17-26 Segment 2: Children and Social Anxiety


 

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, fifteen million Americans or 13% suffer from social anxiety. It is the most common form of anxiety and the fourth most common mental illness. Adolescence is typically where experts find the most onset of this disorder.

The opinions of peers can negatively affect any adolescent into thinking they do not belong. Some young adults and teenagers become so influenced by the opinions of others they develop social anxiety. According to Jennifer Shannon, co-founder of Santa Rose Center for Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, social anxiety is an anxiety disorder that influences a person’s functioning. Those with social anxiety avoid social situations like class or parties all together because they perceive threats of their environment. These threats involve worrying about people looking at you or judging you. Adolescents with social anxiety often create excuses to avoid school or gatherings because their fear of judgement.

Although Jennifer Shannon is an expert in this field, she could not find any resources for her own daughter Rose, so she decided to take matters in her own hands. She wrote the books  The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook for Teens and The Anxiety Survival Guide for Teens as a guide for teens as well as their parents to cope and eventually overcome the disorder. On the bright side, Shannon claims this disease is completely treatable.

Jennifer Shannon runs a Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy treatment for patients like her daughter with the hopes of curbing their social anxiety. She uses a method she calls “target practice” to allow patients to slowly face their fears in social situations. Shannon focuses on realistic social goals like smiling and asking questions as a first step to making patients feel more comfortable socializing with their peers. She notes that parents need to look out for consistent patterns in their children like missing school or social functions. If left untreated, symptoms can get worse, however, if parents catch it, they can prevent or help their children beat a disorder.

 

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Guest:

  • Jennifer Shannon, co-founder, Santa Rosa Center for Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Santa Rosa, CA and author, The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook for Teens and The Anxiety Survival Guide for Teens

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Coming Up On Radio Health Journal Show 17-26

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Perfect Pitch: The ability to “know” the musical pitch of any sound has traditionally been thought to be learnable only at a very early age through musical training. But new research shows perfect pitch is teachable to adults as well. Experts discuss the implications on all forms of learning.

Children and Social Anxiety: Social anxiety disorder is more than just shyness. It can be crippling and keep people completely inside the house. An expert whose daughter was afflicted discusses social anxiety warning signs in children and how the disorder can be treated

17-25 Segment 1: “Textalyzers” To Stop Texting While Driving

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American highways have become increasingly safe, but in the past three years, traffic fatalities have jumped by 14%. So, what’s the problem? Many say the culprit is texting and driving. According to AAA, 67% of Americans are guilty of this form of distracted driving. Ben Lieberman, co-founder of Distracted Operators Risk Casualties or DORC, has proposed that law enforcers use a “Textalyzer,” a kind of device that works like a Breathalyzer, but instead of measuring a driver’s intoxication, it measures their cell phone activity while driving.  

When Lieberman lost his son in a car accident, he suspected that there was more to the story than the driver falling asleep on the road. After obtaining the phone records of the driver, he discovered that the driver was texting throughout the drive. Lieberman says that while a drunk driver would be severely penalized for such an accident. The penalties for texting and driving are often as low as a $20 fine, and Lieberman also notes that there are currently states that don’t even have laws against texting and driving.

This led Lieberman to approach Cellebrite, a “mobile forensics” company that obtains digital data from cell phones, and together they developed a Textalyzer, a device that follows the same concept as a Breathalyzer; but instead of testing for alcohol, a Textalyzer can generate a report showing how many times a phone was accessed while driving.

While Cellebrite CEO, Jim Grady, and Ben Lieberman believe that the Textalyzer is ready for traffic enforcement, others disagree.  Rashida Richardson, Legislative Counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union of New York, believes that the Textalyzer infringes on the privacy and rights of others and brings up questions about racial disparity in how these laws are enforced.

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Guests:

  • Ben Lieberman, founder, Distracted Operators Risk Casualties (DORCs) and Alliance Combatting Distracted Driving
  • Jim Grady, CEO Cellebrite, Inc.
  • Rashida Richardson, Legislative Counsel, American Civil Liberties Union of New York

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17-25 Segment 2: Household Chemicals

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We live in a world filled with synthetic chemicals, and Americans are exposed to upwards of 100 chemicals each day. Whether it be in our clothing, our electronics, or the toys our children play with, chemicals are ever-present and not all are safe. According to Ken Guiser, Professor of Work Environment at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and author of Chemicals Without Harm: Policies for a Sustainable World, we are often exposed to dangerous chemicals, although usually only to a very low amount. Yet we are still at risk when those chemicals become present in our homes, schools and workplaces.

It’s a common assumption among consumers that the government regulates and prohibits all dangerous or unusable chemicals, but Guiser says that’s not the case. He explains, “The way our market works, products come on to the market; the government does not test those products. They are maybe tested by product manufacturers, but those test results are often proprietary; we don’t know what they are. We often don’t even know what the chemicals are in products. The government just doesn’t have the capacity or the authority to really test hundreds and hundreds of chemicals.” Due to our free market economy, the government is not able to place many restrictions on companies and businesses, including those that would typically call for product testing. The Environmental Protection Agency (or EPA) has introduced measures in the past to limit how many chemicals are leaked into our air and water, but the industry is expected to police itself on the manufacturing of products.

Guiser blames the presence of these unsafe products on a lack of information; no one has really done the research. There are approximately 87,000 chemicals in production in the United States, but of the 2,300 that the EPA conducted research on, only 138 have ever received full testing.

Outside of the United States, the reality is quite different. The European Union has released a list of 2,000 chemicals which they consider to be of concern. Guiser advises that following a European approach would be highly beneficial, and that products supplied to both Europe and the U.S. have become safer due to higher E.U. standards.

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Guest:

  • Ken Geiser, Emeritus Professor of Work Environment, University of Massachusetts, Lowell, and author, Chemicals Without Harm: Policies for a Sustainable World

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Coming Up On Radio Health Journal Show 17-25

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“Textalyzers” To Stop Texting While Driving: After 40 years of declining traffic deaths, American roads have become more dangerous the past two years. Police blame texting. Now activists are seeking to put teeth into anti-texting-while-driving laws with the legalization of a device that police can use to instantly determine if a driver was texting at a given time. Experts discuss the “textalyzer,” how it would work, and its pros and cons.

Household Chemicals: The average American is exposed to more than 100 potentially toxic synthetic chemicals every day, and there is little oversight of their safety. A noted expert discusses the vast amount that we don’t know about these chemicals and how tougher regulation in other countries could help keep Americans safer.

17-24 Segment 1: Only Children and Their Parents

RHJ 17-24A Only Children and Their Parents

 

Only children, also known as “onlies,” have sometimes been labeled as the spoiled and selfish children of society. In studies from the 1980’s, being an only child was likened to having a disease. Beth Apone Salamon, Director of Communications & Television at Rutgers University, and Lauren Sandler, author of One and Only: The Freedom of Having an Only Child and the Joy of Being One, approach the concept of only children in different ways. Salamon voices her concern that once her parents are gone, she won’t have anyone to share family memories with. In contrast, Sandler loves being an only child as well as raising an only child: “We’re just selfish people raising selfish children.” Dr. Susan Newman, psychologist and author of Parenting an Only Child, points out that it makes sense that many onlies thrive more than children with siblings do, because the attention and time allotted by parents to their one child is more concentrated than if they were to divide these things among multiple children. Newman also talks about the importance of the “sibling substitute,” a friend, cousin, or family member with whom the only child can relate to and become comfortable with. By building relationships with “sibling substitutes,” onlies are able to connect with people other than their parents, which has proved beneficial in the long run. Additional studies have debunked myths about only children, concluding that the number of siblings a person has has little impact on his or her personality and life.

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Guests:

  • Beth Apone Salamon, Director of Communications & Television, School of Continuing Studies, Rutgers University and an only child
  • Lauren Sandler, only child, mother of an only child and author, One and Only: The Freedom of Having an Only Child and the Joy of Being One
  • Dr. Susan Newman, psychologist, contributor to Psychology Today magazine and author, Parenting an Only Child

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17-24 Segment 2: The Sense of Touch

RHJ 17-24B The Sense of Touch

 

If asked, most people are willing to give up their sense of touch. Yet of the five senses in the human body, touch has proven to be incredibly important. According to Dr. David Linden, Professor of Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, touch is connected to emotion via our nervous system. The way humans feel and react to physical touch has an effect on everything from personality to digestive system functionality. Dr. Linden says, “The touches we share with those we love make the sense of touch much more important than we know.” Without a sense of touch, individuals are much more susceptible to health issues, as they may not feel pain or temperature and receive great injury. Additionally, touch is perceived as essential to newborns and its absence is noticeable. Dr. Linden shares a story about children in an understaffed orphanage in Romania that grew up to have neuropsychiatric issues as a result of not being held and cuddled as infants. Although the sense of touch is not commonly understood as vital to our wellbeing, both the lack of physical touch from others and our own sense of feeling may prove fatal in the end.

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Guest:

Dr. David Linden, Professor of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and author, Touch: The Science of Hand, Heart, and Mind

Links for more information:

davidlinden.org