The Importance of Learning!

An Electronic Mental Health Newsletter from Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D., P.A. & Associates
Volume 10, Number 9

Fall is here and our thoughts turn to the holiday season and the end of the year. Cooler weather is on the horizon and the shopping season is almost upon us. It is hard to believe that 14 years have passed since the terrorist attack on September 11 and the country lost its innocence. How have you personally changed since that event? Are you more appreciative of the freedoms and privileges we have as Americans? This is a meaningful time to review how you lived this year and what changes you want to make.

This month’s E-Letter focuses on The Importance of Learning. Our email of the month is a collection of 39 Interesting Facts and our Ask the Doc question is excessive worrying. We hope you find the enclosed information helpful. We also thank you for reading our E-Letters and for the many comments we have received through the years.

Practice News

Depression groups. Our ongoing weekly depression therapy groups meet regularly in our office. A men’s support group and a women’s support group are run by Dr. Jim Kaikobad and meets for one and one-half hours. The group is educational, supportive, and confidential and is limited to 8 people. A third and fourth group will be starting in a few weeks and if you are interested in attending, please contact Jillian at 954 755-2885.

Afterschool Tutoring. We are pleased to announce that we will be offering tutoring for students in grades 1 through 8 after school in our offices. Jill Kimmel, who is an experienced educator, will be helping students to understand and learn their academic concepts as well as provide assistance in doing homework. To find out more about our tutoring services as well as to schedule an appointment, please contact Jillian at 954 755-2885

Handouts from previous E-Letters can be found on our website, We invite you to read and download them if desired.


Our E-Letter this month focuses on the importance of not only acquiring information but utilizing it to continue to grow as a person. We now live in the Knowledge Age where just remembering facts is not sufficient. The world is moving at incredible speed with new inventions and discoveries. What we used to know is just not enough. Anything new we purchase has a learning curve that requires us to learn how to do it. Gone are the days of simple plug and play. We now have to learn a list of commands or steps to follow to get the benefits of our purchase. Disruptive technology is exciting and makes our lives easier yet we have to learn how to use it. As the world moves quickly, those who just keep up by acquiring information will fall behind. The world is moving forward and just staying in place will ultimately cause you to fall behind.

It is shocking to watch television clips where people on the street are asked basic questions such as “who won the Civil War?” or “who is the vice president?” and the answers aren’t even close. What does this say about our society? Isn’t learning and personal growth important? Are these the people who we will count on for our society to function? When will STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education be taken seriously and the value of learning emphasized?

The ability to acquire and use knowledge effectively is now critical for success and for our society to function. Just teaching facts in school is important but not enough. Students have to be challenged to use their critical thinking skills to learn in order to compete. Learning is facilitated when people are motivated to acquire new skills, when they are rewarded for this achievement, and when their culture expects learning from them. Learning also occurs when there are opportunities to learn, when there are available resources, and when the learning process is modeled in the family. Learning does not occur when people do not care or have no personal interest in what is occurring. They may lack confidence and expect others, including our government, to tell them what to do. They may not be encouraged to learn or have the personal resources to want to learn. People who have mental health disorders or addictions may also be struggling to survive and not have the resources to learn and grow. These disadvantaged people or those who choose not to learn will not be able to adapt as more information and change occur in the Knowledge age. Our ability to learn is one of the skills that make us human and defines us.

Continued learning leads to personal growth, new opportunities, increased career prospects, greater interests, more social contacts, and greater control over one’s life and future. To continue learning, it is important to recognize that acquiring information is not enough. Try to learn and use something new each day. Join a book club, go to lectures and discussions, take classes or instructions, and challenge yourself. Don’t waste time on gossip shows or shows about unimportant people. Talk to more people and ask them to share their experiences and expertise. Read more books and online content. Watch youtube videos of interest, TED Talks educational programs and documentaries. Challenge yourself to be creative and to use your intellectual skills in word games or in critical thinking exercises. You will find that as you grow mentally by learning, you will find life more enriching.

We offer the following information on The Importance of Learning:


Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death — Albert Einstein


  • Learning is the process of acquiring and utilizing new knowledge that leads to long-term changes in behavior
  • In the Information Age, what you knew was important; in the Knowledge Age using what you know to adapt and learn is essential
  • The term, Learning Curve, refers to the learning process over time; learning does not occur all at once but is built up and shaped by previous knowledge
  • In the Knowledge Age, the ability to acquire, assimilate, and apply what you know will become a critical skill for success
  • As people are presented with more information and change, those who do not or those who choose not to learn will become the disadvantaged
  • To be successful today, one must learn and use more information about more things
  • If you don’t continue to learn, you will go backwards as the world moves forwards
  • People who continue to learn improve their lives and become more successful at home, with their families, at work, and in their communities
  • Maintenance learning refers to staying current in your knowledge and it is essential at least to keep you even and stop you from falling behind
  • Growth learning refers to acquiring new skills and knowledge to expand your mind
  • Shock learning occurs when something unexpected happens that contradicts a piece of previous knowledge and can cause innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Factors that affect learning include motivation, rewards, cultural expectations, availability of opportunities, resources, and family modeling
  • Barriers to learning include lack of personal interest, lack of confidence, lack of support, lack of resources, addictive behaviors, and mental health problems
  • Lifelong learning is defined as the consistent and deep engagement in the active pursuit of gaining and utilizing knowledge and experience across one’s lifetime
  • Lifelong learning or learning to learn allows a person to grow and to adapt to new roles that enhance their lives and increase their employability
  • In the paper Learning As We Age, the Dana Alliance for the Brain states that “mental exercise, especially learning new things or pursuing activities that are intellectually stimulating, may strengthen brain-cell networks and help preserve mental functions.”
  • Learning something new every day will help you to achieve your maximum potential and also allow you to have a better understanding of the world around you

    • Try to learn at least one thing new every day and use this skill
    • Learn by taking classes, going to speeches and lectures, joining book clubs, etc.
    • Learn by getting books from the library, reading online, watching youtube and TED Talks videos, and watching educational programs and documentaries on television
    • Ask friends to share their experiences, knowledge and expertise
    • Set goals, find what interests and motivates you, and learn about it
    • Limit the amount of unnecessary information such as gossip you acquire every day
    • Consider entering therapy to learn more about yourself and your relationships
    • We Can Help!

      Call us at (954) 755-2885 or email us at

      Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D., P.A. and Associates 5571 N. University Drive, Suite 101 Coral Springs, Florida 33067

      Copyright © 2015; by Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D.

      As always, we would like to welcome new readers to our e-Letter. We hope that you find it informational and enjoyable. We invite you to share this e-Letter with others. If you have received this from a fellow reader, please send us your email address to include you on our list.

      Ask The Doc

      BB writes: Lately, I have found myself worrying about everything. I have always been a worrier but not to the extent that I am now. It has affected my sleeping as I have been having nightmares and my eating since I don’t have much of an appetite. I think about what could possibly happen that would upset me yet it never does. I just think about the “what-ifs” and how it would ruin my life. I still am able to work yet I feel exhausted and not up to doing anything. What is happening to me?

      Dr. Joel Kimmel replies: Without more information, it is hard to tell you what is going on although it is quite obvious that you are more anxious than usual. Did an event occur recently that rattled you to the extent that you have lost your sense of personal control in the world? Or are you expecting a big event that you think you might not be able to handle?

      You seem to have become unnerved for some reason and it has shaken up your sense of competency in the world. You seem to feel very vulnerable and are worrying about bad things happening so much so that they are interfering with your sleep. You’re “what if” questions certainly generate anxious feelings as they reflect catastrophic thinking. Seldom do the “what-ifs actually happen yet you are thinking about negative possibilities.

      If no major events have occurred or are going to occur, then it is possible that you have been affected by external influences such as media and news programs. Both are skilled at creating fear and worry which then gets reinforced and amplified through social media. Consider whether you are letting this get to you.

      In any event, I would suggest you need to get back to your regular level of functioning and sense of competency. Try to identify whether there are any events that have emotionally affected you and resolve them. Consider what you are actually worrying about it and decide whether your worries are realistic. Recognize who you are and that you will handle any situation facing you as best you can. Have confidence in yourself. If your worries are irrational, recognize this and let go of them. If they are rational, consider ways to realistically face them. Most importantly, believe in yourself. You’re regular sleeping and eating habits will most likely return to normal once you have regained your own sense of capability and mastery of your life.

      Email of the Month

      We thank Mike R. for the following email:

      39 Interesting Facts

      1. The longest one-syllable word in the English language is “screeched.”
      2. “Dreamt” is the only English word that ends in the letters “mt”
      3. Almonds are members of the peach family.
      4. The symbol on the “pound” key (#) is called an octothorpe.
      5. The dot over the letter ‘i’ is called a tittle.
      6. Ingrown toenails are hereditary.
      7. The word “set” has more definitions than any other word in the English language.
      8. “Underground” is the only word in the English language that begins and ends with the letters “und.”
      9. There are only four words in the English language which end in “-dous”: tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.
      10. The longest word in the English language, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.
      11. The only other word with the same amount of letters is its plural: pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconioses.
      12. The longest place-name still in use is Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwe-nuakit natahu, a New Zealand hill.
      13. Los Angeles’s full name is “El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reinade los Angeles de Porciuncula” and can be abbreviated to 3.63% of its size, L.A.
      14. An ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain.
      15. Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur.
      16. Alfred Hitchcock didn’t have a belly button. It was eliminated when he was sewn up after surgery.
      17. Telly Savalas and Louis Armstrong died on their birthdays.
      18. Donald Duck’s middle name is Fauntleroy.
      19. The muzzle of a lion is like a fingerprint – no two lions have the same pattern of whiskers.
      21. A pregnant goldfish is called a twit.
      23. There is a seven-letter word in the English language that contains ten words without rearranging any of its letters, “therein”: the, there, he, in, rein, her, here, ere, therein, herein.
      24. Dueling is legal in Paraguay as long as both parties are registered blood donors.
      26. A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds.
      27. It’s impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.
      28. Cranberries are sorted for ripeness by bouncing them; a fully ripened cranberry can be dribbled like a basketball.
      30. The letters KGB stand for Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti
      31. ‘Stewardesses’ is the longest English word that is typed with only the left hand.
      33. The combination “ough” can be pronounced in nine different ways; the following sentence contains them all: “A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed.”
      34. The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is uncopyrightable.
      35. Facetious and abstemious contain all the vowels in the correct order, as does arsenious, meaning “containing arsenic.”
      36. Emus and kangaroos cannot walk backwards, and are on the Australian seal for that reason.
      37. Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds, while dogs only have about ten.
      38. The word “Checkmate” in chess comes from the Persian phrase “Shah Mat,” which means “the king is dead.”
      39. The reason firehouses have circular stairways is from the days of yore when the engines were pulled by horses. The horses were stabled on the ground floor and figured out how to walk up straight staircases.

      Till October…

      The information provided in this electronic newsletter is not a substitute for professional treatment. It is the opinions of the writers and is provided solely for educational purposes. For mental health care, seek a qualified professional.

      If you no longer wish to receive future E-Letter reminders, please send an email to requesting to be removed from this list.
      If you find this information interesting or helpful, please forward this E-Letter to your contacts and friends. Copyright © 2015 by Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D. P.A. and Associates.