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ADHD and ADD

​Teaching Teens Ways to Excel at School Despite Mental Illness

Two extremely upsetting statistics came out not too long ago. Reports have found that not only is there a link between absenteeism in school and mental illness, but there is also a correlation between suspensions from schools and children who have mental or neurological health concerns. These include personality disorders, depression, ADHD, autism and spectrum disorders, and other mental health issues, both treated and untreated.

This is a major concern. Rather than recognizing symptoms and reaching out to provide support to the students who need it most, those children are being thrown out of the very environment that would provide them the most stability to manage their conditions. Not only that, but it is stigmatizing mental illness in our youth and taking away their chance for a solid education.
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Agitation

Fighting Over Money? How to Stop Arguing About Finances

Money can be a loaded topic, especially during the holidays or when business, family, and finances mix. It’s one of the biggest sources of relationship problems -- and it can be the toughest to resolve.

Throughout the course of any partnership, butting heads over spending and saving habits is to be expected. Couples can face financial rough patches that are more emotionally complex than deciding whether to splurge on take-out this week. When this happens, it can feel overwhelming and affect your ability to focus at work and home.
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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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Caregivers

OCD & Exhaustion

When my son Dan’s obsessive-compulsive disorder was severe, he was always exhausted. At first, I attributed his lack of energy to the fact that he rarely slept well. But it soon became obvious, even when sleeping was not an issue, that he always felt tired.

Why?

I think there are many reasons why those with obsessive-compulsive disorder are often exhausted. Living with nonstop anxiety can be draining. Many people with OCD are also depressed, and depression and lack of energy often go hand in hand. Additionally, some medications used to treat OCD are known to cause fatigue.
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Caregivers

OCD and Shopping Anxiety

By the time my son Dan entered a residential treatment center for OCD, he was barely functioning. Using exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy he tackled his hierarchy (a list of anxiety-provoking situations created by the person with OCD), and slowly but surely regained his life.

During his stay, one of his exposures was to go on shopping trips and make purchases. All types of shopping proved difficult for him -- buying groceries and necessities, clothing, etc. But the more expensive purchases, particularly if they were for himself, seemed to be the most stressful.

But he did it. And he felt the overwhelming anxiety. And he refrained from doing compulsions. Over and over again until shopping was no longer an issue for him.
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Aging

Should You Record Your Doctor’s Visits?

My mother is 84 years old, and like many people her age, she has a host of medical issues. She regularly sees a primary care doctor, a cardiologist, an endocrinologist, a rheumatologist, a neurologist, a gastroenterologist, a dermatologist, and an ophthalmologist. She takes a lot of medication, and typically every few months it is recommended she undergo some type of “new” test or procedure. While I believe that bouncing from one doctor to another is not the best health care model, that’s a topic for another day. Today the question is, “How is she supposed to keep track of all the health care information bombarded at her?”
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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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ADHD and ADD

Special Needs Parents: Taking It Day by Day

Most parents of special needs children are concerned about their kids’ distant future. What about college? Will they be employable? What will they do for the long haul? Will they find someone to love? Will they have a family? Who will take care of them when I’m gone?  

I, on the other hand, live day to day. I don’t worry about ten, twenty or thirty years from now. I’m so engrossed in the moment -- basic survival -- that I don’t project our lives into the future.

There are a few reasons for this.
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Aspergers

Special Needs

My autistic son has had dozens of doctors, therapists, intervention specialists, teachers, aids, coaches and camp counselors, and most of these individuals and their programs have been very helpful for Tommy. Nine years of special attention have been good for him. He went from an anxious child with behavior problems, with average grades to a more confident 12-year-old who won the citizenship prize at school, with straight As and an Honor Roll certificate.
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Caregivers

I Matter Too: Self-Compassion in Action

“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.” - Jack Kornfield
Raise your hand if you are a caregiver, either personally or professionally. Do you spend your days looking after the wellbeing of family, friends and/or clients? At the end of a long day or an even longer week, do you feel "all gived out"? As a therapist and consummate caregiver in most of my relationships, I would often admit that my compassion meter was running a quart low. I would find myself feeling impatient and annoyed with the drama that swirled around me. That’s when I knew I needed to examine the areas in my life in which I was neglecting that which I was showering on others.
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Addiction

Recovery 101 for Family Members

Your loved one has finally agreed to attend treatment for their addiction and you probably feel relieved that they are finally sober.  Maybe you are thinking “when they finish treatment we can finally get back to having a normal life!”  

As your loved one progresses in treatment your life will begin to change also and you may find that you still feel anxious and worried.  “Why are they spending so much time in...
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