Mindfulness

Mindfulness seems to have sprung out of nowhere to become hugely popular overnight. But it’s been around since the late 1970s, and people have been practicing it in some form for thousands of years. Its beneficial effects on mind and body have been noted all over the world. So, what is the magic of mindfulness? How can it help you? …

Grief and Loss

To be human is to experience loss. At some point in your life, you will lose someone you love, or something that means a great deal to you. And you will experience grief.  How long or how intensely you grieve depends on a number of factors. Everyone’s journey is unique. But when grief goes on too long, preventing you from …

Childhood Trauma

Trauma and Your Brain

The pandemic. Social unrest, natural disasters, war. You don’t have to look very far to see traumatic events that affect large numbers of people. More personal crises include divorce, death, abuse, violence, sexual assault and accidents. A traumatic event is any experience frightening, shocking or dangerous enough to affect someone physically and emotionally, whether they are part of the event …

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 …