Tuesday, October 11, 2011

October is...

It's that time of year again, folks! It's the time of year when the weather starts to chill, the trees start to turn pretty colors, and we all take the time to slow down in preparation for winter.

It's also important that we slow down and take some time to learn how to prevent, prepare, and learn how to deal with a few other things.

As most of you know, I'm sure, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This is the month when we'll see rampant "awareness campaigns" all over Facebook where women boast the color of their bras, where they like to keep their purses, and more recently, how far "along" they are and what they're craving based upon their birthday.

Now, don't get me wrong, copy and paste status games can be fun, but let's get real here. How much are these games really helping? Are you aware of how much they're hurting? I'm not here to preach about that, but if you think these posts are harmless, please go read this post before participating in another copy/paste awareness campaign.

Personally, I think that it's more fun and helpful to go out and find information to share about breast cancer and its prevention. Last year I posted a few facts each week on my Facebook page, and I was astounded to find that I knew several women who had no idea that you're supposed to do a monthly self-check. So even the most seemingly trivial information can be incredibly helpful.

Here's a short list of a few places to get some information to share:

Susan G. Komen for the Cure


The World Health Oranization's Cancer Info Page

Also, for those breastfeeding mamas out there, there is a game that you can take part in to help spread the word! Last year, some friends of mine started a game to help spread the word that for each year you breastfeed, you reduce your risk of getting breast cancer by 4.3%. If you'd like to read more about it, you can do so here.

A little lesser known fact is that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

According to the Domestic Violence Awareness Project,

Domestic Violence is best understood as a pattern of abusive behaviors -- including physical, sexual, and psychological attacks, as well as economic coercion -- used by one intimate partner against another (adult or  adolescent) to gain, maintain, or regain power and control in the relationship. Batterers use a range of tactics to frighten, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, often injure, and sometimes kill a current or former intimate partner.

Did you know that one in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime? Yeah, it's rampant, people. Someone you know is experiencing it as you are reading this. That is why it is SO important to know the signs and what you can to do help.

A few good places to turn for this information are:

The Domestic Violence Awareness Project

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (pdf)

The Domestic Violence Resource Center (Be sure to check out the drop-down menu under "Resources.")

And last, but not least, October is host to ADHD Awareness week, which starts next Sunday, October 16th, and lasts until Saturday, October 22nd. ADHD affects more people that you probably realize, covering 9.5% of our children and 4.4% of American adults. Up to 30% of those children and 25-40% of those adults have co-existing anxiety disorders. It's important to know the symptoms of this disorder so that you can begin to get treatment, should that be necessary. If left untreated, ADHD can contribute to problems in school, problems with overeating and obesity, problems with relationships, and problems with the law, just to name a few.

Please take a few moments and go check out the ADHD Awareness Week website. They've got a lot of information as well as a lot of links to click through and read more.