When Someone You Love Is Disabled

Alison & Barry

    I confess. I was one of those people who never thought much about disabilities. Although I have had health problems through the years, none has left me unable to do the things I wanted to do. So my focus on disabilities was more about placards on cars and signs in parking lots. Then 16 months ago my husband had a stroke. It left him unable to use his left arm or leg, but we were lucky that his mind was fine and his speech, initially a little garbled, recovered quickly. Suddenly, things … [Read more...]

Understanding Social Anxiety Disorder

asking-questions

“What is the matter with you!” Judy says to her friend Brittney. “I take you to Red Bank for lunch with some friends from school and you don’t say a word all afternoon. I feel like whenever I go out with you if other people are around I have to be the one to make all of the conversation. “   Judy may sound angry, but in fact, she is worried about her friend. They are entering high school and Judy wants to widen her social circle but does not want to leave Brittney behind. But no matter who it … [Read more...]

Conquering Back-to-School Anxiety

School looks

     Many children experience anxiety prior to the start of the school year, and for some of them, it continues well into the first marking period.  This anxiety is not limited to elementary school children; it can affect middle school and even high school students. Your child’s anxiety can lead to resistance and lateness in the mornings, arguments about having to go to school, tears or emotional withdrawal.  You want to help your child but what should you do? Here are some ideas … [Read more...]

OCD: What Is it and Do I Have It?

OCD

Jenny stops by Amanda’s locker to borrow a pencil before the homeroom bell. “Ugh,” Jenny scoffs, eyeing Amanda’s perfectly stacked books and variety of office supplies, all arranged by size and color. “You’re sooo OCD.” Unlike many mental illnesses, which still carry some degree of social stigma, OCD — obsessive compulsive disorder — has gained such popular acceptance that it is often dropped casually into conversation to punch up a joke or as a pithy synonym for “neat freak.” Pop culture … [Read more...]

Are You an Introvert?

Inside my head

   Recently I met with a young man, a professional in a scientific field, who was concerned that his shyness and introversion were hurting him in his profession. Even in a field where hard data is analyzed and replicated, he felt that his personality or ”nature”, as he described it, was hurting him. He preferred to listen and observe in meetings rather than fight for air time to speak. He was not the first one to propose ideas or champion his own projects. As a result, he got negative … [Read more...]