Family Articles

When People Don’t Understand Your Mental Health Condition

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

When People Don't Understand Your Mental Health ConditionYou have just been diagnosed with a mental health condition such as depression, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, addiction, OCD, or some other mental health disorder. You go see a counselor to get help. Eventually your relatives and closest friends find out your condition. The problem is that some of them get on your case and do not understand what you are going through.

Here are four ways to deal with this situation.

Want a Divorce? Stop the Emotional Yo-Yo and Be Clear About It

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

couple unhappy black male female

Don’t beat around the bush when asking for divorce.

Sheila had been thinking about it for months and she had talked to her girlfriends about it. They were shocked by her admission — she wasn’t sure she loved her husband Jeff any more.

Her friends were shocked because, even after all these years, Jeff seemed to be hopelessly in love with her. But she just wasn’t hopelessly in love with him anymore. She’d made her decision; she was going to tell Jeff she wanted a divorce.

Key Questions for Couples to Consider before Baby Arrives

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

right-way-feed-babyThere’s no shortage of advice and to-do lists for parents-to-be. There are articles on do’s and don’ts; information about things you should and shouldn’t buy; and books you must read right away. The sheer overload of information can be dizzying.

Pausing can help. In fact, one of the best things parents-to-be can do is to look within and reflect together. Not surprisingly, communication between partners is key when you start expanding your family.

Consequences of Emotional Abuse

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Consequences of Emotional AbuseI come from a family where abuse has had a generational continuity. My grandfather abused my grandmother. My grandmother abused her son, daughter-in-law and other people. (She threw food at me once.) My father bullies his wife and daughter. My mother is emotionally violent to me. I go crazy and can break stuff around my mother.

Overall it is a very disturbing home environment. No one knows how to get out of the situation and we continue to harm each other. At times it feels like a spiraling battle to death. My grandpa passed away recently, ending his part.

Signs Your Child May Benefit from Seeing a Therapist

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Signs Your Child May Benefit from Seeing a TherapistKnowing when a child needs to see a therapist can be tricky. Naturally, young kids don’t have the emotional or communication skills to verbalize what they need and how they’re feeling.

Therapy can be incredibly helpful for kids. It teaches children healthy coping skills. It teaches them how to understand, articulate and express their feelings instead of acting out behaviorally, said Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, a child and family therapist.

Adults with ADHD: Tips for Juggling Life in Today’s Frenetic World

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Adults with ADHD: Tips for Juggling Life in Today’s Frenetic WorldWe live in a wired, fast-paced world. We’re constantly plugged in — checking email and social media sites from all of our devices. We’re trying to meet ever-increasing expectations and demands, juggling careers and school, raising kids, managing our homes, entertaining, and much more, says Terry Matlen, MSW, ACSW, a psychotherapist and ADHD coach.

“For the adult without ADD, it’s a tough situation to keep their heads above water. But for an adult with ADHD, it’s almost an impossible task.”

“The brain can just ‘shut down’ due to feeling overwhelmed,” said Stephanie Sarkis, Ph.D, NCC, a psychotherapist and ADHD specialist. Adults with ADHD can become paralyzed because they don’t know where to start, she said.

Death in the Family: How I Found Myself After Losing My Mother

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

Mirror Reflection of an Eye

How I lost her but learned a lot about myself along the way.

I would like to start this by saying that this isn’t a typical love story about a woman who wakes up one day and falls face first into self-discovery — but it comes pretty close. When I was sixteen, my mother died after battling breast cancer for the second time, passing through a rotating door of radiation treatments that eventually left holes in her lungs. I remember feeling empty. Like there was this large piece of me missing and I couldn’t find it — A hole in the center of my chest for everyone to see.

But, that’s not what this story is all about. You see, until this point, I had never even been around this country, let alone another one. When I was younger, my mother used to go on a lot of trips; once a year, she would travel the world — She always went alone, and never to the same place twice.

What Really Works in Disciplining Your Teen

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

What Really Works in Disciplining Your TeenParenting teens is tricky. Some parents, worried their teens will make bad decisions, micromanage their behavior. They set a slew of rules and parent with iron fists, lectures and fear-based tactics.

This, however, tends to drive teens away and disconnects them from their parents. In the second edition of his book The Available Parent: Expert Advice for Raising Successful and Resilient Teens and Tweens, clinical psychologist and parenting expert John Duffy, Ph.D, advocates for a different approach.

Of course, discipline is important for teens. It provides structure and boundaries, writes Duffy. But he distinguishes effective discipline from punishment. Punishment triggers arguments and cuts communication. Effective discipline, however, “comes from a calm, centered, loving place.”

Leaving a Legacy Behind

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

Leaving a Legacy BehindI recently saw “The Fault In Our Stars,” based on the novel by John Green. This heartbreaking film portrays two teenagers, Hazel Lancaster and Augustus Waters, who fall in love as they both battle cancer.

Though I’m not interested in reviewing the film (quite frankly, it was a bit too emotionally disturbing for my taste), I do wish to highlight one crucial aspect that “The Fault In Our Stars” emphasized — the concept of legacy.

Delusions of the Codependent

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Delusions of the CodependentOne of the most painful moments for a codependent is when he or she realizes that a relationship is not going to work out as imagined. Facing the end of a relationship is stressful for most people, and it is normal and natural to do whatever we can to keep a relationship going. But a codependent (and particularly one who is also a love addict) will typically go above and beyond what most people will do to help a relationship succeed, giving far more effort, time, energy, attention, and other resources than their partner does.

They often end up feeling angry, resentful, exhausted, lonely, and bitter. Sometimes they become martyrs, complaining about how much they’ve done and how little they are loved, appreciated, or getting in return. And every now and then they will do really desperate things to try to control the outcome.

9 Ways to Help a Friend or Family Member With Depression

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

essentialbaby.com.auAll of a sudden your best friend stops calling. She no longer wants to join you for yoga on Saturday mornings. The last time you saw her she looked fragile and sad, like someone else was living in her body. Her husband doesn’t know what to do so he solicits your help in cheering her up.

Or maybe it’s your sister. She has been struggling with depression for a few months now. She’s been to a psychiatrist and is on an antidepressant, but she doesn’t seem to be making much progress.

What do you do?

Not the Man I Used to Know

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Not the Man I Used to KnowEarly in my sobriety, I became friendly with a university professor who regularly attended my home group meeting. This person taught political science, and I enjoyed our conversations about current events, especially discussions around the Middle East, as Israeli and Palestinian tensions were peaking during this period. He was a supportive friend, and encouraged me to mentor another newcomer who later became one of my very best friends.

A short time into our friendship, the professor showed up late to our meeting and was disruptive throughout the hour. He stood up several times in the middle of other people sharing, washed his face in the small kitchenette sink, and had several coughing fits. It was odd, but I didn’t know enough to confront him or suggest he leave the meeting.

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Parenting



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