Children and Teens

Seasonal Depression & Your Teens, Is It “Just” All in Their Head?

“Tis the season to be Jolly,” right? Well, maybe not so much. Just seeing all the Christmas decorations in the stores before Halloween even arrives can be depressing in and of itself. Think about your own amount of stress when the holidays are approaching. There’s all the parties, gifts that need to be bought, the house that needs to be cleaned, and childcare when the kids are on break. That list for us as parents can go on and on.

On the other hand, think about what might be going on in your the mind of your teenagers. “We never go anywhere for vacation, my family can’t even afford a staycation, much less a vacation. I know I will never get the latest iPhone like my friends. What will Christmas be like this year now that mom and dad are divorced? I’m going to be stuck at the house doing nothing the entire break. It doesn’t seem fair that my cousins always get the good stuff for Christmas…” WOW! I bet their list could be a mile long.
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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

Psychology Around the Net: November 12, 2016


I won't begin this edition of Psychology Around the Net by saying "Happy Saturday!", as I usually do, because I -- like the rest of the country, and the world -- am well aware that many of you are not happy.

Whether you voted for Hillary Clinton and are outraged that -- and perhaps feeling scared and threatened because -- Donald Trump won the election, or you voted for Donald Trump (or a third-party candidate) and are hurt because some of your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and even strangers are accusing you of not caring about important human concerns such as racism, sexism, and the safety of the LBGTQ community, chances are you're not happy.

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Children and Teens

How Does Birth Order Affect a Child?

Does being a firstborn, middle child, last-born or only child have an effect on your personality, behavior, or even your intelligence? While the possibility has been challenged, our birth order is believed by many to have an enduring impact on our psychological development and adult relationships.

Firstborns are often described as being high achievers who seek approval. They’re also described as cautious, controlling, and reliable. Firstborns and only children are the only siblings who are allowed to bask in their parents’ undivided attention (for better or worse) with no distractions from siblings. Studies have confirmed that without question, firstborn children are offered more individual and uninterrupted hours of their parents’ attention, which may, in fact, allow for relatively greater gains in intelligence.
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Children and Teens

How Can Childhood Emotional Neglect Make You a Stronger Adult?


All it takes is growing up in a household where your feelings don't matter enough.

With their heads held high but their spirits lower than should be, they walk among us.

"I don't need any help," they say with a smile. But "what do you need?" they ask others with genuine interest.

Loved and respected by all who know them, they struggle to love and respect themselves. These are the people of Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN).

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Bullying

Why Are We Still Labeling Children as ‘Emotionally Disturbed’?

I'm not perfect at my job, but I know my presence makes a world of difference

I proudly landed my first school counseling job at a public school in New York City. I had been warned by fellow counselors we can never be fully prepared to take on the enormity of our role.

I admit to feeling intimidated upon hearing the label given to children of whom I would be working. The term, "emotionally disturbed (ED)" also intrigued me, but painted a picture before I even met a single child on my caseload. Not learning specific special education classifications in graduate school, I read up as much as I could about this identification. The image my mind had created included children appearing older than their natural age, possessing negativity and a toughness about them; similarly, to the many Hollywood movies about inner city kids, and contrary to the children whom I grew up with in suburban schools. And then I arrived to work on my first day, wide-eyed and with a tough exterior of my own that I anticipated I would need.
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Addiction

Why Do Drugs?

Any casual look at media, billboards, online popups, and banners and signs in stores is enough to show that medications and drugs are ubiquitous. Whether used initially for a legitimate medical reason - with a prescription from a doctor - or socially, drug use can and does morph into something much more serious, including addiction. Why, then, do drugs?

Just as there are many reasons people drink alcohol, there are equally as many why they do drugs. Here are some of the more common:

To feel euphoria, pleasure and empathy, even though temporary
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Books

5 Ways to Strengthen Your Child’s Growing Brain

You drive your child to soccer practice three times a week so she will get the right amount of exercise. You rush through your evening routine to make sure he is in bed on time and gets enough sleep. You engage in an endless battle of wills at mealtime to make sure they eat all of the broccoli on their plates. On any given day, you do all kind of things to make sure your children’s bodies are growing and developing in healthy ways.

Taking care of our children’s bodies means more than just making sure they grow big and strong -- it also means taking care of their developing brains! Recent neuroscience research in the area of child development has shed light on many different strategies you as a parent can use to make sure you are nourishing your children’s bodies and minds as they grow.
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Children and Teens

Psychology Around the Net: October 22, 2016


Once again, my friends, I come to you from behind a computer screen with a box of tissues on one side and a trash can on the other. Tears are running down my cheeks, I can't stop sneezing, and even though I can't breathe my nostrils aren't too stopped up to -- well, I won't get gross.

Wasn't it just a few months ago I was suffering from allergies? Can you even get allergies in the fall? According to WebMD, you sure can, and thanks to a myriad of potential culprits (mold spores and pollen hiding out in fallen leaves and dust mites triggered from turning the heat on for the first time), I am once again down for the count.

Still, that hasn't stopped me from bringing you this week's latest in mental health news! Keep reading for healthy tips for how to break off a friendship, Instagram's new mental health "flagging" feature, ways you can beat election stress, and more.

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Children and Teens

A Degree in Life: Your Real College Major

Welcome back, college students.

Before you have even memorized old glory’s fight song, you are greeted with a question more dreadful than any Business Calculus exam.

“What do you want to do with your life?” family, friends, and career counselors prod. The implication: Your major determines your career prospects. And if you select the incorrect field, you are doomed to an unsatisfying career and life.
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Children and Teens

ER Beds for Kids Lacking, But School Programs Can Help

Everyone who is a front line clinician in an emergency room (ER) knows the hard reality of the lack of psychiatric services available. Discharging someone from an ER into inpatient mental health treatment is virtually nonexistent for adults. For kids, the situation is usually far worse.

The good news is that if we focus more on preventative care in school -- helping kids and preschoolers long before they have a full-blown diagnosis -- we may be able to stop them from ever having to use an emergency room. All we need do is start making mental health a funding priority for both the states and the federal government.

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Anxiety and Panic

Tips for Successful Online Learning

74% of American schools use technology in the classroom. 1/3rd of American schools issue mobile devices to students as a learning tool. About 5.8 million college students took an online course in fall 2014. Although most of us are technology savvy and able to use our devices for fun things like socializing and surfing the internet we are not skilled at online learning. That is where the anxiety comes in that can hold you back.
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Bipolar

Helping Children Cope When a Loved One Suffers from Mental Illness

I have a loved one that suffers with severe mental illness. He's a brilliant, beautiful, creative person who told spellbinding, captivating stories of far away places and taught me to not be afraid of the dark. But just as quick and easy as flicking a light switch on and off, our lives changed from moment to moment.

As a child I didn't understand. I remember thinking everyone's home was just like mine... a place where the stairs turned into an escalator only for the person who knew the magic word and where the cupboards were locked at night to keep out the mischief-making fairies.
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