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5 New Mom Myths

November 14th, 2014
The letters keep coming to our advice column on PsychCentral. New moms wonder if there is something wrong with them if they aren’t over the moon about their little one every minute of every day. Others worry that they aren’t doing it right or that the ...

You Are a Key Member of Your Treatment Team

You are a Key Member of Your Treatment TeamHowever much the pharmaceutical companies would have us believe it, taking a pill or even a cocktail of pills probably won’t make your diagnosis of mental illness go away completely. Recovering is a verb -- a series of ...

Put Your Phone Away and Pay Attention to Your Kids

Put Your Phone Away and Pay Attention to Your KidsThis psychologist is worried. It seems that everywhere I go a sizable number of the parents are ignoring their kids. At the grocery store: Mom is pushing one child in the cart. Two others are hanging onto the sides ...

Can Babies Be Made into Bullies?

how-a-bully-is-made Molly Skyar, in open conversation with her mother, Dr. Susan Rutherford, a clinical psychologist and expert in human behavior, view parenting decisions through a psychologist's perspective. MOLLY: If your baby didn’t develop a secure attachment to a parent, how might you see that child acting in preschool and ...

How to Tell if Your Decisions are from Your Evolved or Primitive Brain

Diabetes Drug Makes Brain Cells Grow in MiceDecisions can be motivated by thoughtful consideration from our higher mind (frontal lobe/executive functions) or fear-based survival instincts (amygdala, impulses) from a more primitive mind. When decisions are informed by our higher mind, they are more likely to lead ...

Why Your Therapist Can’t Be Your Friend

Is Liking Your Therapist Enough?It’s only natural. You’ve met with your therapist once a week for a year or more. You’ve shared some of your deepest concerns and worries. You’ve shared your triumphs and celebrations. She (or he, but I’ll stick to female pronouns here) has supported ...

Helping Kids Succeed in School Despite OCD

Helping Kids Succeed in School Despite OCDRoger’s parents were nervous about the new school year. They remembered how Roger’s OCD had surfaced. His fear of possibly choking on lunch food had kept him away for weeks. This problem subsided, but Roger’s OCD had morphed into contamination ...

The Fog of Paranoia: A Sister’s Journey through Her Brother’s Schizophrenia

BOOK REVIEW.
When a loved one develops a mental illness, we sift through the sands of memory looking for clues. Running our hand through the fine grains, we examine past events, vague memories, comments made in passing. As we home in on a recollection, we ask ourselves: Was this the moment we knew something was wrong? Or ...

Don’t Ask Your Partner to Erase the Past

marriage_communication5I’ve received dozens of letters to the Psych Central advice column with the same problem: The writer has married a man or woman who is divorced and is upset because the new spouse wants to keep old pictures or items from their former marriage. For the spouse, ...

OCD and Trauma

OCD and TraumaWhen discussing the causes of obsessive-compulsive disorder, the general consensus is that a combination of genetic and environmental factors likely leads to its development. There’s talk of genetic predisposition, triggering events and childhood trauma. Oh, how that last one makes me cringe, and regardless of ...

Yoga Therapy For Children with Autism & Special Needs

BOOK REVIEW.
As a former yoga teacher, I used to consider Anatomy of Hatha Yoga my bedside manual. Years later, after my life priorities changed and the focus on physical stamina became less important than attaining a peaceful mind, I revisited the practice. It was a different yoga in my forties than in my twenties and thirties, despite that ...

Are You a People-Pleaser?

Are You a People-Pleaser?Everyone starts out in life wanting to be safe, loved, and accepted. It’s in our DNA. Some of us figure out that the best way to do this is to put aside what we want or feel and allow someone else’s needs and ...

Emotional Wellness: The Other Half of Treating Cancer

BOOK REVIEW.
Your friend was diagnosed with cancer this morning. She is scared and you are scared. Distraught, you make a beeline to a bookstore, seeking guidance. As you browse through various books, you come across one that you think might help your friend because it provides practical, immediate tips to short-circuit fearful and anxious thoughts. Emotional ...

Mother’s Day is Family Day

Mother's Day is Family DayIt’s May and Mother’s Day is around the corner. However we may feel about the holiday, the greeting card and floral industries make it impossible to ignore. Mothers are supposed to be treated with breakfast in bed, a bouquet of roses, time ...

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is National Child Abuse Prevention MonthI’d like to think that some April I won’t have to write about Child Abuse Prevention Month. But here we are again. Kids are still being abused in America. The statistics are shocking: In the United States, over five children are ...

Transforming Struggles with Kids into Parenting that Works

Transforming Struggles with Kids into Parenting that Works Kyle, a happy, active, strong-minded 5-year-old, was busy playing after dinner when he was supposed to be clearing the table. His dad called him repeatedly, trying to get his attention to come help. Kyle, seeming oblivious, did not ...

Six Ways to Help Your Perfectionist Child Find Balance

Six Ways to Help your Perfectionist Child Find BalanceFour-year-old Max would crumple his paper when his drawing wasn’t perfect. He would start over, and often grow angry and eventually give up. His parents noticed his rigidity, but hoped he would grow out of it. When he ...

Five Telltale Signs Your Child is a Budding Perfectionist

Five Telltale Signs Your Child is a Budding PerfectionistI once met a young man who had had many successes in his youth. He was intelligent and outgoing. He had always been the star in high school and had enjoyed the praise he received from others, but ...

Postpartum Depression & Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Postpartum Depression & Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderPregnancy and childbirth bring feelings of joy, excitement and anticipation. They also can complicate existing mental health issues and can create new mental health problems during the pregnancy, at the time of the birth and afterward. Mother and baby both can ...

Depression & Your Child: A Guide for Parents & Caregivers

BOOK REVIEW.
Until recently, it was believed that children didn’t -- and couldn’t -- get depressed. But kids do struggle with depression. In fact, some research has even suggested that babies can become depressed, according to Deborah Serani, PsyD, in her book Depression And Your Child: A Guide for Parents And Caregivers. Serani is a clinical psychologist ...

OCD & Siblings

OCD and SiblingsObsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) affects not only sufferers, but their whole family as well. Being privy to the havoc the disorder often causes can be especially disrupting, confusing, and upsetting to children. While parents are likely expending every ounce of energy they have trying to help ...

Are You Ready to Be a Parent?

Are You Ready to Be a Parent?From the moment you know you are pregnant or are part of a pregnant partnership, you are a parent. Even if the pregnancy ends in miscarriage, abortion, or giving the child up for adoption, the memory and effect of having started ...

It’s Your Decision: Parenting the Way God Intended

BOOK REVIEW.
Resources for parents practically overwhelm the retail market. There are books, CDs, DVDs, magazines. Stores like Babies “R” Us and specialty boutiques are easy to find. With It’s Your Decision: Parenting the Way God Intended, Ed Grizzle has attempted to add a book to the stack of reliable parenting resources. In it he describes his own ...