Raising children can feel like a full-time job. My mother once referred to the process as “the civilization of little savages,” which isn’t far from the truth.
We start out all id and ego, needing, wanting, taking, and it is largely due to the intervention of our primary caregivers – who provide the much-needed correction and moral framework – that we are ever fit for society. When our best efforts aren’t enough, when our children persist in unacceptable behavior and all the carrots and sticks have failed, sometimes it’s necessary to get help from a professional.
How We Are Formed
Arguments have raged for centuries over the question of whether we are most formed by nature (our biology) or nurture (our environ... ...Read More
Bipolar Disorder is a disorder of the brain that results in significant, often cyclical, changes in mood, energy and activity levels resulting from those changes. The range of moods can include extreme highs (elation, high energy, activity in overdrive) and extreme lows (despondent, can’t get out of bed, suicidal).
The “up” episodes are called manic (if severe) or hypomanic (if less severe), and the “down” episodes are called depressive. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, any one of four diagnoses is usually indicated.
Types of Bipolar Disorder
Before reviewing the symptoms associated with Bipolar Disorder, it is important to remember not to self-diagnose. Anytime you are concerned you may have a mental illne... ...Read More
If you are wondering whether you or someone you know has bipolar, it is important to get a diagnosis from a mental health professional. Having said that, what follows is a look at some of the symptoms you can look for if you are on the fence about seeking a diagnosis.
What is Bipolar II Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is typically characterized by an emotional cycle of highs and lows, or manic and depressive states, over a period of days or weeks with a broad range of symptoms.
According to the DSM-5:
For a diagnosis of Bipolar II disorder, it is necessary to meet the following criteria for a current or past hypomanic episode and the following criteria for a current or past major depressive episode:
Hypomanic Episode<... ...Read More
Most of us do not get out of childhood without a few scars. Abuse can come in many forms, at any age, and from multiple sources including family, friends, acquaintances and strangers. In the past 40 years, social norms and government rules regarding child abuse and neglect have become much less tolerant.
As compassionate, responsible people, we now have resources to turn to when confronted with the disturbing specter of abuse. So, when we believe we are witness to abuse or signs of it, it is important to understand how it is defined, what to look for, and what to do if you suspect it is going on.
What is the Definition of Child Abuse and Neglect?
As we begin to wrap our heads and hearts around a difficult subject, perhaps it m... ...Read More
Many of us go through life more or less on automatic, making the best choices we can based on the available information. It is only natural for us to want things to run as smoothly as possible. If we aren’t naturally prone to worry, it is easy to brush away concerns about physical symptoms as long as they aren’t too disruptive.
We may put off a physical examination, or ignore something that “isn’t that big a deal.” I have heard many people say they hate hospitals. It makes sense, then, that they would be resistant to a check up that might result in a trip to one.
If we can get past that resistance, and develop a healthy approach to our health care, we can make use of what’s available as appropriate and often get results th... ...Read More
When I was in my late teens, my mom told me a story once about one of my ancestors. I told her I was feeling “blue” and she proceeded to tell me of my great-great-great-great-grandfather Charles, who reportedly once described how he would get “in his moods” and not be able to shake it. For these occasions, he kept a pile of dirt in his basement.
[caption id="attachment_6292" align="alignleft" width="300"] http://goo.gl/t5wvmX "Handsome Guy," courtesy of andy, CC0 Public Domain, ABSFreePic.com[/caption]
When the moods would hit, he would go downstairs with a shovel and move that pile of dirt from one side of the basement to the other, one shovelful at a time. After a while, he would start feeling better. I have a sneaking suspi... ...Read More
I remember my father describing being at the grocery store once. There was a woman with a child who was being unruly. She tried to get the boy to settle down and grabbed his arm, but he screamed and raged all the more. I remember the menacing look on my father's face as he commented a kid who did that in HIS care would only do it once.
Few things can impact us as quickly and as deeply as the anger of our child. We all have our own reactions to it; some weather it and patiently correct, some get angry or violent right back, some feel overwhelmed and emotionally go to ground unable to deal with it. As they are remarkably complex, uniquely formed individuals, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when your children are angry, but there are... ...Read More