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Children and Teens

Can Parents Love Each Child the Same and Treat Them Differently?

Readers of a certain age may recall the sibling comedy team called The Smothers Brothers and the classic line Tommy delivered to Dick, “Mom always liked you best.” There are some who would tend to agree that parental preference contributed to their sense of self; either to their benefit or detriment.

Although parents may not love one child more than another, they may not always treat them the same since each is a unique individual. This topic came up in conversation recently with a parent of three boys. Each of these youngsters ranging from elementary to high school age, has a distinct personality, accompanied by challenges, exacerbated in part because of being part of a blended family in which the adults themselves came from backgrounds with varying parenting styles.
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Caregivers

Bouncing Back: Resilient Thrivers Tell Their Stories

This is the first in a series of articles about people who have survived life challenges that they never anticipated. For each of them, the unexpected brought lessons and skills that have helped them to move from victim to survivor to thriver.

Albert Borris is a 58-year-old man who lives in the Philadelphia suburb of Moorestown, New Jersey. For three decades, he worked as a Student Assistance Counselor in a high school setting, guiding young people who were facing psychological and addiction oriented challenges. According to his colleagues and those whose lives he touched -- likely thousands over the years -- he was superb at his job. He is the father of three children; two young sons and a daughter who is following in her father’s footsteps professionally, now in graduate school earning her Masters of Social Work.
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Bipolar

A Spotlight on Award-Winning Advocate and Everyday Hero Gabe Howard

For years Gabe Howard teetered between a mania that made him “wild” and a depression that made him suicidal. When he was manic, he’d stay awake for days. He’d drink and use drugs. He’d take unnecessary risks. He felt invincible.

When he was depressed, he felt utterly worthless and alone. He constantly thought about suicide and even had a plan. “I wanted to die and believed that no one would miss me,” said Howard.

He was struggling...
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Grief and Loss

Four Benefits of Counterfactual Thinking

Three days ago my husband was told he didn’t get the promotion he wanted and had almost been promised by his boss. He has been angry (and sad and frustrated and going through Elizabeth Kubler Ross’ stages of grief) and he has lost sleep the last over the situation. His reaction and behavior has reminded me of friends and family members who have received potentially devastating health news. But bad business news and bad health news are both areas where counterfactual thinking can help if one does it in the mindset of brainstorming, instead of that of regret.

Counterfactual thinking is defined as "
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Children and Teens

Everything I Was Too Afraid to Be: On Fatherhood and Mental Health

Recently, I had the good fortune to meet a fellow mental health advocate in person. Gabriel Nathan (Gabe – just like me) is the Editor-in-Chief of OC87 Recovery Diaries and a man who lives with depression, anxiety, and obsessive thoughts. We talked about a great many things, but the topic that fascinated me the most is that he is the father of twins.

“How on earth can you manage mental illness AND a child -- let alone two?” was my first thought.

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Addiction

America’s Drunk History: An Interview with Christopher M. Finan


The Fix Q&A with Christopher M. Finan, author of Drunks: An American History, on our nation's history of alcoholism, recovery and AA.

The origin story of America is typically told as a fight for freedom. But a new book, Drunks: An American History, by Christopher M. Finan, recounts a struggle that predates our wrestle for independence: a three century long battle to sober up.

Drunks begins in 1799 with the story of Handsome Lake, a member of the Seneca Nation whose drinking reduced him to “yellow skin and dried bones.” Stripped of their land and decimated by poverty, Natives sought solace in yet another empty gift offered by Americans: booze.

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Bipolar

No Matter Your Age, Never Say Goodbye to Play

In recent months, physical, playful activity has been the only way out of painful rumination for me, providing a temporary respite from debilitating depression. Its transformative power is surprising to me for its ability to help me manage my emotions.

Evolutionary biologist and animal behavioral specialist Marc Bekoff, PhD, once said that “play is training for the unexpected.”

And psychiatrist and play expert Stuart Brown, MD, said, “Those who play rarely become brittle in the face of stress or lose the healing capacity for humor.”
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General

Do You Know How to Be Present Amid Someone’s Suffering?


I was speaking with a friend tonight about the discomfort some people have in being present for and/or knowing what to say when someone is diagnosed with a life-challenging illness. What happens is that folks sometimes disappear, or are inclined not to step up and be of support. It's not because they don't care, but more likely because they were never taught how to deal with loss and change. They might imagine themselves in that situation and it is too immense to consider, so they practice cognitive dissonance. They may also rationalize the someone else will volunteer their time and energy, so they don’t need to.
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Depression

PODCAST: Interview With The Mental Health Editor for The Mighty

In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe and Vincent speak with Sarah Schuster, mental health editor for The Mighty, Psych Central's partner and story-based health community focused on improving the lives of people facing disease, disorder, and disability. The Mighty publishes real stories about real people facing real challenges.

Sarah Schuster graduated with a journalism degree from Syracuse University, and currently lives in Los Angeles. You can find her on Twitter @saraheliztweets.

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Interview

Mindfulness and Sleep: Advice from Experts

This article is Part Three in a series, click to read Part One and Part Two.

I am just a little bit obsessed with sleep. My own, my children’s and... well... even yours really. Of course I am not alone in that. There are many books, websites, organizations and careers built around getting better sleep!

When you are a new mother, the level of sleep deprivation you experience can be a shock, unlike any kind of tiredness you have ever felt before. It can undermine your health and well-being very quickly, and clearly has flow on effects on your enjoyment of motherhood and your child’s well-being.
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