Virtue Standards LLC

Rogenia Parker, MSW, LCSW


An ongoing series of informational entries

Are you suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

August 30, 2020

Have you ever suffered from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)? If not, keep living. At some point, it's likely to happen. Let me begin by saying I am no medical expert, but I have experienced this condition a few times throughout my life. It is not a pleasant feeling..... hence the name "irritable" bowel syndrome.

So what is IBS? This condition is diagnosed based on its symptoms. Symptoms include; abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea and constipation. There tends to be some really painful/uncomfortable cramping associated with this condition.

Although treatment helps, this condition can't be cured. Many people try to control IBS by managing their diet, lifestyle and stress levels. Other people depend on medication and counseling.

So what triggers IBS?

1. food allergies or intolerance to certain foods

2. Stress

3. Hormones (women tend to get this condition more so than men). This makes sense since as women, we have menstrual/pregnancies etc. At times our hormones can be all over the place.

You are more likely to experience IBS if:

1. you are under the age of 50

2. you are female

3. you have family history of IBS

4. you have a mental health problem (this makes sense because when our mental health is not stable or maintained, our mind and body tends to be more stressed which can be presented in various ways.

5. people with mood disorders such as anxiety and depression (these individuals experience worse conditions of IBS

So how can we cope with IBS?

1. counseling to assist with modifying our response to stress

2. progressive muscle relaxation

3. mindfulness

4. exercise

5. medication

6. managing diet by avoiding problem foods

7. probiotics

8. hypnosis

9. eating peppermint for short-term relief

10. getting enough sleep

IBS can disrupt various aspects of our lives, thus diminishing our quality of life. But with some lifestyle changes, we are likely to improve our life. The more meaning and purpose we find in our daily lives, the more likely our symptoms are to improve. Life can definitely be a journey for many of us, but please know it is definitely worth living! So don't give up!!!!!

Surviving Life Series - Mental Health & Racism, Pt 2

August 25, 2020

Mental Health and Racism, pt 2: Law Enforcement Interview

also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, RadioPublic

Surviving Life Series - Mental Health & Racism

August 13, 2020

Mental Health and Racism, pt 1: Law Enforcement Interview

also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, RadioPublic  

Surviving Work Stress!

July 31, 2020

Work Stress (Podcase Episode): 

also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, RadioPublic  

What is Diabetes and how does it affect you?

July 1, 2020


Diabetes is a disease that affects many individuals every day. It can happen to anyone for one of three reasons (not inclusive). Heredity, lifestyle, and/or diet.

Heredity is when it "runs in the family". One or more of your relatives have diabetes or is pre-diabetic. Although this increases the likelihood, it does not mean you are guaranteed to get it. Lifestyle can contribute to being diagnosed with diabetes if you have sedentary habits. In other words, are you a couch potato or do you stay active most of the time? Diet is the most common reason because, let's face it, we don't always choose to eat the foods that are healthiest for us. If you're not eating right, it's going to also increase the chances of developing diabetes.

Diabetes can affect sight. Diabetes can cause you to lose kidney function. Diabetes can cause you to lose limbs of the body. Diabetes can really affect your body badly if it is not controlled. If you are diagnosed, that is not the end of life as we know. It can be monitored and controlled through diet and exercise. Medication can also help if prescribed by a doctor.

If you find yourself in a situation where you can use some assistance with finding information about diabetes and management, we would love to hear from you.

Are you experiencing work stress?

June 20, 2020

Work Stress: 

Work-related stress is an increasing problem which affects not only the health and well-being of employees, but also the productivity of organizations. Work-related stress is caused by various factors and can manifest itself via physical , psychological, behavioral and emotional symptoms.

~As discussed in my biography, I have dealt with unimaginable levels of stress on the job (due to poor leadership), which was manifested via my physical, emotional, psychological health. I began feeling tired most of the time; I developed increased anxiety; I experienced headaches and emotional breakdowns; I had low mood and believe it or not, I had a spike in my insulin levels, causing me to become pre-diabetic. There were times I didn't think I would survive this ordeal. However, I was caught between choosing to provide for my family financially and preserve my health. It's a horrible predicament to be in. There were times I didn't think I would survive. For the longest time, I couldn't understand why this was happening to me... and it was this particular thought that was holding me back from making the progress that was within my control. Once I realized this, I was empowered to implement some strategies that were helpful and allowed me to refocus my thoughts and incorporate some coping skills that made it possible for me endure the situation until changes were made.

This is a horrible situation to be in, but unfortunately, this is one of those examples of when life takes a turn for the worst. We end up finding ourselves in a survival of the fittest situation, where we are forced to find a way to deal with our circumstances or succumb to them. I was not willing to do the latter, which is why I am more dedicated than ever to assist others who are dealing with this same issue find solutions.

If you find yourself in a situation where you can use some assistance with coping with work-related stress, we would love to hear from you.

Forgiveness can be one of the most difficult things to do; however, it is necessary. It doesn't mean that things will return to how they were before the incident, but it is helpful with progressing in one's life. I hope you find this video helpful. 

Do You Feel Overwhelmed During the Holidays?

December 23, 2019

Surviving the Holidays:

The holiday season for most people is a fun time of the year that consist of social gatherings, parties, celebrations and gift exchanges among family and friends. It can also be a difficult time of the year for others, especially individuals who have lost loved ones. There are various sources of sadness, that is individual specific.

However, there are ways to overcome holiday blues or at least surviving these seasons. Here are a few ways to get through the seasons intact:

1. Set realistic expectations about your holiday season and make realistic goals

2. Don't put all your energy into one holiday; remember to pace yourself, knowing that holiday cheer can be distributed across several holidays. This will eliminate over-stressing.

3. Learn to grieve. If you are grieving a loved one, this would be a good time to reach out to support groups or talk to someone about how you are feeling.

4. Reduce commitments if necessary. If you are feeling overwhelmed, remember it's okay to refrain from attending social gatherings. Remind yourself that holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas are only 24 hours; they will eventually end.

5. Consider engaging in trying something new or spend time doing volunteer work that involves helping others.

6. And lastly, remember to follow up with your mental health provider.

~ Happy Holidays 

How Important are Support Systems?

July 12, 2019

Social Support Systems:

Research has proven that having a social support system has many positive benefits. Studies have shown that social support can reduce depression and anxiety.

Some essential and key factors to building and maintaining a healthy and strong support system depends on the following:

1. Accountability. Sometimes friends and family need someone who will hold them accountable. Although it strokes our ego to always have someone agree with us or tell us what we want to hear, we need someone who will look beyond those things for our best interest. After all, our well-being is the most important thing!

2. Communication. Effective communication can solve a multitude of problems. It requires listening probably more so than talking. This leads into another important aspect of social support systems.........

3. Sense of purpose. An important route to finding meaning and a sense of purpose in one's life is being out in the world, engaging with others in a meaningful way and participating in meaningful activities. All of which involves positive interaction with other people.

4. Willingness to Compromise. Compromise is so important for relationships(no matter what kind of relationship it is). It consists of having a delicate balance between sacrificing your own views and wants without allowing people to run over you. The ability to compromise from all parties strengthen relationships and depending on the situation will be worth the investment.  

Are You Experiencing Difficulties with Transitioning in Life?

June 13, 2019

Life Transitions:

Life is ever-changing, regardless of our age. Sometimes we find ourselves so comfortable with our current situations, we don't really want to make any changes to it. However, "life" does not always play by our rules and when "life" happens we can't always prepare ourselves mentally to deal with the challenges that it brings. We can nonetheless try to adjust so that we are more prepared to deal with unexpected or unwanted "life" issues.

Many people fear change, with little regard to the possibility that change may improve their circumstances. Some call this "being a creature of habit". So how can we progress through life transitions without compiling stress and increasing depression and anxiety....... I will discuss 3 ways that will make adjusting easier for those involved.

1. Change your mindset:

Changing your view of the situation can relieve a lot of unnecessary stress. For instance, instead of viewing the situation as a threat, view it as a challenge. There is a saying that some of the best moments in our lives involved some kind of struggle. And struggle is not necessarily a bad thing because it can lead to growth and happiness. So take time to appreciate the benefit of change by focusing on the positives. Try to remember that you have been through other transitions(although some were so subtle, you barely realized it was a transition) and if you got through those transitions, you can get through this one!

2. Use your support network. It can be very difficult to navigate life transitions alone. A support network can be helpful with getting you prepared for your transition. The more prepared you are, the less stress, depression and anxiety you are going to have. So PREPARE, PREPARE, PREPARE!

3. And lastly, focus on where you life is going. It's okay to reflect on where you life has been, but try not to dwell on it. And use your past situation to help strengthen you for the future you are trying to achieve.

If you are having a difficult time adjusting or transitioning with your circumstances, Virtue Standards LLC would love to help!