Why the Self-Help Industry is Contributing to the Loneliness Epidemic & What We Can Do About It. UPDATE FROM DR. CAROLINE LEAF
The self-help industry appears, from its name alone, to be a good thing: who doesn’t want to help themselves? Who doesn’t want to be more independent and self-sufficient? However, as I discuss in this week’s blog and podcast, it does have a darker side, and can often make us more self-involved and isolated, which, in turn, can have a negative affect on both our mental and physical health.
In many cases, the $45 billion dollar a year self-help industry is problematic because it promotes the idea that to be better you have to focus on the self as an individual, which is only half the picture. Yes, we do need to take the time to see to our own health and work on ourselves, both mentally and physically (as I have mentioned many times before!), but this is not the be all and end all of life. A “me, myself and I” mentality tends to distort our perspectives and values, impacting the way we see and interact with those around us and setting up negative feedback loops in the brain that impact our overall health and wellbeing.
“Some of my earliest childhood memories revolve around dogs & horses" says Sandra LaFlamme, a Iowa native from Mt. Pleasant, and head injury survivor who serves as President for National PTSD Service Association. "Success through guided recovery has always been one of my greatest teachers and now I am giving that gift to those who served our Country.”
Today Sandra fondly recalls how her grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, and cousins would all gather to ride & show horses, sitting around in a horse show arena with a judge in the center. “Working with dogs to assist people is like opening presents on Christmas morning—I know the gift of getting out of confusion and achieving success brings the whole family together in celebration like horses did for me.”
In 2016, Sandra and her husband Mark LaFlamme USAF Retired collaborated to form NPTSD.org and plant the gift that they both have so richly received. Helping 100's and striving to help 1000's of lives affected by PTSD.