Recognizing and Managing OCD

You head to the airport, and as you get in line to check your luggage, you wonder if you turned off the stove. This happens to everyone at times. But for people with obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, it can happen every time they leave the house. They may double back to check stoves and light switches again and again, even …

Athletes and Mental Health

Participating in sports offers many benefits: exercise, feel-good endorphins, camaraderie and a chance to build skills and self-esteem. This is true across all age groups, including teens in their “difficult” years. The American College of Sports Medicine points out, “Adolescent participation… is positively correlated with multiple indicators of physical health, decreased anger, positive developmental outcomes, increased sleep, and a more …

Caring for the Caregiver

One in five of Americans provides unpaid care to a child or adult with health problems or special needs. We care for our parents, spouses, kids, grandparents, other relatives, friends and neighbors.  The number of unpaid caregivers—including child caregivers—has risen over the past five years. Surveys show that the people we care for have increasingly complicated needs. More of us …

Diagnosing and Treating Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme emotional highs (mania) and lows (depression). Manic episodes are “up” times, marked by high energy, little sleep and exuberant self-confidence and euphoria. Depressive episodes are marked by low energy, trouble concentrating, anxiety and often hopelessness. We may not understand how much havoc bipolar disorder causes in the lives of affected individuals, who struggle to …

Self-Compassion and Your Mental Health

Compassion (noun). “Sorrow for the sufferings or trouble of another or others, with the urge to help; deep sympathy.” While we’re familiar with compassion and directing it toward others, offering it to ourselves can be an unfamiliar or even challenging concept. We might be quick to comfort a friend with reassurance: “Yes, you made a mistake, but you did the …

Challenges of Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction. Alcoholism. Alcohol use disorder. It goes by several names, but problematic consumption of alcohol affects people of all ages and walks of life. In the US, more than 5% of people age 12 and older have been identified with alcohol use disorder, including nearly 2% of adolescents age 12 to 17.  One in ten children live with a …