Students Articles

Parents: Helping Your Child with ADHD

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Parents: Helping Your Child with ADHDSome hype in the media has been made about an “over-diagnosis” of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But parents with children who actually have ADHD are left scratching their heads — why are some people demonizing their child’s disorder? Would a journalist go after pediatric cancer with the same gusto?

I don’t have the answer to those kinds of questions, but I do have some tips to share with parents of children with ADHD. Raising a child with ADHD presents unique opportunities and challenges. But it’s the challenges that can sometimes throw parents for a loop.

Why Social Networks Like Facebook Fail

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

Why Social Networks Like Facebook FailAll online social networks eventually fail. Before Facebook, there was Friendster and Myspace — leaders of the social networking space in 2004 (just 10 years ago). Now they are relegated to historical footnotes, or the butt of some joke.

Facebook, too, will fail, even if it doesn’t look like it today. And that’s not due to any specific failing of Facebook, but rather of human nature and the psychology of online identity management.

Here’s why all social networks inevitably fail.

Millennials’ Problem? Depression & Few Skills in Conflict Negotiation

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Millennials' Problem? Depression & Few Skills in Conflict NegotiationI’ll start off by saying I don’t think it’s fair to any generation to claim you know what’s ailing them. I think a generation of people is so large and diverse, it’s hard to make generalizations that will apply to anything larger than a subgroup.

But that doesn’t stop both journalists and others from speculating about “what’s wrong with Millennials.”

For good reason — rates of depression are on the rise amongst older teens and young adults, hitting levels we’ve never seen before. Recent studies put the rate of depression as high as 44 percent among college students. Suicide remains a leading cause of death in this age group.

So is depression the problem? Helicopter parenting? Something else? Let’s find out.

Sandy Hook: Administration Promises $100 Million in Mental Health Funding, But There’s a Few Problems

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Sandy Hook: Administration Promises $100 Million in Mental Health Funding, But There's a Few ProblemsFrom 2009 until 2013, states have cut more than $4.35 billion from mental health funding for treatment and related services for those most in need in America. Yes, you read that right — $4.35 billion. In tough times, states always turn to cutting social services first.

The message states seem to be sending is, “Hey, we know you’re already poor, so if we cut services to you, well, how much worse could your life be?”

So it comes as a relief — well, a little relief — that the White House announced the rejiggering of some budgets to free up $100 million in funding of mental health services to states.

Is this enough of a response — or even the right response — to the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre?

What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?When we’re young, we may have certain visions of what our future looks like — we contemplate what we want to do, career-wise, in the years to come. Yet even if those desires change, perhaps you can retain your childhood dreams in other ways.

Home video footage depicts me as a young girl, running around our Brooklyn apartment, singing and dancing (apparently, Paul McCartney’s “This One” did wonders for that dancing urge).

The performing arts scene was number one on my list, and when the sixth grade yearbook asked all the 11/12 year-old graduates the classic question (“what do you want to be when you grow up?”), I had my answer.

ADHD Experts Reveal Their Favorite Ways to Manage Procrastination

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

ADHD Experts Reveal Their Favorite Ways to Manage ProcrastinationFor people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), procrastination tends to be a stubborn problem. “I don’t know anyone with ADHD where procrastination is not an issue,” said Roberto Olivardia, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist and clinical instructor in the department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

That’s because this is the nature of ADHD and its neurological underpinnings. It’s difficult for the brain of someone with ADHD to get stimulated unless the activity is interesting, there are major consequences or there is a sense of urgency, he said.

“For people with ADHD, there are two time zones: Now and Not Now. If it is not happening now, the ADD-er will tend to procrastinate until it gets closer to the ‘Now’ zone.”

Interventions That Really Work for College Drinking

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

Interventions That Really Work for College DrinkingWhen a student heads off to college, friends, family members and loved ones hope that they are prepared both emotionally and academically for transitions and the independence that comes with college life. But for some students, drinking problems emerge with potentially serious consequences for a student’s academics, relationships and mental and physical health.

Colleges have long struggled to identify who is most at risk for developing drinking problems and which interventions best treat problems once they emerge. 

With more than 1,825 college student deaths from alcohol-related accidents, according to a 2009 study in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, it’s also a question of keen interest and scientific investigation for psychologists. What have they discovered?

8 Ways to Help Kids with ADHD Succeed in School

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

8 Ways to Help Kids with ADHD Succeed in SchoolKids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a neurobiological disorder characterized by inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity, tend to have a harder time in school because of the disorder.

“Research suggests that children with ADHD exhibit deficits in cognitive and achievement testing, lower grades, and an increased use of special education services in comparison with the general population,” said Jacqueline Iseman, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist with a private practice in Potomac, Maryland.

Kids with ADHD also are more likely to need tutoring, repeat a grade or have learning difficulties, she added. So how can you help them do well in school?

5 Stress Busters for Students

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

5 Stress Busters for Students School is packed with potential stressors — everything from penning research papers to giving presentations to taking final exams. Plus, if you’re away at college, you have the added stress of being on your own and navigating a slew of unfamiliar places and situations.

While stress is inevitable for students, it doesn’t have to bulldoze your life or affect your academic performance.

Below, Kathryn Tristan, a research scientist on the faculty of the Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, shares five tips for helping students like you to have a lower-stress semester.

5 Signs Your Teen Needs Mental Health Treatment

Saturday, September 21st, 2013

5 Signs Your Teen Needs Mental Health TreatmentTeens go through emotional ups and downs all the time. Hormones are changing, life can seem overwhelming, and without much life experience, a young adult can feel misguided. When parents are busy working, or a natural separation from family occurs, teens may turn to friends instead of parents.

Peer support can be helpful for certain issues. But when the symptoms of a mental illness are present, more than a good friend is needed.

The problem is, teens may not understand what the feelings they experience mean. As a parent, it’s important to stay connected so that you notice any changes or any symptoms of a mental illness in your child.

Teens & the Duck Syndrome

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Teens & the Duck SyndromeThe “Duck Syndrome” is a term coined by Stanford University and seems to be running rampant at many colleges (and from my research) in many high schools as well.

What is the Duck Syndrome? Well, think of a duck gliding along the water. She looks very serene, calm and pleasant. Then, if you look under the water, she is paddling frantically.

That is the Duck Syndrome — too many students on the outside appear calm, cool, and collected while on the inside they are completely stressed out. It’s a “fake it till you make it” mentality. For many, they want to be the great student, the great athlete, and well-liked by peers.

But what price do they pay?

Revisiting Glasser’s Controversial Choice Theory

Monday, September 16th, 2013

Revisiting Glasser's Controversial Choice TheoryWhen I was in graduate school, I took a course on Dr. William Glasser’s controversial choice theory. I had never heard of the man before I signed up for the class and had no idea that he was a psychiatrist with some controversial ideas.

Until recently, when I read that Dr. Glasser had passed away, I had completely forgotten about choice theory and my experience in the class. After I read Dr. Glasser’s obituary, I started to think about what had been covered in my course and how I had initially reacted to it.

The first thing I learned about Dr. Glasser was that he did not believe in mental illness. He believed that everything was a choice — that we choose everything we do (even to be unhappy or mentally ill).

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