisol in these children brains inhibit executive empathic functions of the prefrontal cortex producing the impulsivity, inattention and hyperactivity of ADHD. Heavy users of smart phones are likely to develop the left side of their brains, leaving the right side untapped or underdeveloped, The right side of the brain is linked with concentration and its failure to develop will affect attention and memory span, which could in as many as 15% of cases lead to the early onset of dementia.

 

Neurochemical Changes

Neurochemical mediators of “rewarding” or “reinforcing” effects of drugs of abuse

Dopamine acting at dopamine DA1-like and DA2-like receptors

Mu opioid receptor agonists acting at mu opioid receptors (e.g., beta-endorphin and enkephlins)

CRF and ACTH in stimulant and stimulant- depressant addicts only (e.g., cocaine and alcoholism)

+/- serotonin, +/- norepinephrine

 

Counter Modulators
Pain Converts to Pleasure

Neurochemical counter-modulators of “rewarding” or “reinforcing” effects

Kappa opioid receptor agonists acting at kappa opioid receptors (e.g., dynorphins)

Orphanin/nociception acting at orphan opioid-like receptors

CRF and ACTH in opiate addicts (e.g., heroin)

+/- GABA, +/- glutamate

 

Reinforcing or “Reward” Effects of
Digital or Drugs Abuse

 

Initial exposure to a drug of abuse may produce effects which are interpreted by the individual as “desirable” or “pleasurable”, i.e.,“rewarding”. These effects may lead to “craving” or “hunger” for the drug, with resultant spontaneous activity or work for drug acquisition and self-administration.

Primary sites of actions of drugs of abuse with respect to their reward or reinforcing effects have been identified as specific brain regions, rich in dopamine nerve terminals or cell bodies, the mesolimbic and mesocortical dopamine systems especially the nucleus accumbens, as well as the amygdala, the anterior cingulate and the insula, with related actions in the nigrostriatal dopaminergic regions.  Each of these areas also has abundant receptors and peptides of the endogenous opioid system. (5)

References

  1. Amy FT Arnsten – Stress signalling pathways that impair prefrontal cortex structure and function. Nat Rev Neurosci. 2009 Jun; 10(6): 410­422
  2. Diane Purper-Ouakil, Nicolas Ramoz, Aude-Marie Lepagnol-Bestel, Philip Gorwood and Michel Simonneau – Neurobiology of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder; Pediatric Research (2011) 69, 69R-76R; doi:10.1203/PDR.0b013e318212b40f
  3. Mario F. Mendez – The Neurobiology of Moral Behavior: Review and Neuropsychiatric Implications; CNS Spectr. 2009 Nov; 14(11): 608­
  4. Vijayraghavan S, et al. Inverted-U dopamine D1 receptor actions on prefrontal neurons engaged in working memory. Nature Neurosci. 2007;10:376-384. [PubMed]
  5. Wang M, et al. ?2A-adrenoceptor stimulation strengthens working memory networks by inhibiting cAMP-HCN channel signaling in prefrontal cortex. Cell. 2007;129:397-410. [PubMed]

 

Let Them Be Bored & Resourceful – five solutions for five digital dilemmas

Why our children are less patient, more lonely and more entitled than generations before?

Save

Study after study proves what we have guessed…

It’s the scary truth that our children face.   It’s more real than ever, this downhill slope that our kids are facing.  As a teacher and play therapist, I’ve had the opportunity to work with many children over the years, as well as many parents. . In that time, I’ve watched children’s social and emotional skills get worse, along with their academic behavior.  Children today aren’t prepared for life the way that they used to be. Now they are expecting more but doing less. They are coming to school but struggling to learn and stay focused. They are wanting to do more, but have less focus.

Victoria writes:  “What good are we doing them by giving them what they WANT when we know that it is not GOOD for them? Without proper nutrition and a good night’s sleep, our kids come to school irritable, anxious, and inattentive.  In addition, we send them the wrong message.   They learn they can do what they want and not do what they don’t want. The concept of “need to do” is absent. Unfortunately, in order to achieve our goals in our lives, we have to do what’s necessary, which may not always be what we want to do. “ – Victoria Prooday. (Just FYI: I’ve talked to Victoria on the phone & she is amazing, to say the least!)

My friend and I started talking about the “me generation” we both agreed that screentime and the thought of “mine, mine, mine” have a lot to do with it.

 

 Lonelier, Entitled, Less Patient … why?

There is a reason:  Our current lifestyle choices have impacted our children. All of the latest technologies, the modern trends, the most recent advancements. While we all want what’s best for our children, it has sadly led them down a path that has left them less-prepared for their own lives.

  1. The SCREEN TIME dilemma:

Too much screen time. Giving our children electronic devices can easily backfire. Technology & screen time take time away from reading and playing. It decreases attention span, sets up the need for immediate gratification, and leaves children open to challenges in school and at home.

They lose the ability to focus on things and listen attentively because they have become accustomed to watching things in a fast-paced, fun, always-exciting way.  Children have a hard time coming back to reality, after being in virtual reality.

Take this story from PsychologyToday.com about a little boy on his video game, during a family gathering:

After being on his handheld electronic game for an hour, “A perfect storm is brewing. His brain and psyche become overstimulated and excited — on fire! His nervous system shifts into high gear and settles there while he attempts to master different situations, strategizing, surviving, and defending his turf. His heart rate increases and his blood pressure rises — he’s ready to do battle.  The screen virtually locks his eyes into position and sends signal after signal: “It’s bright daylight out, nowhere near time for bed!” – he’s ready to fight or escape!”  

The story goes on to say that his little sister came over and put her hand on the game. He hadn’t noticed her walking towards him because he was so involved in the game. Due to his elevated feelings, he screams at her and runs to his room. His mother follows him and tells him to get off of the electronics and get ready for bed, which makes him feel frustrated, as well as physically and emotionally angry.   He was ripped out of his “fun” virtual world and put into a “boring” real world.   Kids just can’t adjust so quickly.

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  1. The “Don’t be bored” dilemma

We are all so busy these days and to help our children stay busy and not be bored, we end up giving them a tablet, a phone, an iPod.  The problem?   We are doing our kids a disservice.  We are taking away their ability to entertain themselves, to come up with a solution, to be creative.

In turn,  we end up spending less quality time with our kids (sitting on the sofa while you are both focused on individual sources of technology is not quality time).   We are not connecting with our children.  Our children are relying on electronics to keep them from being bored and they are forgetting how to keep themselves entertained, or to just let their minds be still to daydream.

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  1. The “LET ME MAKE YOU HAPPY” dilemma

“Families [overly] centered on children create anxious, exhausted parents and demanding, entitled children. We parents today are too quick to sacrifice our lives for our kids. Most of us have created child-centered families, where our children hold priority over our time, energy and attention.” ~Code, Wall Street Journal

We, as parents, have the best intentions when we make these decisions, to do whatever we can for our children: giving in to what they want so often. We want our children to be happy, we want them to feel loved, we want to see them smile. Unfortunately, by doing everything for our children and giving them everything that they want… we are creating people who will not be happy in the long run.

As a therapist, I often hear parents say things like “She doesn’t like vegetables, so I don’t even try to give them to her anymore” or “If he went to bed when I wanted him to, he would be up too early” or “She doesn’t like to hold my hand in the parking lot.”

The problem?   Kids are kids- they aren’t old enough, mature enough, or knowledgeable enough to make these kinds of decisions for themselves. We need to make them and enforce them because we know the consequences. Without vegetables, our children will not be healthy. Without enough sleep, they will be grumpy, tired and unable to focus in school. Without holding your hand in the parking lot, our young children could run off and be hit by a car.  These are real consequences of our “Let the children decide” dilemma.

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  1. The “Let me rescue you” dilemma

“Children and young adults are pretty resilient and resourceful when we let them be. Unfortunately, most of the time, parents are afraid to loosen the reins and let them be. It’s time for that to change.” – Jennifer Harstein.

  • Our children need to learn that they can save their allowance to replace the cell phone they lost.
  • Our children need to figure out how to talk to the teacher about the forgotten homework.
  • Our children need to learn that if they aren’t helping with the laundry (or putting it where it needs to go), they will not have their favorite outfit on the day they want to wear it.

It’s not easy to watch our kids fail. It’s not easy to watch them be sad, frustrated or upset. We want what’s best for our children, and we do everything with the best intentions, but it teaches them the wrong lessons.    Yes, show them that you are kind and helpful, but also let them experience things and let them fail.

It is easier to let them fail with these little things now (like forgetting homework and losing recess time at school) instead of failing when they are adults (like forgetting a mortgage payment and losing their house.)

  1. The lack of real face-to-face INTERACTION dilemma.

“We know from lots and lots of research that spending time with other people in person is one of the best predictors of psychological well-being and one of the best protections against having mental health issues.” – Audie Cornish

Time on social media “may elicit feelings of envy and the distorted belief that others lead happier and more successful lives,” a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine says.    Today’s teens and children are just not spending as much time with their friends in person.  They aren’t going for a walk outside or meeting up at a friends house. They aren’t playing games together.  In turn, they aren’t learning to read each others’ emotions or give support.

These social skills are so valuable, in fact, that study after study proves they are the key to a prosperous future. Excellent social skills, combined with intelligence, are now considered to be the key to having a high-paying job. “Leadership requires you to be socially adept. In fact, your social skills may be just as important as your intelligence when it comes to achieving success, according to new research published in in the Review of Economics and Statistics.

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  1. The “REWARD” dilemma

My brother, sister-in-law and I were talking about this one day. My brother, Tim, has his Ph.D. in education and my sister in law, Jill, has been a middle school teacher for many years. I am a play therapist & elementary school teacher, so our conversations often turn to children and education.

In trying to understand the “why” behind children’s behaviors, children’s lack of attention and children’s increasing behavior problems in school, we figured out one thing: Children want rewards, all of the time. I am ALL FOR REWARDING children, but not constantly. Not only does it lose it’s ‘shine,’ but it sets our children up to look for external rewards instead of internal rewards.

“What will you give me if I get all A’s?”
“What do we get to do if we sit quietly in the assembly?”
“What do I get for cleaning the garage?”

The only problem is that while it’s better (for us) to have our children do these things without complaining, their boss/landlord/spouse isn’t going to be so accommodating.  They won’t get a bonus or time-off because they did their work on time. They won’t get a month off of their mortgage payment because they paid it on time. Yes, it’s hard to teach them these lessons, but I’d prefer that they learn from me that life isn’t ALWAYS fun, but it is what you make it.   

Let them be bored.

“Families [overly] centered on children create anxious, exhausted parents and demanding, entitled children. We parents today are too quick to sacrifice our lives for our kids. Most of us have created child-centered families, where our children hold priority over our time, energy and attention.” ~ American Journal of Preventive Medicine

Instead of letting them find fun on their own, we find ways to make them ‘have fun.”   They are forgetting how to keep themselves entertained, or to just let their minds be still to daydream.

 

Let them be resourceful.

“Children and young adults are pretty resilient and resourceful when we let them be. Unfortunately, most of the time, parents are afraid to loosen the reins and let them be. It’s time for that to change.”Jennifer Harstein, USA news.

It’s not easy to watch our kids fail. It’s not easy to watch them be sad, frustrated or upset. However… it is easier to let them fail with these little things now (like not doing their work and losing recess time at school) instead of failing when they are adults (like forgetting a mortgage payment and losing their house.).

Let them PLAY in real life. 

My brother told me that teens in his high school (he is the principal), will hang out on Google Hangouts instead of each other’s houses.   It made me want to start looking into things.

“We know from lots and lots of research that spending time with other people in person is one of the best predictors of psychological well-being and one of the best protections against having mental health issues.” – Audie Cornish

Time on social media “may elicit feelings of envy and the distorted belief that others lead happier and more successful lives,” a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine says.

Today’s teens and children are just not spending as much time with their friends in person.  They aren’t going for a walk outside or meeting up at a friends house. They aren’t playing games together.  In turn, they aren’t learning to read each others’ emotions or give support.

These social skills are so valuable, in fact, that study after study proves they are the key to a prosperous future. Excellent social skills, combined with intelligence, are now considered to be the key to having a high-paying job.

“Leadership requires you to be socially adept. In fact, your social skills may be just as important as your intelligence when it comes to achieving success,” according to new research published in in the Review of Economics and Statistics.  ~ American Journal of Preventive Medicine

Let them lose.

I am ALL FOR REWARDING children, but not constantly. Not only does it lose it’s ‘shine,’ but it sets our children up to look for external rewards instead of internal rewards.   The Trophy Dilemma, as my husband calls it, just isn’t going to motivate them for long.  Everyone gets one for everything.

While we want our kids to do these things without complaining, their boss/landlord/spouse isn’t going to be so accommodating.  They won’t get a bonus or time-off because they did their work on time. They won’t get a month off of their mortgage payment because they paid it on time. Yes, it’s hard to teach them these lessons.