Monday, December 8, 2008

Tension and Stress Relief

By virtue of being alive, we are subjected to stress. It may be hard to believe, but a certain amount of stress in our lives is essential to our well-being. When we feel stress, it can be a strong motivator for making positive changes in our lives. It is a built in warning system that let’s know something is wrong and we need to make changes. We then make those changes and the stress is relieved.

However, there are times when we are not able to make the needed changes and we find it more difficult to adapt to our current environment. Often, we are not able to separate out facts from our feelings. We need to keep our facts and feelings separated. Just because we are having a feeling does not make it a fact. For instance, if you are feeling stupid, it does not mean that you are stupid in fact. But, confusing the feeling of being stupid as a fact will cause a person to feel anxiety and in turn bring more stress into their lives.

For any particular issue that is causing you stress, write down on a piece of paper all of your feelings associated with that issue then next to that list, write down all of the facts associate with that issue. In most cases, after doing this, you will see the situation more clearly and this will tend to reduce the amount of stress you are feeling surrounding that particular issue.
Our thinking often affects our feelings. By changing what we think, we can change how we are feeling, thus reducing stress.

If you find that you are having negative thoughts about a particular issue, try to change that thought to a more positive one by telling yourself something that feels better concerning the issue. Practicing a positive affirmation can do this.

Another way of reducing stress in your life is to schedule an activity you enjoy doing. Schedule to do it a little everyday. If you were not sure what that would be, take a moment and write down a list of all of the past activities you can think of that you have enjoyed doing. If possible, schedule one or more of those activities on a daily basis into your life.

For more information on stress relief log onto For convenient self-help/hypnosis downloads for stress relief, or to listen to a free sample, log onto Tension Relief at You may also want to check out Dr. Walton's sleep album, Stress Relief and Deep Sleep.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Orientation and Not A Choice:

In 1991 Simon Le Vey, the well known neurobiologist, discovered that homosexuality was biologically determined, as opposed to environmentally caused. He discovered that the hypothalamus of the average homosexual man was smaller than the one found in heterosexual men. This discovery lent strong credence to the biological theory of homosexuality in opposition to the old idea that homosexuality was caused by the environment or as choice made from a side effect of “weak” morals. People who have erroneously operated out of the belief that homosexuality was environmentally caused have cause irrespirable emotional and psychological damage to their gay children in a futile attempt to usurp nature.

This erroneous and archaic understanding implied, if not outright stated, that homosexuality is caused by poor parenting skills, something that anti-gay parents abhor. This belief maintains that homosexual men did not have a "normal" development and are therefore unhealthy. Certainly, no parent wants to be held responsible for causing such damage to their very own child.

Gay men have been made to feel as though they were somehow flawed right from the beginning of their childhood. If only they had the right and normal experiences when growing up, maybe they would have turned out "normal" in their sexuality like their heterosexual counterparts. This labeling and looking for causes for homosexuality has done more harm than good for the self-esteem of gay men and women. Just the suggestion of a cause for homosexuality implies the possibility of a "cure" for their "disorder." The self esteem of gay men and women is not served by such implied beliefs.

According to Richard A. Isay, M.D., the strained relationship between a gay child and the family may be a result, rather than the cause, of a child's development of homosexual orientation. It is a widely held belief backed by research that gay males experience a high proportion of hostile or withdrawing fathers. Isay, however, proposes that it is the fathers who are reacting to their sons' homosexuality with withdraw and hostility, rather than the hostility and anger causing the homosexuality. It is from this withdraw and hostility that the gay child begins to develop a lower sense of self-esteem.

Fathers of gay sons may become aware of their child's differences at some time in the early development of the child and have a sense that the child is closer to them than what they expected or for what society deems normal. Some fathers grow very uncomfortable with this sense of closeness or difference and reject the child through either withdrawing or by becoming hostile towards the child. It is the father's initiative to reject the child not the other way around. The reasons for this rejection has more to do with the father's sense of insecurity than with the child's actual "deviant" behavior.

It is also probable that the father feels some sense of responsibility and guilt for his son's being gay. It might be difficult for a father to face the son or even be able to stand the feelings that might be associated with the thought of having caused his son to be gay. Isay proposes that gay male children do go through an Oedipal phase of development, but it differs from the heterosexual experience in that the love attachment is to the father rather than to the mother. It is at this point that the father becomes uncomfortable with his son and begins the hostile or withdrawing behavior. Most gay men would deny this original erotic attachment to their fathers. This is apparently a natural aversion response children, straight and gay, have to incest. Rejection by the father is very confusing to a young gay child.

Gay sons have been accused throughout history as being mama's boys. Society shifts as much blame on the mother as on the father for raising a gay son. The mothers of gay sons are viewed as dominating, doting and castrating women. Popular belief has it that these women squelch the masculinity out of these boys so much that they do not know how to behave as men. It is also believed that gay men are afraid of women as a result of the behavior of their mothers.

Any way one looks at it, the mothers of gay sons are condemned by society, as much as, the fathers. It is no wonder that parents of gay sons feel a tremendous amount of shame when they discover that their child is gay. They are very much aware of how society will view them as parents. In many instances, they feel shame and anger over the child's admission of being gay which they direct to the child. Often they feel as failures having let their child and family down and that they have caused this to happen in some way.

If it were true that gay men had such oppressive mothers, they would probably not be able to handle relationships with women of any kind because of having projected the bad part of their mothers onto them. However, many gay men are able to seek out and enjoy healthy and fulfilling relationships with women. As a result, gay men have long been fervent supporters of women's rights. In a survey of 312 homosexual men three quarters of them had at least 1 heterosexual experience since puberty and 98 of those men were either married or living with a female lover for three months or longer (McWhirter & Mattison, 1984, p. 270).

In reality, the mother becomes the only ally the child has when the father rejects him. A mother may or may not be able to sense the child's latent homosexuality, but she can clearly recognize when the father is rejecting or hostile to the child. For these reasons, the mother may find herself defending the gay child in front of the father more often than she might with the other heterosexual children in the family. It is only common sense that if the child has been rejected by the father, he would seek out his mother for the attention he could not receive from his father. In many cases, it is actually the mother who requests that the son not tell the father. Although this may appear on the surface as a manipulation of the mother to distance the father from the son, in reality, the mother has been witness to the hostility of the father and in most cases is probably trying to protect the son from further assault and harm from the father.

If environmental causes are paramount for the creation of a gay child, then we would expect to see evidence of such a belief by a high rate of homosexuality in the other children who are growing up in the same environment. This has not turned out to be the case. Out of a study of 312 gay men, only two and a half percent of the siblings were known to be gay (McWhirter & Mattison, 1984, p. 182). That is one half to one quarter of the estimated percentage of gay people in the general population, which is estimated to be somewhere between 7% and 10% of the population. Such widely held beliefs beg the question, if environment is the cause, why are all of the children within this type of family not gay? Such a question seems to expose the unreasonableness of these archaic beliefs.

These kinds of experiences can be very damaging to a developing gay boy. As the child grows up and develops into an adult, the models he has had for relationships have been fraught with hostility, rejection and shame. The child now leaves the home, and hopefully at some point acknowledges his homosexuality and may desire to enter into a relationship with another man.

In conclusion, the hostility of the father and the protection of the mother are the result of the parents' reactions to the child's latent homosexuality rather than the cause of the child's gay orientation. It is the dysfunctional family constellation that pathologizes his future love relationships. However, a gay man who has experienced a tumultuous childhood, can overcome his liabilities of the past and enjoy a rich, fulfilling and healthy love relationship as can any human being. The only choice these individuals face is not in their orientation but whether or not to be honest.

For more information on sexual development and orientation log onto or for more information on self-help downloads, and to listen to free downloads, log onto The Dr. Walton Series.


Clark, D. (1978). Loving someone gay. New York: New American Library.

Isay, R. (1989). Being homosexual: Gay men and their development. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux.

Lewes, K. (1988). The psychoanalytic theory of male homosexuality. New York: Simon and Schuster.

McWhirter, D. & Mattison, A. (1984). The male couple. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Beebe, J. (1993, March). The individuation of homosexuality. Unpublished lecture, Pacifica Graduate Institute, Carpinteria, CA.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Learning & Memory - Making it more effective

Learning and memory take place in three stages. The first stage is the sensory stage. In this stage, information is retained very briefly, less than one second. It is retained just long enough for us to develop a perception about the information.

The second stage involves the short term memory. It lasts about 30 seconds if we don’t rehearse the information we have just received. However, it is very limited. We will hold things in short term memory for only as long as we recite it in our minds. It is also limited to about seven items at a time. We can increase our short term memory by “chunking” information into units of items with no more than seven items per unit and limiting the number of units to seven. That is how phone numbers are organized. They are given three units with three to four numbers each such as 818-555-4444.

Where short term memory can be considered as the RAM of a CPU. Long term memory can be considered the hard drive. It is believed that long term memory is permanent. Everything that goes into the long term memory is considered stored forever. However, we may actually lose our ability to locate that information.

Even though long term memory is permanent, it may not be accurate. Over time and very slowly, our memory changes. You might consider tiny bits of information falling out over time and then being replaced by other bits. Over time, we believe we have an accurate memory when in reality it has changed slowly over time. To test out this theory, just ask any adult about a shared childhood experience with a sibling. More than likely, they will both have a different memory of the exact same experience and they will both staunchly believe that they their own memory is right. And to each of them it is. This is a simple demonstration of how memory can change over time.

The most important part of dropping information into long term memory is to be optimistic about learning. Give yourself positive self-talk about remembering the topic. You must also have the intention to remember something if you are going to place it effectively into long term memory.

If you are studying to learn a subject or to take an exam it is important that you only study for 50 minutes to an hour and then take a ten minute break. The break is essential for dropping the information into the long term memory. During that 10 minute break do something completely different. Relax, talk on the phone, listen to some music or go for a walk.

When you come back from your break, review the information that have just studied for a minute or two then go onto the new information you want to learn.

The brain can hold an infinite amount of information and knowledge. In fact, the more you learn the easier it is to learn even more.

We are able to place information more easily in long term memory when we attach new information to previously learned information. Long term memory works better if material is repeatedly gone over, over a long period.

When studying from a book, spend an hour reading while highlighting in different inks and taking notes in the margins of the book. We remember whatever stands out. So, make your notes colorful and scribble notes in the margins. After an hour, remember to take a 10 to 15 minute break. The breaks are as important as the study time.

It is also helpful to break information down into smaller, more manageable sections. Remember, short term memory can only hold up to seven units at a time. If it doesn’t pass through short term memory, it won’t pass through to long term memory.

Try using Acronyms so that you can remember groups of words together such as NBA for National Basketball Association, SCUBA for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus, etc.

It is also important to be relaxed when you study. If you are anxious, you cannot hold as much information in short term memory.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Releasing Road Rage for a Better Driving Experience

Anger is an emotion that we are highly resistant to releasing. Once we are caught in its grasp we hold onto it by repeating the angering incident over and over in our head. Research has shown that people who suffer from chronic anger are almost three times more likely to have a heart attack than the average individual and this is according to the American psychological association.

However, our experience with anger doesn’t have to be this way. We can gain the upper hand of this emotion by changing the way we think and altering our emotional responses to it. When it comes to road rage, notice if your hands are gripping the steering wheel in an unusually tight manner. If they are, gently relax your hands while maintaining control of the steering wheel.

Notice your breathing. Notice if your breathing is free and easy or if you’re holding your breath and your breathing is shallow. By not breathing properly, we can amplify the physical sensations associated with aggression that can contribute to dangerous driving. It’s important for you to breathe deeply through your nose filling your lungs to their capacity and then exhale completely through your mouth. As you exhale allow your body to relax into a comfortable driving position. Repeat this often as necessary to help reduce any physical tension you may experience behind the wheel.

What we are listening to on the radio while we are diving is important as well. Often times, our mood will reflect or be affected by the words and style of the music we are listening to. Hard music with a driving beat often times will stimulate and agitate while music with a soothing melody will relax us. Soothing music is always preferable to listen to if you are feeling agitated while driving.

Whenever possible, make sure that you have fresh air ventilation circulating in the car. Circulating fresh air can have a calming effect. It is easy and common to feel a sense of isolation from our environment when driving behind the wheel of our car. We are separated from everyone around us and we lose touch with their humanity and view the other drivers as objects in our way intent on preventing us from arriving at our destination.

Often, we take their driving behavior personally, as if they were intending to block our path. This is not usually the case. Imagine for a moment, if you will, the annoying driver in front of you is actually a beloved relative, say your favorite grandmother. How would you be feeling towards them now? Can you think of a loving experience you shared with that individual at one time?

Notice your body’s reaction to this thought. Notice how your thoughts affect your feelings about the others around you when you do this. You may find you driving becoming more relaxed and your ability to focus grow stronger.

No matter how many obstacles you come across on your journey, whether you have a car cut in front of you or a driver driving unreasonably slow, you are always in control of your thoughts and actions and you can protect yourself and those around you by driving in manner that is safe and responsible.

Remember everyone around you is loved by somebody just as you love and were loved by your favorite relative. Feel those protective feelings as you are driving on the road.We have all experienced an aggressive driver, a sudden stop, an erratic gesture or other discourteous experience from another motorist. We’ve all been there, everyone you see around you has experience this for themselves at some point as well. Keep this in mind. Any frustration that you are experiencing on the road has been shared by others around you at some point during their own driving experience.
Will this frustrating experience really matter a week from now, is it worth arriving at your destination angry? Is it worth the risk of being involved in an accident?

Use this experience as a catalyst for changing your thoughts to change your mood to have a better day.

When driving and feeling some frustration, take a deep breath slowly through your nose and gently exhale through your mouth and tell yourself “I am in control of my thoughts and actions and my safety and the safety of my passengers is foremost in my mind as I bring us to our destination safely.”

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Responding to Crisis, Trauma and Natural Disasters

Natural disasters and their increasing destructiveness are becoming a part of the American landscape. Leaving scars, not only on the land and the livelihoods of those affected but leaving scars on the psyches of the survivors as well. One only needs to look back at New Orleans and more recently to the mid-west for recent examples. More than ever, we need a greater understanding on how to cope with natural disasters both large and small.

On January, 16, 1994, I was settled into a deep sleep, comfortable in my bed and safe in my home when suddenly, at 4 AM, the ground began to shake fiercely. I missed the initial shaking lost in my slumber. Suddenly, I awaken to a horrible grinding and growling coming from every direction of my bedroom. The ground is moving violently and I hang on for dear life to a bed that is trying to throw me off. Things are crashing all around me. My thoughts began to race uncontrollably, “Don’t let go, just don’t let go.” “Oh God, what is happening?”

Flashes of blue light from exploding transformers illuminate the room with rapid brilliance then fade through the curtains of my bedroom window. Things keep crashing to the ground; floor boards and wall studs creak and moan threateningly as the angry earth throws my home in its fit of rage. “Will it hold?” I’m frightened it won’t. It feels as if the world is coming to an end. Its fury is a monster released upon my home and me and it’s out to destroy us both. No time to think, just hold onto the bed, just hold on.

Then, as suddenly as it began, it stopped. Only the sound of car alarms echoing from within the blackness of the skyline can be heard off in the distance. One by one, they too become silent; then nothing. No sound, no light, just an ear crushing silence blanketing the night on a devastated landscape.

House to house my neighbors and I begin knocking on doors; “Is everybody alright?” can be heard echoing in the night up and down the street. Children put in cars, injured attended to; neighbors who have never before spoken to each other standing shoulder to shoulder helping one another.

When we have done what we can, we gather together in the street dazed and shocked. We come together to admire the now visible Milky Way whose brilliance, for the first time, can be seen from our street in the absolute darkness. Like a silent sentry it stands above us giving comfort in the stillness as we wait for the approaching daylight and the dawn of an unknown future.

Earthquakes, floods, terrorist attacks and all other disasters, natural or manmade, can be devastating on our sense of self and sense of safety. We are aware that, in Southern California, we live in an earthquake prone area. However, their lack of predictable activity and the long lag times between them can lull us into complacency. The same can be said for terrorist attacks as well.

We must live with an underlying, and reasonable, anxiety that a major disaster could happen. However, people are very adaptable by nature and in order to live with this chronic anxiety, we learn to turn it off. Over time, we become less responsive to the anxiety signals that are intended to protect us from danger.

This is the fight/flight response and we need to dull it to go on with life in a normal way. A good example of this can be observed in modern Israel where terrorist attacks have become a way of life. Yes, they are tragic, but people adapt and life goes on around them. We are designed, as human beings, to do this. We are very adaptable, so we are adapting to our environment of anxiety by turning it off. An unfortunate consequence of this natural adaptation is to not fully prepare for the possible crisis.

After a disaster hits, we feel disbelief and shock. We can become disoriented, have difficulty making decisions and experience feelings of anxious and moodiness. Often, people will feel apathy and emotional numbing accompanied by depression and reoccurring thoughts about the event. Insomnia and nightmares are also common. These are all signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The two strongest factors influencing and individual’s recovery from PTSD are the intensity of the life stressors that were occurring before the trauma and the social support network they have with others. Negative social support, such as family members’ critical comments about the length of time taken for recovery, can make a victim’s recovery time drag on even longer.

A trauma victim must start dealing with his or her feelings immediately after the event, or they can become harmful to their mental and physical health. Here are some tips for handling those feelings. Talk about the event as much as you want by sharing your feelings with those who are willing to listen. Spend more time with friends and family. Make sure to care for yourself by getting enough rest, exercise and proper nutrition.

As you are able, return to as normal of a routine as possible. Meaning, if possible, eat meals at the usual time, go to bed at the usual time, etc. Ask for help when you need it. Don’t try to cope by yourself. Receiving help is not a sign of weakness. Help others. This can be a wonderful way of regaining a personal sense of fulfillment and empowerment during a time when personal power appears to have been stripped from us at a moment’s notice.

Allow children to be more dependent than usual. Often, children and adolescents will temporarily regress to acting younger than their age. Allow this to occur without shaming them. And of course, avoid drugs and excessive drinking. They can ultimately compound the stress by creating additional problems during a time of crisis.

It is common for people to not feel the symptoms of PTSD until after the adrenalin rush of the initial shock has worn off. It can take from days to months for this to occur. This is why some people behave as strong, steady, clearheaded heroes during the initial experience of a trauma and end up depressed or suffering nightmares after the event has passed.

Given the horror of a disaster, there is also opportunity for personal growth. A disaster can “shake” us out of our old patterns of thinking by allowing us an opportunity to view our selves and lives differently. By helping others, we meet the real self that lies beneath the surface of our once complacent exterior. And, like the Milky Way, it is often best revealed in the darkest of moments.

Log onto for more information on PTSD, stress and anxiety. Take a free personality quiz to see how you respond to stress. Log onto Stress Relief & Deep Sleep, or Tension Relief for free samples of anxiety and tension relief downloads.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Healing from Grief

Grief is something we will all experience in our lives. Because we live, form attachments and love, we experience grief when these attachments and bonds are broken. It makes little difference if the break in the bond was intentional as through a decision we make, or unintentional resulting from death or the actions of another. If we had formed a bond, then we will experience grief if it is broken.

Our experience of grief is an essential process for healing from a loss. Experiencing grief is unavoidable if we are to heal. Everyone experiences grief in their own time and manner. Through the processes of grief, we both cry and laugh as we remember the individual. It is a process of integrating the reality of the loss into our lives in a way that allows us to move forward in our own life.

During the first part of the grief, we may not want to accept the reality of what has just occurred. It seems unreal, unfathomable. We then may enter a place where we may feel angry with the other person for leaving and we feel abandoned or victimized. Under that anger is our pain. It’s another indication of how deeply we loved that person. This is good, because we are getting in touch with our feelings and it shows us that we did love that person and we are angry at their loss.

We may then try to make deals with God or ourselves to bring them back, for instance, “I promise to go to church every Sunday for the rest of my life if you just bring him back.”

As the reality of the loss sinks deeper into our consciousness, we may experience a feeling of hopelessness, deep sadness and depression. This is the phase most commonly recognized in the grief process. This phase allows us to shut down and go quiet so that we may heal on the inside. We are finally acknowledging the loss but we are physically and mentally slowed down by the depression.

This slowing down process brought about by the depression allows us to gradually come to the acceptance of what has actually occurred. This is a very important part of healing from the loss and should not be rushed or avoided. Ultimately, it is a sign that you are healing. At times, we can feel all of these phases at once and sometimes we just jump around from one to the other in no particular order.

Finally, at some point, we experience a sense of acceptance for the loss. Acceptance does not mean that we like it, but we stop fighting our loss and that gives us permission to move forward and live. When we come to acceptance, we once again begin to listen to and take care of our own needs. We reach out to others and we reaffirm old relationships and we engage in new ones.

In the meantime, find those things that you enjoy doing, that give you a sense of rest from your emotions, and do those things without casting judgment on yourself. In time, you will heal.

For more information on grief and healing and a free personality profile, check out For more information on self-help downloads, and to listen to free samples, log onto The Dr. Walton Series.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

How Do I Know If My Child Has ADD?

School is back in session and the kids are settling into their academic routines with vigor and gusto. They eagerly prepare for school the night before, completing their homework, doing their chores, and even laying their cloths out for the next day. Standing at the front door, a gentle breeze blowing, bells in the distance chiming, you bid them good bye with a small kiss and pat on the head as you send them off to another perfect day of school. No arguments, no nagging, it’s just those darn bells keep ringing and getting louder and louder. You awaken suddenly. Dazed and confused. Oh no! It’s 7:00 AM!

It’s Monday. “Kids!” you scream. “Get up!” “Hurry, we’re late for school!” A flurry of activity springs into action and Monday mayhem begins all over again. “Why didn’t you tell me that your school report was due today?” can be heard over the din of activity. The flush of panic grips your heart. You wonder how will this kid ever make it if he doesn’t follow through with his homework and pay attention in school. Is there something wrong with him? Is there something wrong with you?

Children who experience difficulty finishing tasks, who are easily distracted, who squirm or fidget, talk excessively, appear to not be listening, are often forgetful, interrupt others and exhibit a greater than average amount of body movement are possible candidates for a diagnosis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

It runs in families because it has a very strong link to genetics.
More often than not, if a child in the family has ADHD, there is a good chance that at least one parent experiences it as well. In reality, approximately 3% to 5% of school age children can be diagnosed with ADHD. Up to 70% of those children will continue to experience ADHD into adulthood.

It is very difficult to diagnose ADHD in someone younger than the age of 6. Often, what appears as ADHD in a young child is the result of environmental factors at home such as lack of structure and/or poor diet. Once those factors are remedied, the disruptive ADHD like behaviors frequently clear up.

ADHD in a child can be diagnosed by a psychiatrist, child psychologist or other licensed mental health professional. Generally, the child must be showing six or more specific symptoms on a regular basis over a period of six months or longer. Although recent developments have been made in identifying the differences between and individual with ADHD and an individual without ADHD in Magnetic Brain Imaging, it is still a diagnosis more commonly made through behavioral observation by a qualified professional.

There are three subtypes of ADHD:

Combined Type (Inattentive/Hyperactive/Impulsive). Children of this subtype experience all three symptoms. Children experience this form of ADHD the most.

Hyperactive/Impulsive Type. Children of this group exhibit both hyperactive and impulsive behavior; however, they are able to focus their attention.

Inattentive Type. This subtype was once known as attention deficit disorder (ADD). These children are not impulsive or hyperactive, however, they have great difficulty staying focused and on task. Because they are not disruptive, their symptoms frequently go unnoticed.
ADHD is most commonly, and effectively, treated with stimulant medications along with educational programs and behavioral interventions. The list of stimulant medications used for treating ADHD include: Ritalin, Adderall and Concerta. These stimulants are designed to help the ADHD child ignore distractions and focus his or her attention on the task.

A new, non-stimulant, medication has entered the market called Strattera. Its effectiveness is not yet fully proven; however, the early results are quite promising. All medications come with the possible risk of side effects, so be sure to speak with your physician about those possibilities.

Children with ADHD benefit greatly from structure and routine. They would rather play than do homework. They have more difficulty with the rules that govern behaviors. They tend to drift away from following established rules which can put them at odds with the people around them.

ADHD often becomes apparent in the fourth grade. This is a time emphasis is place on working alone while sitting quietly at a desk. This can be an incredibly difficult task for children with ADHD.

Accurate diagnosis and treatment for a child with ADHD is critical. Children with ADHD are frequently suffer the brunt of jokes and teasing at school. Their impulsivity can draw attention to themselves making them targets of negative attention from other children, teachers and authority figures. Their behavior affects their social and emotional development and can cause them to lag behind other children their own age. Children with ADHD have a higher incidence of learning disabilities and conduct disorders. They are also at much greater risk of experiencing anxiety and depression than the general population. Thus, early diagnosis and treatment is important for the well-being of the child.

Once the symptoms of ADHD have been addressed and treated, the natural energy, creativity and drive of the individual can be transformed into something wonderful and fully appreciated. According to, Ansel Adams, George Burns, Jim Carrey, Cher, Bill Cosby, Walt Disney, Albert Einstein, John F. Kennedy and many, many other famous, and highly successful people, have used their symptoms of ADHD make our world a better place.

If you suspect that your child might have ADHD please seek out a psychiatrist, child psychologist or other qualified licensed professional in your area for an accurate diagnosis and treatment. If you child has been diagnosed with ADHD, you may want to speak with the school counselor for further information on resources and programs that may be available to your child through the school. For the parents of a child with ADHD, is a good resource for current information and support.

For more information on ADD and childhood issues, and a free personality profile go to For more information on self-help downloads, and to listen to free samples, log onto The Dr. Walton Series.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Marriage and Relationships - making them work

Each spring, the sound of wedding bells fill the air. It’s a time of love, of hope and of high expectations. The famous German playwright, Johan Wolfgang von Goethe, said it best when he said, “Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing; a confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished.”

The concept for marriage out of love is a relatively new experience that began in Europe around 1100 ad. Up until that point, all marriages everywhere were arranged marriages based on political and financial alliances. A practice that continues to remain true for the majority of marriages around the world today.

By the late 1500’s, the idea of marriage based on love had taken hold in Europe inspiring Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Marriage became a decision made between the husband and wife. Shakespeare’s work explored the ecstasies of passion and the devastating consequences of fiery passion not balanced with a realistic perspective. And what blinded his heroic lovers to the realistic perspective that could have saved their lives and marriage? It was their unrealistic expectations.

Their unrealistic expectations swept them off their feet from their passionate beginning and carried them off to their tragic end. What was true in the time of Shakespeare continues to hold true today; if we allow our expectations of love to run our romance, we will never see the other person, or the marriage itself, in a realistic light. Our unrealistic expectations invite the poison pill of Shakespeare’s tragedy into our own world. Our unrealistic expectations will kill our relationship.

Statistically, arranged marriages experience lower rates of divorce than love based marriages. The reason is that the participants of arranged marriages have lower expectations of their partners. Individuals enter into arranged marriages with lower expectations and therefore experience less disappointment.

They realize that if this arranged marriage is going to work, then they have to accept responsibility for their part in creating harmony and caring with this stranger in their bed. Right from the start, they have to work on it. They do not have the luxury of depending on love to carry them through. If their marriage is going to survive, then they have to make decisions based upon what is good for the relationship. What is true for them is also true for you. If you marriage is going to survive, then you both must begin basing your decisions on what is good for the relationship above what is good for each of you alone.

With divorce rates in this nation nearing the 50 percent mark, I see one and only one culprit: unrealistic expectations. We often expect that marriage, and surely our spouses, will rescue us from our feelings of isolation and loneliness. Love will conquer all. I can assure you that it will not. Marriage is not a solution for loneliness. Under the right circumstances, two can be a lonelier number than one.

There are some things you can do to improve your marital odds. First, and foremost, lower your expectations of what your marriage and your partner are going to do for you. Healthy relationships are created by our participation in them. They are not bestowed upon us through passive participation.

By enacting decisions based upon what is good for the relationship, we help them to grow. Your marriage should be treated as a living being under your care whose health is dependent upon your attention. Your marriage is not there to be your servant. That attitude will quickly drain the vibrancy of your love and leave you to wallow in your disappointment. To have a successful marriage, we must become the loving servants of our marriage and by doing so, we will enjoy the all the gifts that a growing, healthy, and deeply loving relationship can bring.

As young lovers move forward into this wonderful and exciting time of their lives above all else, they would do well to lower what they expect out of their partner. Instead, they might consider what they can contribute ahead of what they will receive. By doing so, the magic of love is allowed to do its work in their lives.

For more information on couples and marriage go to and get your free relationship profile or log onto Surviving the Wedding for free samples of premarital downloads. You may also want to check out Dr. Walton's acclaimed Anger Management download. Catch Dr. Walton discussing how to make a marriage work on YouTube.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Internet Dating - getting the most out of it

When Valentines Day arrives, for many singles, the incessant reminders of red hearts and beautiful bouquets only add to their feelings of aloneness. Armed with an arsenal of internet sites that promise a lifetime of happiness, they join in droves. But, do those services really work?

Of all the cultural changes that were taking place at the turn of the 21st century, the introduction of internet dating has to be at the top of the list. With a stoke of a key, an individual searching for true love can have at their disposal more potential ex’s than at any other time in history. What an amazing time we live in.

Technology leading the way in the pursuit of love is actually not a new concept. Rather, it is nearly as old as civilization itself. The creation of mail service allowed people to court each other from different towns within the same area. The invention of the locomotive allowed people from farther distances to court each other. That invention fundamentally, and single-handedly, changed the genetic makeup of the world’s population forever by allowing people from great distances opportunities to form relationships.

The eventual invention of the telephone and air travel only increased the mixing of the world population not only within countries, but between continents as well. All of those inventions were the cutting edge technologies of their day for bringing people together to date and fall in love. It is fitting then, that at the dawn of this century, mankind has created, yet again, another means by which to meet and fall in: the Internet.

Yes, the Internet is here to stay and along with it Internet dating as well. Yes, Internet dating is as legitimate of a way to find true love as any of the other means in our cache of resources. However, the Internet turns the progression to coupling bliss on its head.Traditionally, people have met face to face, typically by chance, before embarking on an exchange of information and courtship. Surprisingly, the most common place for potential partners to meet has been at the work place. The advent of Internet dating is challenging that contender and moving it from the workplace to the privacy of our homes, or more accurately our computers.

Internet dating was once considered by some psychotherapists as a defense against intimacy used only by those who were afraid to reveal themselves in an authentic way or for those who were looking for fast anonymous sex. This may have been true at the very beginning; however, that is not the case today.

Today, the majority of people who turn to Internet dating are seeking out meaningful relationships. The Internet is a wonderful tool. In our busy society, professionals often have a difficult time finding the time to meet people. Internet dating services allow individuals to seek out potential dates while maximizing their efforts by having access to hundreds of potentials at their fingertips. These services also allow individuals to define parameters for potential mates that help to narrow down the search to people that might interest them.

However, Internet dating is far from perfect. People can distort, exaggerate or outright lie about themselves. Most of it is harmless and is based in feelings of insecurity and a desire to be accepted. The most common mistruths presented by men on the Internet are adding an inch to their height, shaving a couple of years off their age or adding a few dollars to their income.

Women tend to shave off a few pounds with an occasional year or two. A simple way to uncover a mistruth about age is to ask candidly, “What year did you graduate high school?” Most people know that answer right off the tip of their tongue. Any extended hesitation begins to feel like a calculation is being made. A person who is basically honest but feeling insecure with his or her age will often take that opportunity to confess the mistruth. If this is the case, deal with it in an understanding manner. After all, this is a person who can actually admit when they are wrong. Not such a bad find.

Presenting a mistruth in your profile is certainly not recommended. Your potential date will eventually find out the truth and may feel deceived by you if you allowed it to continue. That is not a good idea if you want to build trust a new relationship.If you do encounter one of those mistruths, it does not have to be cause for ending the relationship. Instead, turn it into an opportunity to discuss what honesty and trust in a relationship mean to each of you. Now, if you uncover a lie that is more than a small shave here or there, then it may be time to blow the whistle and drop the flag on that relationship. There is no need to stay with someone you don’t trust when there are so many potential people out there you could trust.

The real trick to dating on the Internet is to keep your email communications short and sweet. Keep your emails limited to four or five sentences. The entire point of email communication is to move the conversation to telephone communication. When you have made phone contact, you want to move it along to a face to face meeting.

All of this technological progress in the arena of dating is great, but it doesn’t, and never will, replace good old fashioned, interpersonal one-on-one time for getting to know another person. So yes, Internet dating services really do work by giving you the opportunity to meet more people than you ever could without them. However, like a good pair of running shoes, they can get you to the finish line faster but you still have to run the race yourself.

For more information on on-line dating go to and get your personality profile. For more information on self-help downloads, and to listen to free samples, log onto The Dr. Walton Series.