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7 Persistent Myths About Marriage

September 14th, 2014
Myths about marriage abound. Some myths come from pop culture. For instance, a persistent myth is that your relationship should come easy when you’re with “the one,” said Jazmin Moral, LCSW-C, a psychotherapist who specializes in working with couples in Rockville, Md. Other ...

Two For: Memories of a Manic Father

Flickr Creative Commons / francois karmA shopping spree. Retail therapy. The high of a manic episode. Call it what you will, an out-of-control buying binge, especially one with a credit card in hand, is a very dangerous thing. My father was what we then called "manic-depressive.’" ...

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 ...

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

How to Tell If Your Decisions are from Your Evolved or Primitive BrainDecisions 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 ...

Bipolar Disorder Genes Uncovered

Bipolar Disorder Genes UncoveredNovel genes have been identified as possible contributors to bipolar disorder. The condition, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a chronic and devastating psychiatric illness, affecting 0.5-1.6% of the general population across their lifetime. Its causes are not yet ...

Parental Involvement Equals School Success

Parental Involvement Equals School SuccessIt’s already August. Summer is fast coming to a close. For those with children, the end of summer means the beginning of the school year. You can’t ignore it. Stores are displaying notebooks, backpacks and back-to-school clothes. You may be already getting ...

Lessons from my Depression

Lessons from my DepressionI was in a hopeless, dark place about seven years ago. I was living in a single room on the thirteenth floor of a building. One day it felt like it made more sense to jump from the window than to find the ...

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 ...

Is That Me Yelling? A Parent’s Guide

BOOK REVIEW.
"I never imagined that I would have a child who talks back to me and thinks she’s the boss of everyone. How did that happen, and what am I supposed to do now?" So asks Brice, a psychologist and parent of a 7-year-old child, in Rona Renner’s Is That Me Yelling? A Parent’s Guide to Getting Your ...

Conquering Shame & Codependency: 8 Steps to Freeing the True You

BOOK REVIEW.
“I had found the enemy — and it was me.”  So writes Darlene Lancer in Conquering Shame and Codependency: 8 Steps to Freeing the True You. Sometimes there are true external foes that we must fight and defeat. But quite often, when we take a hard look at a situation, we are indeed our own worst enemy. ...

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, ...

Stages of Marriage

Relationship Tips for Those Rocky First Few Years of MarriageSummertime is wedding time for thousands of couples. For months, perhaps even a year, you’ve been focused on making your wedding day perfect. Thoughts and conversations have gone into deciding everything from colors for the flowers to ...

What Can Parents Do When OCD Sneaks In?

What Can Parents Do When OCD Sneaks In?Megan felt miserable. She and her family had relocated in the middle of the school year to another city. She was missing her friends and changes were difficult for her. It seemed the problems began one morning when she ...

Get the Kids Off Those Screens

Get the Kids off Those ScreensIt’s probably not new information for you. American children are now spending more time on the “screens” in their lives than on any other single activity. According to a 2010 study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, children and teens were spending 50 ...

Teaching Children to Do Hard Things

Teaching Children to Do Hard ThingsA child and his grandfather are at the playground. There is a high teepee set up with ropes and it looks challenging for the 3-year-old boy. His grandfather invites him to climb it. As he takes the first step toward the top, ...

It’s Father’s Day: What Are You Giving Your Kids?

It's Father's Day: What Are You Giving Your Kids?American culture is becoming increasingly dad-less. Forty percent of American children are being born to single moms, and 24 percent of kids under the age of 18 live in single-mother families with no spouse present. The divorce rate, ...

Running on Empty: Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect

BOOK REVIEW.
Sometimes one has the pleasure of reading a book that provides genuine insight and discusses a concept previously unnamed. Running on Empty: Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect, by clinical psychologist Jonice Webb and contributor Christine Musello, was one such book for me.  It is no secret that I consider many self-help books questionable, or, at best, critically lacking ...

Boot Camp Therapy: Brief, Action-Oriented Clinical Approaches to Anxiety, Anger & Depression

BOOK REVIEW.
Ask people on Main Street America what comes to mind when they hear the word therapy. They may describe Freud, the classical analyst’s couch, with a free-associating patient spending years exploring the deepest recesses of early memories. However, they are just as likely — possibly more likely these days — to mention someone like Dr. ...

Safe with Me

BOOK REVIEW.
Amy Hatvany’s latest ‘can’t put down’ read and thought-provoking novel, Safe With Me, explores various themes - the role of technology in adolescents’ lives, grief management and dishonesty - but one that she truly delves into is the complexity surrounding domestic abuse. When Hannah, a single mother and successful salon stylist, tragically loses her 12-year-old daughter, ...

How to Get More of the Behavior You Want in Kids (Without Really Trying)

How to Get More of the Behavior You Want in Kids (Without Really Trying)When kids independently do what we would have wanted, either their natural inclinations sync with our values -- or our values have been successfully transmitted. At these happy moments, an ill-timed temptation to ...

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and the Teen Brain

OCD and Teens' BrainsWhen my son Dan was at a residential treatment program to battle his severe obsessive-compulsive disorder, my husband and I were encouraged by the staff there to let him make his own major life decisions, without any input from us. This didn’t make sense ...

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 ...

OCD and Atypical Antipsychotics

OCD and Atypical AntipsychoticsWhile the frontline treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder continues to be Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) therapy, many who suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder also appear to be helped by medication. Often the combination of ERP therapy and medication, typically high doses of selective serotonin ...