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Addiction

Mother’s Memoir of Son’s Opioid Addiction Offers Hope

Lisa Hillman never meant to become a poster child for parents coping with a child’s drug problem. She was an accomplished health care administrator, a fundraising executive married to former Annapolis Mayor Richard Hillman, and the mother of two.

Few people knew about the nightmare that was unfolding at home starting with a phone call from her son’s high school teacher the start of his senior year, alerting her to his possible marijuana use. Jacob’s addiction unraveled from there, resulting in a dependence on opiates that threw his life into reverse: preventing him from returning to the University of Maryland; presenting troubles with the law; and deteriorating most of his relationships, including his once-tight bond with his mom.
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Addiction

To Everything There Is a Season: Can Time of Year Impact Our Perspective on Death?

Recently I was speaking with a couple whose adult son died two months ago of a drug overdose. These parents adored him and knew he was dealing with emotional challenges. They did what they could to let him know he was loved and they were with him come what may. They attempted to get him help. He was surrounded by a multi-generational family who thought the world of him.

As we processed their experience and they openly shared their grief, they said something that in all my years as a therapist, I had not considered. They both acknowledged that as we approached the threshold between summer and autumn, they were experiencing a heightened sense of loss.
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Depression

Podcast: What Does Postpartum Depression Feel Like?

In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales speak with guest Christine Hammond, a licensed mental health counselor who has also suffered from postpartum depression in two of her three pregnancies. She shares her story of why neither she nor her husband recognize postpartum depression in the first pregnancy, how it appeared rapidly during the second pregnancy, and the fears they both had that it would occur in the third pregnancy. Christine also speaks of the shame carried by and stigma against mothers dealing with it, as well as postpartum depression’s biggest lie.
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Addiction

Codependency Is About Your Relationship with Yourself


To be acceptable to yourself and others, you hide who you are and become who you aren’t.

Most people think of codependency as being in a relationship with a addicted partner. And though that was true in my own years of active drinking, when I got sober, I discovered that codependency is much more. Codependency is about the relationship you have with yourself. It’s a set of characteristics and patterns of behavior we develop to help us cope, typically from a childhood that revolved around (but not limited to) addiction, emotional instability and trauma, and physical or mental illness.

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Mental Health and Wellness

Mindfulness for the Rest of Us

We've all heard about this concept called "mindfulness" -- it's the latest buzzword in psychology that's picked up a lot of momentum in the past decade. In short, it's a set of skills that you can learn to help you live more in the moment, every moment, of your life. Rather than the fractured, dazzled, attention-challenged person so many of us feel like we are.

While I'd love to offer a course in mindfulness, its not in my specialty wheelhouse. So I'm happy to do the next best thing... Offer you a course by one of our bloggers who's been with us since the beginning of our blog network, Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

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Depression

Suicide Awareness: The Family Secret

When I was 8 years old my uncle died by suicide.

I remember sitting in my family living room with my twin brother during a hot summer day watching a cartoon about rabbits, when I heard the phone ring and then the most heart-wrenching wail I have ever heard come out of my mother. My father immediately came into the room in a stoic and serious manner and told us that our uncle had died. He said not to do anything or say anything to my mother, and quickly left the room.
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Books

5 Things to Do When Your Child Doesn’t Listen

You ask your child to do something. They refuse. You ask nicely. They still refuse. You raise your voice just a bit to let them know you’re serious. And they refuse, again. You try to bribe them. And you get the same reaction. You finally send them to time-out or try a different discipline technique. And they still refuse—with the added bonus of being in a full-on, ear-splitting, sobbing tantrum.

Sound familiar?
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Anxiety and Panic

Driftin’ Away

“Well, when I graduated from college, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. So what do most reasonably smart, analytical types do after college? They go to law school,” I wryly chuckled to my counselor. “It is a three-year holding pattern for the chronically undecided. It is the new open studies major.”

Unlike some friends (“I knew I wanted to be a pediatric doctor at age four,” a long-time confidante once told me), I drifted into my profession. There was no sense of calling -- unless you count my father’s hysterical phone calls about turning down a prestigious law school. Truthfully, law school was more of a fallback than bubbling “C” on those deceptively difficulty Iowa Test of Basic Skills multiple choice tests.
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Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: September 12, 2017

I thought it was a good time to talk about grief. As I write this, it's the 16th anniversary of September 11. People are reeling from the recent hurricanes. And there is your own personal loss.

People don't often talk about grief. It makes us uncomfortable. It's not an easy discussion to have. But in Insights at the Edge, grief counselor Patrick O'Malley shares that it's presence, not saying the "right," thing that can be most helpful to someone suffering from grief. He also says that sharing your story to people who will listen with an open heart is most healing.

This week our top posts on depression, narcissism and emotional neglect offer new stories that may grow you closer to understanding why you feel the way you do. Self-understanding and awareness are paths to healing. I hope it'll get you through the emotional storm you're currently in.
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