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 …

Maintaining Mental Health in Stressful Times

Stress is part of life. We all experience stressful situations from time to time. But when stress builds beyond your ability to cope, when it starts to affect your mental and physical health, it’s time to find ways to manage it. Causes and Types of Stress Stress has increased globally in recent years. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, 35% of …

Personal Growth Through Self-Reflection

Self-reflection has been part of spiritual practices for thousands of years. More recently, therapy and programs like Alcoholic Anonymous have incorporated it to help change undesirable behaviors. As a means of examining our lives, self-reflection offers a great opportunity for transformation. It can lead to insights and new perspectives in how we see ourselves and others, which opens a door …