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ADHD and ADD

Want to Die? Call 911 & Hold a Closed Multi-Purpose Tool

You would think that university police would have such great mental health training -- given that they are dealing with a population of young adults exploring limits, learning about themselves, and one of the groups at the greatest risk for a first-episode incident of mental illness.

Apparently not at Georgia Tech. This is a school where I would never send my child, given the most recent incident of a person with mental illness being killed -- rather than being counseled -- in mid-September. One second of poor judgment on an officer's part, and suddenly an entire life is snuffed out. Not because a criminal was threatening anyone (other than himself) with harm. But simply because the man -- Scout Schultz -- had a mental illness.

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Anger

The Las Vegas Shooting: A Therapist’s Perspective

In texting with my mother and sister about the mass shootings in Las Vegas, they shared their concerns, sadness and confusion. “Mental Illness?” my sister asked, as I am the professional… I suppose.

In my career I have worked with clients who have committed murder, who have had multiple cases of sexually assaulting young children or disabled victims, who have been witnesses to traumas of being held at gunpoint, sex trafficking, watching one parent shoot the other, incest by a parent. These are extreme cases and I wish I could say they are rare.

My reactions to mass shootings, the opioid drug epidemic, and other heart-wrenching situations that you wish were not reality, are extremely mixed. I have to react as a human being and as a therapist in the field. Maybe saying I “have to” is not accurate. In actuality, I am just internally torn.
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Anger

What You Can Do Before Anger Becomes Violence

When I heard about the violent attacks in Las Vegas, my heart sank. Why does this keep happening and what can we do to prevent it from happening again?

Awful things are happening with much more frequency. The sense of powerlessness with each tragedy can feel paralyzing. What can we do? Blaming and crucifying the perpetrator doesn't stop the violence. 

There are things that you can do. While you cannot control or prevent another person’s behavior you can help. First, pay attention to anyone in your life that's really struggling. Check in with them and listen. It's not your job to assess their mental state but notice what's happening. Not everyone suffering is in crisis, but don't be afraid to ask questions. If you have concerns, share them with their family. Don't stay quiet.
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Anger

Podcast: What’s the REAL Link Between Anger and Violence?

In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales discuss mental illness and violence. More specifically, they address the real culprit behind the vast majority of violence: anger. Their discussion dispels the myth that anger is an unhealthy emotion, teaches ways to express anger in a healthy fashion, and addresses the widely held belief that most mentally ill people are violent (and why people hold this belief). The discussion also covers the real factor in predicting whether someone might become violent and ends with suggestions on ways anyone can learn how to get control of anger in their lives.
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Ethics & Morality

In Times of Tragedy — How Do We Cope?

While I try to keep up with current events in the United States and the world, I am the first to admit I often stay away from the news -- especially these days. If I pay too much attention to our country's problems and issues, it affects me to the point where I can't function well. And then what good am I to anybody? So I have chosen to pay attention to the news -- just enough to be informed, but not enough to interfere with living a good, productive life.

But lately I find myself glued to the television news reports about the disaster in Texas. I've never seen anything like it in my life -- flooding beyond belief -- with so many people displaced and in need of help. Devastation on so many levels.
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Bullying

High Schooled: “13 Reasons Why”

For once, that Netflix binge was productive.

13 Reasons Why is Netflix’s latest cult hit. The docuseries chronicles lead character’s Hannah’s descent into suicide. This is more than manufactured teenage angst; the Netflix hit dives into weighty topics like slut shaming, mental health, and suicide.

Not surprisingly, some parents have expressed dismay about the program’s controversial content. According to detractors, 13 Reasons Why glorifies suicide; it promotes self-destructive behavior.

I disagree. 13 Reasons Why is a critical look into high schools’ hidden tumult. For me, it provided a much-needed reality check on cyber-bullying and rape culture. And, sadly, our collective acquiescence to it.
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Children and Teens

‘Help Me Figure Myself Out’: The Paved Road to the Adolescent Mind

“What do I do? I don’t know what to do with him anymore!” This is one of the many scenarios of a frantic parent knocking on the therapist’s door. Teenage years are tough, let’s not kid ourselves. We have been there, we remember.

In my practice I’ve consulted numerous parents on teens’ presenting problems such as: indifference, apathy, resistance, verbal/physical aggressiveness, destructive behavior, mood swings and a complete emotional shutdown expressed by their teenage sons and daughters.
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Anger

The Boys Club

Over the past several years sexual assault has become an increasingly popular subject. Whether this is because there is a rise in sexual assault or because it is simply more acceptable to openly discuss the matter, is unclear. Whatever the case, sexual abuse/assault/violence and harassment has exploded into common conversation.
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