Disorders Articles

Siblings with Severe Mental Illness: An Evolving Relationship

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

Siblings with Severe Mental Illness: An Evolving RelationshipThere is an undeniable connection between siblings. You came from the same family and grew up in the same environment. There will always be a shared past between siblings, whether they are close or not. But when your sibling is diagnosed with mental illness the personal history and the things you had in common can seem to disappear.

Life seems to stop and be consumed by their illness. An intangible connection can be seemingly swept right off the page. Something that therapists never told me was that one day I would just be happy to take what I could get.

Improving Your Child’s ADHD with Exercise

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

physical-fitnessGetting in a good run before work keeps us focused and productive at the office. But did you know exercise could also help children with ADHD perform better in the classroom?

“There is evidence that physical activity improves academic performance,” said Betsy Hoza, a professor of psychological science at the University of Vermont. Her recent study found moderate to vigorous aerobic activity before school helped children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder become more attentive.

“The immediate effects are that you’re much more alert — there’s that endorphin rush,” said Hoza. That rush has proven to boost mood, help ward off anxiety and depression in adults, and now to improve cognitive function in children with ADHD.

ADHD Tip: How to Organize Your Family and Household

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

ADHD Tip: How to Organize Your Family and HouseholdRunning a household takes effort. And it can be especially challenging for adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

ADHD impairs executive functioning in adults (and kids), making it harder for people to plan, prioritize, organize and follow through with various tasks — especially boring ones.

Of course, that’s exactly what you need to do when everyone in the family has a demanding job, goes to school, is involved in extracurricular activities, and has other commitments.

What Does Treatment-Resistant Really Mean?

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

3 Tips for Dealing with Anxious ThoughtsIn his book Economic Warfare: Secrets of Wealth Creation in the Age of Welfare Politics author Ziad K. Abdelnour writes, “One of the hardest decisions you’ll ever face in life is choosing whether to walk away or try harder.”

I face that decision every day.

Twenty times a day.

Several times an hour.

That one line contains the kernel of so much of my struggle, which is why I pray the Serenity Prayer every five minutes or so:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.

Psychology Around the Net: January 24, 2014

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

Fear

Ever wonder what makes you — and keeps you — a loyal customer? How about ways to strength train your brain? Oh, and speaking of your brain — where does all that fear and anxiety come from, anyway?

We have it all and more in this week’s Psychology Around the Net.

Fear Pinpoinited: Scientists Discover Exactly Where Anxiety Resides in the Brain: Tests on mice have helped New York’s Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory researchers pinpoint the area, or “circuit,” in the brain where “fearful memories and behavior” are controlled. Could this lead to new anxiety treatments?

Isolation and Depression During a Long Winter

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Isolation and Depression During a Long WinterWith an Arctic blast bearing down across the U.S., I know I’d like nothing more than to cozy up inside with a blanket, some tea and my warm little bulldog. Then again that’s always the thing about January. It’s not until the end of February when I’m depressed and moody that I realize I’ve been isolating myself.

Depression loves to get me alone, just like a bully. Away from my friends and family for a couple weeks and surrounded by white winter clouds, I become an easy target for doubt, boredom, self-deprecation and loneliness.

Anyone who suffers from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) knows the pattern, but those of us with depression may not be so in tune to how the weather is affecting our mental health.

5 More Tips for Finding Love with a Mental Illness

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

5 More Tips for Finding Love with a Mental IllnessIn a previous post, we discussed five tips for finding love with a mental illness. Here are five more.

1. When to discuss your mental illness? It’s a dilemma: When should you reveal your mental illness? The first date should be fun and light so you can find common ground, but you probably don’t want to wait so long that a medical event suddenly thrusts your problems into the spotlight.

As you contemplate a future with your significant other, please remember: Don’t feel ashamed of your mental illness, medication, or counseling. It’s no different from needing medicine for diabetes or having a drug allergy; they’re just different types of medical issues that everyday people have.

Emerging From the Other Side of Depression

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

fortressThere’s a great e-card that reads: “Dear whatever doesn’t kill me, I’m strong enough now. Thanks.” It was the second most-liked item I posted on my Facebook page. The first was a quote by William Gibson: “Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, surrounded by xxxholes.”

Friedrich Nietzsche was responsible for the line, “What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.” I’m not sure I believe that, given the long list of names of extraordinary people who ended up taking their lives in desperation. Sometimes the pain of severe depression — the hopelessness that is its constant companion — simply becomes too much to endure. Having visited the doorway to suicide for periods of time that lasted months and years, I understand that.

5 Tips for Finding Love with a Mental Illness

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

3 Therapy Exercises to Help Couples ConnectDating can bring joy and passion or make you feel lonely and misunderstood. When you add a mental illness into the mix, things can get even more complicated — if you let them. But you’re hardly alone in your confusion.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, in any given year, roughly one in four adults experiences mental illness. Of these, many are enjoying loving, stable relationships. Many others don’t even know they have a mental disorder.

Mental illness is a medical condition that can be treated with medication and therapy. It doesn’t have to limit your social life, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you can’t look for a partner.

Why Are You Alive? The Role of Suicide Survivors

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

why-life-matters-note-suicidal-teensConsider these statistics:

One person dies from suicide every 40 seconds.

Every year, over 800,000 people die from suicide, exceeding the number of deaths due to homicide and war combined.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death (globally) for people ages 15 to 29, the fifth leading cause of death among persons aged 30 to 49.

For each adult who died of suicide in 2012, there were over 20 others who made suicide attempts.

Maybe Your Comfort Zone Isn’t What You Think It Is

Monday, January 19th, 2015

20 Calming or Invigorating Mini Meditations to Practice Every DayWhile thinking outside the box and transcending fear has long been praised, I recently read a book excerpt arguing against getting out of your “comfort zone.” Instead of pushing your limits, author Meghan Daum suggests embracing our limitations.

“I am convinced that excellence comes not from overcoming limitations but from embracing them,” she writes in her book The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion.

It seems interesting, but it brings up another important question: Is your comfort zone even what you think it is? Are we embracing a lifestyle where we are both satisfied and competent? Or underneath do we feel we are missing out on something?

When Someone You Love Kills Themselves

Monday, January 19th, 2015

When Someone You Love Kills Themselves

I’m sorry. I know these words will be of empty comfort to you as you look for answers to a loved one’s suicide. But nonetheless, these words are all that I have.

I’ve trod a mile in the shoes you’re wearing. My childhood best took his own life when he was only 21. I spent many months with my grief, and still carry a small part of it around to this very day. Grief never forgets… it only mellows with time.

And I know you’ve come here to read this seeking answers. I’ll try, but I’m not sure the answers I’ll provide will be the same as the ones you want to hear.

Recent Comments
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