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Caregivers

Pediatric OCD and Its Effects on Family

A study published in the March 17, 2017 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry concludes that pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder negatively affects not only the children who suffer from it, but also their parents.

At the risk of sounding snarky, anyone who has a child with OCD could've told you that.

Still, well-conducted studies, as opposed to anecdotal evidence, are important. If nothing else, they give clinicians and researchers concrete information to reference, study and build upon in their quest to understand OCD and how to best help those whose lives are affected by it.
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Family

Avoiding Projections Through Appreciation

A common way we get into trouble in intimate relationships is through projection.

We project onto our partner how we think they should be or act, usually through the lens of how we learned to be and act from our parents. We may have a fantasy of the ideal partner, or ideal behaviors we want from our partner, and we hold them to these unattainable projections.

The result is disappointment for both parties. Your partner only knows how to be themselves and will resent you if they are seen in and treated through idealized expectations. Thus, there needs to be space to allow your partner to be who they are. You can’t force them to be different, but you can appreciate them for who they are.

This is the foundation of relationship health.
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Anger

Is Your Partner Jealous of Your Child?

When you met your partner and fell in love you probably dreamed and eventually planned out a life together. For many this plan included the possibility of children. Fast-forward to having one or more children and all is perfect, right? Maybe not.

Life has a way of taking you through unexpected twists and turns and rarely, if ever, does it turn out the way you anticipated. What if one of those unexpected twists however, is your partner’s jealousy of your children?
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Family

The Art of Talking

I met my husband, Steve, in 1994.

We went out to dinner on a blind date. Strangely enough, I had the feeling when I met him that I was going to marry him. We wed three years later. This year we’re celebrating our 20-year wedding anniversary.

Back in 2003, when we were trying to adopt a baby, a social worker told us that we needed to learn how to communicate better with each other. My husband was quiet by nature, and I didn’t want to make him talk if he didn’t want to speak; consequently, a lot went unsaid.
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Family

Seeking Perfection—Even Though We Know It’s Impossible


A teenage boy is an exceptional baseball player. Every time he pitches a perfect game, his parents praise him. Every time he doesn’t, his parents lecture him on what he did wrong (and he berates himself). They encourage him to train long hours.

A young woman is convinced she’s too big. Her mother and grandmother regularly shame others for their weight. And they shame her, too. The young woman’s mom sticks to a strict number of calories and only eats “clean” foods. Soon the young woman starts doing the same. She and her mom “bond” over counting calories. Her mom praises her for adhering to a rigid diet and doing endless cardio. She praises her for losing weight. The young woman is terrified of stopping the diet and exercise.
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Family

How to Handle the Clash Between Love and Politics


I regularly see posts on social media from people saying, “If you voted for_________ (fill in the blank), you can unfriend me,” or “never speak to me again,” or a variation on a division between people who once were friends or who loved each other. Our current political era has created a greater divide, or at least a louder one, than most of us have ever seen before.

This is not just happening in America. A couple from England explained to me how Brexit has not only created a division in Europe, but also in households and families. Those for or against can simply not understand the others, nor change their minds. I have heard similar sentiments from those in Canada, and now, France.

So what do we do when our political stand and our friendships clash?

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Brain and Behavior

This Is Your Brain On Gossip


We talk a lot. We are the only species on the planet that exchange information predominantly through talking. Other species, such as dolphins or primates, have their own languages, but they do not rely on verbal communication to the same degree, almost to the exclusion of other communication channels, as we do.

Verbal communication is a cornerstone of society. So what are we talking about so much? According to scientific research, we talk mostly about other people. In fact, a whopping two-thirds of our conversations consist of gossips. Of course, we discuss other things such as work, politics, sports, and weather, but overwhelmingly we talk about other people’s affairs, often not in a very positive light.

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Anger

Getting Over the Hurt of an Affair

Your partner was unfaithful and now you are trying to get past all the hurt it’s causing you. You may be experiencing a number of different emotions including embarrassment, shame, guilt, anger, and sadness. You are probably going through a rollercoaster of feelings; loving and hating your spouse, all at the same time. Maybe you are wondering if this incredible pain will ever go away and end.
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Family

Your Bad Relationships Are Actually Great Sources of Wisdom

When a relationship ends, we often label it a “failed” or "bad" relationship. It didn’t last, after all. Maybe we never think about it, again. Ever again. Maybe we miss our ex from time to time. Maybe we recall the fights and bad memories. Maybe we blame our ex, and fixate on what a total jerk they were. Maybe we simply move on, and when our thoughts do turn to the relationship, we dismiss it as a disaster. Nothing more.

Of course, relationships end for all sorts of reasons. Cheating. Lack of trust. Lack of respect. Physical distance. Emotional disconnection. Different values and priorities. Endless bickering.
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