Caregivers

How to Promote Your Child’s Good Mental Health

Everyone knows the importance of good mental health, but how do you help your children achieve it? Here are some points to consider.

1. Give your child unconditional love.

Every child deserves and needs unconditional love from his or her parents and other family members. Love, security and acceptance form the bedrock for a child’s good mental health. Make sure your child knows that your love doesn’t depend on them getting good grades...
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Anxiety and Panic

Spirituality vs. Mental Disorders: God Doesn’t Hate Medication

I grew up in a family that had high expectations of me, and I have personally struggled with anxiety. For several years, I thought that my anxiety was a normal part of life. I didn’t realize that I should not have been having full-blown anxiety at the age of nine, but I was.

My family didn’t believe in mental illnesses, besides those that were obvious to the untrained eye. We did, however, attend a church regularly. I was highly interested in Christianity and studied it on my own. I was able to combat the unnatural anxiety through my relationship with God, and was able to overcome the anxiety throughout middle and high school. College, however, was different.
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Depression

Maternal Mental Health Screening: What I Wished I’d Had

When I was pregnant back in 1997, I wish my doctor had told me I might be at risk for postpartum depression. Her words wouldn’t have alarmed me. They would have prompted me to get treatment when the darkness did indeed hit.

During my six-week postpartum checkup when I was at my worst, I wish my OB/GYN had handed me a mental health screening and explained the difference between the “blues” and depression.

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Children and Teens

5 Tips for Reducing Ever-Growing Mom Guilt

Moms tend to feel guilty for all sorts of things. They feel guilty for working full-time or part-time. They feel guilty for not breastfeeding or for stopping too soon. They feel guilty for not being able to join their child’s field trip. Again. They feel guilty for taking time for themselves. For not cooking from scratch. For the dirty clothes in the corner and the dirty dishes in the sink. For not making enough money. For making mistakes. For being too tired. For anything.

As psychotherapist Krysta Dancy, MA MFT, said, guilt “begins in pregnancy and childbirth -- all the different ways to give birth -- flows through infancy -- feeding choices, sleeping philosophies -- and never lets up.”
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Brain and Behavior

Mom Knows Best: Overcoming Life’s Hardships

Life bruises. For others, it cripples. And, for a select few, it empowers.

As we marvel at others’ resilience during uncommon adversity, what lessons are applicable to our lives?

On a gloomy October day, the doctor’s diagnosis numbed us. “Pancreatic cancer,” he spat out. My aunt and I recoiled. The word -- cancer -- buzzed in our ears. Shoulders slumping, our mist-filled eyes met. We were dazed; cancer happens to others. Not our familial matriarch.
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General

Navigating the Tricky and Often Triggering World of Social Media as a Mom

For many moms, social media can be a triggering space. It can be a breeding ground for comparison, which so many moms are already prone to in their offline lives. Comparison only creates more and more doubt about everything from your parenting choices to how you are as a person.

Maybe you compare yourself to the mom on social media who makes creative meals, has a spotless home and entertains her kids with fun activities and adventures. Maybe you compare yourself to the mom who gushes about every part of parenting, while you’re crying and covered in throw-up. Maybe you compare yourself to the mom who’s back to her normal routine only days after giving birth, while you’re lying in bed in excruciating pain from your C-section.
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Caregivers

Overcoming Adoption Fear and Doubt

The main reasons for adoption are pretty clear to me now that we’ve adopted a baby. A man and a woman get to be parents. A child without parents receives parents. The birth mother knows that her child will be well cared for. To me, it’s clearly a win/win/win situation.

But some people just plain don’t want to adopt. These are some of the issues people voice:

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Children and Teens

7 Relationship Mistakes We Make in Front of Our Kids

If you're a parent, successfully raising your children is an important goal. Would it surprise you if I said there’s an even greater role to play? Cultivating a strong, healthy and harmonious relationship with your partner is even more critical than how you parent your kids.

According to psychologist John Gottman, “how healthy your relationship is with your partner determines the social, emotional and academic success of your child” (Gottman, Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child). If you’re in an unhealthy relationship, over time your children will develop insecurities, parental dependence and lower intelligence scores.

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Caregivers

The Psychological Impact of Divorce on Adult Children

I recently viewed the 2013 comedy, "A.C.O.D," starring Adam Scott, Clark Duke, Richard Jenkins, and Catherine O’Hara. "A.C.O.D" showcases a serious storyline in a comedic light, while addressing the psychological impact divorce can have on adult children. While I can’t speak to such an experience firsthand, I was intrigued by the subject matter. Even though they’re no longer kids, adult children may still carry the weight of divorce and unresolved childhood issues on their shoulders.

Maybe such effects manifest in their romantic relationships. They may be wary of long-term commitment. Maybe they encounter heightened stress when they’re sifting through their parents’ leftover anger and resentment, still feeling as if they have to choose sides.

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Children and Teens

Fear of Missing Out Affecting Your Family? 7 Tips to Help

FOMO, or fear of missing out, is a trendy term today. Which might lead us to dismiss or minimize its influence. But for many families, FOMO is a real problem that impedes their connection.

According to psychotherapist Rebecca Ziff, LCSW, FOMO depletes the quality of family time. She’s worked with kids and teens who aren’t able to enjoy downtime with their families because they worry they’re missing out on social functions with their friends. Which means they aren’t fully engaged or present with their families. Understandably, this leaves parents “feeling undervalued and ignored.”
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Anxiety and Panic

A Bigger Deal than the Freshman 15

I was (Carolina) blue. Unlike my beloved Tar Heel hoops squad, my unstoppable opponent was bludgeoning me into submission. Obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, and anxiety nearly toppled me during my college years. The issue is bigger than my beloved alma mater: On university campuses, mental health issues affect 25 percent of the student body.

I bleed Tar Heel blue. I founded a student organization on campus, graduated with a shiny GPA, and studied abroad in Australia. I rejoiced on Franklin Street when the Heels upended Duke. From riveting seminars to proud traditions, Chapel Hill provided the quintessential university experience.

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Brain Blogger

Fostering Self-Actualization During Child Development


Finding out who we are meant to be can be a difficult task and most won’t take the time and energy involved in the journey. Perhaps, not that they won’t, more often than not they can’t.

Many people struggle daily with meeting other, more base needs, rendering them unable to direct their energy towards higher, more fulfilling needs. In no way am I a self-actualized person, in Rogerian terms I am self-actualizing, that is, I am tending towards my real self and this is necessary for proper and healthy development, and should start no later than once the child is born.

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