Caregivers Articles

Do HIPAA Regulations Act as Barriers to Care?

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

Do HIPAA Regulations Act as Barriers to Care?Privacy rights and protections of health information take on a special meaning when participating in mental health care. Many factors contribute. Stigma, family dynamics and employability are just a few reasons why it is important to protect a patient’s medical records from prying eyes. However, some would argue that HIPAA regulations can actually prevent people from receiving vital and immediate care.

The Importance of a Support Structure After a Mental Illness Diagnosis

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

The Importance of a Support Structure After a Diagnosis of Mental IllnessWhen I was diagnosed with schizophrenia eight years ago it was like walking in a fog. I was lost in my delusions, I was confused about what was happening to me and I was trying to grapple with what exactly reality was.

My family was suffering too.

They had no background with mental illness and no frame of reference about what to expect with it.

I had asked for help a few times but they just thought my skewed thinking was a result of smoking marijuana and that once I stopped everything I would be fine. It didn’t click for them until after my first major episode, when they took me to the hospital and I was finally diagnosed.

Helping Young People Change: The Key of Motivation

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Helping Young People Change: The Key of MotivationAdolescence: Such a time of turbulence. For those of us charged with helping young people feel better, parent them or educate them, sometimes it can feel like we are on the losing team no matter which trick, technique or skill we try.

Luckily for both sides, we are not willing to give up so easily.

The Psychology of Elliot Rodger

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

The Psychology of Elliot RodgerI’m a bit scared to admit that I actually wasn’t shocked when I watched Elliot Rodger’s now-infamous YouTube video. I was horrified, to be sure, but not surprised.

You would think that it’s unnatural not to feel shock when watching a video of an intelligent, articulate young man relish describing his plan to “slaughter” all of the “girls” in the “hottest sorority.”

But these types of desperate, vengeful fantasies have become familiar to me in my line of work. I have, with some frequency, sat in my therapy office and listened to similar sentiments expressed by more than a few patients over the past several years. There are many more Elliot Rodgers in our country than we’d like to believe.

Free Webinar: The Couple’s Guide to Thriving with ADHD

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

thriving-with-adhdJoin Psych Central webinar host Zoë Kessler and special guest Melissa Orlov, award-winning author and marriage consultant, for an enlightening conversation about how to navigate the impact of ADHD in marriage.

Orlov, author of The ADHD Effect on Marriage, will answer your questions and talk about her new book, The Couple’s Guide to Thriving with ADHD, co-authored with Nancie Kohlenberger, LMFT.

This webinar is for adults with ADHD and their partners. If you’re looking for insights into relationships where ADHD is present, and practical strategies and tips on how to save a marriage or relationship in trouble, don’t wait — this is the webinar for you!

When People Are Dismissive of Your Mood Disorder

Friday, May 9th, 2014

When People are Dismissive of Your Mood DisorderBefore she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, blogger Elaina J. Martin was prescribed an antidepressant in college. Someone laughed and called her medication “happy pills.”

When she’s experienced a depressive episode, people have said things like “There is nothing to be upset about” or “Think how lucky you are. You are way better off than some people.”

The Masks of Trauma

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

The Masks of TraumaSometimes I receive emails from acquaintances I knew in my early years. They usually start by expressing their deep concern for me and what I went through.

Each message like this is healing because validation and concern for my situation was something I desperately needed as a child.

But their next questions are more challenging. “Should I have known?” “How did I miss the signs?” The answer has always eluded me. I really have no response.

Finding the Right Kind of Mental Health Support at the Right Time

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Finding the Right Kind of Mental Health Support at the Right TimeOur society has come a long way in terms of open dialogue about mental health and wellness. What used to be swept under the rug, looked down upon and ostracized is now discussed freely and holistically. However, too many Americans still have a foggy notion of available mental and physical wellness options.

When most think of mental health, images come to mind of a doctor hiding behind a notepad and a patient lying on a long black couch. But many new models exist which can be more beneficial and transformative.

Peer Support, Peer Problems

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Peer Support, Peer ProblemsFor Steve Harrington, president of the National Association of Peer Supporters, the loss of a relationship triggered a deep depression with psychotic features, resulting in hospitalization.

For Leah Harris, communications and development coordinator for the National Empowerment Center, it was her parents dying young from a combination of mental illness and the “toxic effect of overmedication and broken spirits,” and then her own treatment for mental illness during her youth.

They and other advocates describe years of languishing in traditional treatment settings until the peer support movement, with its emphasis on recovery and wellness, showed them another way.

The Mother Who Never Was

Saturday, March 15th, 2014

The Mother Who Never WasI don’t write about my mother often. Of all my dysfunctional childhood relationships, my experience with my mother is the most painful.

I believe that small children have a disproportionate need for the feminine nurturing energy. When it’s not available, I think the pain runs deeper.

I am not suggesting that fathers are not needed. They are desperately needed. And their interactions with their children are critical to shaping that child’s future belief systems and relationships.

But for me, the lack of nurturing maternal energy seemed to leave a deeper mark.

Shopping for a Good Therapist? 4 Questions You Must Ask

Monday, March 10th, 2014

Shopping for a Good Therapist? 4 Questions You Must AskFinding the right therapist is right up there with finding the right spouse when it comes to securing happiness and serenity. And while friends and siblings can help you screen candidates for a permanent place at the Thanksgiving table, you’re left solo when recruiting a therapist.

Marriage and family therapist Ilyana Romanovsky offers four helpful questions to start with in her book, Choosing Therapy: A Guide to Getting What You Need. It may be helpful to keep these in mind when shopping for a therapist…

Giving Your Child Some Power

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

Giving Your Child Some PowerI am reading The Three P’s of Parenting by Jennifer Jones, Ph.D. Are you thinking patience, potty training or poop?

Those elusive P’s are: power, protection and prediction. Jones explains that the P’s correspond with the chief insecurities that plague children.

She states that “when a child lacks power, he feels helpless, so he will assert himself or try to control others. [...] When a child cannot predict what will happen or what those around him will do, he will focus his energy on controlling the behavior and responses of others so that his world feels more certain.”

Sounds like common sense, right? How come, as parents, we don’t follow these models? Why do only formally trained mental health professionals and doctors look deep into our children’s behaviors when the reasons behind the behavior seem so simplistic?

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