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June is National Headache and Migraine Awareness Month. Migraines may include the following symptoms:

  • Blurred vision

  • Light and sound sensitivity

  • Nausea

  • Disrupted vision

In addition, some migraines are resistant to over-the-counter pain management medications.

While migraines can only be diagnosed by medical experts, practitioners in the mental health profession are becoming more aware of causative factors. Specifically, despite the widely-accepted theory migraines originate strictly from biological sources, research now indicates elements of mental health, such as trauma, may also contribute.

Consider the following: migraines “may be tied to the same neurochemical conditions associated with trauma, depression, and anxiety.” 1

In addition, migraines can also be induced by stress responses in overdrive or emotions that have historically been repressed. Last, those reporting higher levels of emotional and/or childhood abuse were “50% more likely to report being diagnosed with a migraine.” 2

If you or a loved one currently experiences migraines, medical professions can provide accurate diagnosing along with medication prescriptions. In addition, mental health professionals may be able to better assist with other contributing factors

According to the World Health Organization, mental health disabilities are increasing globally. This augmentation includes a boost in substance use disorders, which means more people are consuming alcohol and/or other narcotics. In the United States alone, recent statistics indicate 22% of adults suffer from depressive symptoms. Further statistics suggest one in every four adults in the United States experience a diagnosable mental health condition in a given year.

The following activities are helpful to combat the ever-growing mental health epidemic:

  • Maintaining physical health, which includes eating healthily as well as keeping active. In fact, studies indicate exercise increases dopamine for up to two hours following activity.

  • Staying connected socially

  • Helping others

  • Reaching a mental state of flow. Flow is defined as being completely absorbed in and focused on an activity.

  • Asking for help; a.k.a. talking to someone

Talking with a trained mental health counselor can also help. To speak to a counselor on staff at Butterflies Prospering Wellness Co., contact or call 254-213-9348.

March is National Disability Awareness Month. In general, disabilities can be divided into four categories:

  1. Physical: disabilities thwarting regular body movement and control; i.e. cerebral palsy and spina bifida

  2. Developmental: disabilities originating from mental and/or physical impairments; i.e. autism spectrum disorder

  3. Behavioral or emotional: disabilities that hinder learning and/or building or maintaining interpersonal relationships; i.e. bipolar and attention deficit disorder

  4. Sensory: disabilities obstructing one or more senses; i.e. visual and/or auditory impairment

As society becomes more aware of special needs, recognition of and language surrounding those with impairments has changed. Generally speaking, speech trends surrounding limitations have become more positive rather than negative.

For instance, language emphasizing a person’s lack or inability has been replaced with labels indicating giftedness or uniqueness. An example of this shift would be recognizing someone as a “person using a hearing device” rather than identifying him or her as “deaf.” This linguistic change also accentuates a person’s abilities rather than disabilities.


Living disconnected from those with differing abilities does not benefit either party.


Connecting with others who have differing abilities also develops empathy. For example, a friend whose son is autistic recently began visiting a family whose daughter deals with cerebral palsy. The son began playfully using the daughter’s wheelchair, and my friend asked her parents if this behavior was acceptable. They stated it was and that they did not mind if her son navigated the wheelchair. My friend later realized her son’s use of the device presented opportunities for empathy by allowing him to perceive life from that of someone with cerebral palsy.

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