Reducing the Stigma of a Mental Health Diagnosis

mental help signs

 Mental health professionals and those who work in mental health associations work hard to convince their clients not to worry about what others think of their mental health diagnosis. There are mental health awareness months and events devoted to understanding mental illness and to reducing the stigma that is so prevalent in our society so that those affected will not be afraid to seek treatment. Recently I came across a blog from England (Reduce Mental Health), which had compiled some … [Read more...]

What Is Mindfulness, Anyway?

And Breathe

    Mindfulness has become such a hot buzzword, that it is used all the time.  People refer to it when they talk about medication, or relaxation, or doing yoga.  Recently, I picked up two magazines totally devoted to “Mindfulness” and neither one of them defined what it meant.  These publications talked about improving sleep, reducing stress, and even faith, but never defined what mindfulness is.  So I thought it was time to do that. Essentially, Mindfulness is awareness or focus on … [Read more...]

When Children and Teens Have Social Anxiety, How Can Parents Help?

Excluded child

Paula is a pretty, bright and talented high school student.  She is anxious about going out, even with people she knows, believing she might say the wrong thing or do something to embarrass herself.  Sometimes she even worries about whether her friends are really her friends. Shawn is a good athlete. He mostly keeps to himself and has twice turned down chances to be a team captain for soccer.    As much as he would like to have fun with the guys on his team, who not only respect his skills on … [Read more...]

Do You Know the Difference Between Worrying and Problem Solving?

Worrying Woman

 Many people worry by focusing on the problem or situation, rather than thinking about how to make the problem go away or improve the situation that is causing them distress.  When we change our method and focus instead on the solution – the problem-solving aspect of the worrisome situation – we are more able to focus on those things we can change.  Problem-solving moves us toward more constructive alternatives, and has a more positive effect on our mood, while also allowing us to find potential … [Read more...]

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...]