Sandy Hook School Shootings--Mental Health Resources for Kids, Disaster Victims

In light of the school shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn., it's important to address emotional health issues for parents and kids. In fact, all of us, as a nation are grieving. We need to examine our response to crisis and protect ourselves. Part of that involves guarding our minds against excessive fear. Parents particularly need to be mindful of how they discuss the deaths with their children. We have to be sensitive and open, but not reactionary.  Here are mental health resources for disaster victims and all of us as we recover. Read more

Parent coping tips for teen anger and mood swings

Clinical teen depression and adolescent major mood disorder are relatively uncommon, but tell that to parents of teens and they may not agree. Bouts of moodiness are hallmarks of teen behavior and one of the most worrisome for parents. Here's a parent survival kit for dealing with teen mood swings. read more

Curb Holiday Cravings, Christmas Weight Gain with Low Sugar Switches

Tis' the season to be snacking! The holidays are about sweets. But I will be fa-la-la-fatter, if I'm not careful. I can't abstain from Christmas goodies all season long, but I will make simple food swaps to curb my inner Christmas Cookie (Candy, Cake, Pie) Monster. Here are easy, low-sugar holiday switcheroos. Wondering why an article on holiday diet tips is on my emotional health blog? Several reasons. First, when I blow my diet I get depressed. When I get depressed, I sometimes eat more or I eat too much bad stuff. It's a vicious, circular downward spiral. Second, I believe (based on experience and observation) that many holiday blues bouts are caused by not tending to basic needs, like nutrition. Too many holiday sweets and not enough veggues make for emotional meltdowns. So my solution is to control holiday sugar intake. Christmas  depression may not disappear, but it will be easier to manage. Curb Christmas Cookie Monster Cravings with Low Sugar Switches 

Understanding teen depression and adolescent mood swings

Teenage depression can be frightening for kids and parents. Clinical teen depression is relatively rare, but mood swings aren't. They're part and parcel of growing up. Mood swings affect adolescents across the spectrum, regardless of background, upbringing, personality or gender. Here are things to keep in mind about teen mood swings. Understanding teen depression and adolescent mood swings

What parents should know about childhood obesity to help overweight kids

For a society that values tolerance, there's one population we're not very nice to--fat people. We treat fat kids especially badly. We rail against bullying, but then we shame overweight kids and guilt parents for letting kids get fat. While obesity is problematic, every fat kid may not be overweight. Here are things parents need to know about fat kids and weight loss.  What parents should know about childhood obesity 

Techniques, Self Help Therapy to Heal Low Self-Esteem

Low self-esteem, lack of confidence, poor self-image, these are some of the many ways to describe feelings of worthlessness. In my experience and research, I have come to a working conclusion that low self-esteem is at the core of many surface illnesses. Depression, codependency, lethargy, failure to thrive, low achievement, substance abuse, isolation, relationship issues, control issues, rage, arrogance, intolerance, parenting problems, frequent illness, stress and stress related illnesses and many others.  10 Therapeutic Techniques to Heal Low Self-Esteem

How parents can help withdrawn, shy kids

Shyness is a natural emotion for many kids. A little diffidence protects kids. It helps them avoid potentially dangerous situations that fearless kids may heedlessly plunge into. Taken to extremes, shyness is worrisome. Here are tips for parents to help shy kids. How parents can help withdrawn, shy kids 

How I Self Discipline, Change Habits Using Al Anon Slogans

Self-discipline is something I've never had trouble with. I've got a nasty case of low self-esteem and auto-flagellation my modus operandi. But rigid self-control isn't healthy. It doesn't work either. Here's a simple self help plan I created, based on Al-Anon principles, to modify behavior and change habits. It works if you work it, one day at a time!  How I Self-Discipline, Change Habits Using Al-Anon Slogans

How I Lost Weight with Weekly Spiritual Fasting

There's some controversy about fasting as a way to lose weight. Going without eating for long stretches can be dangerous. But regular, spiritual bread and water fasting can be beneficial health-wise and for losing weight. It improves emotional health, too. Here's how I did it. How I Lost Weight with Weekly Spiritual Fasting 

Empty nest syndrome: Ways to survive kids moving out

When children leave home, many parents experience depression symptoms called "Empty Nest Syndrome," says Psychology Today. Typically, empty nesters are mothers, but dads experience it, too. Some factors affect empty nest, including number and age of kids, family closeness, death of children, and boomerang kids (those who leave and come back). Life factors like parents' relationship, jobs, health and social opportunities determine severity, too. Here are tips for coping with empty nest syndrome.  Empty nest syndrome: Ways to survive kids moving out 

Helping Kids Cope with Motion Sickness in Air Travel

Motion sickness is primarily a vestibular condition exacerbated by nerves. Motion sickness afflicts several of my children. One gets air sick and the other struggles with car travel. As a kid, I'd get seasick and car sick. Here's a first aid kit I've assembled for children who suffer from travel sickness on airplanes. These tips help with motion sickness on car or boat rides, too.  Helping Kids Cope with Motion Sickness in Air Travel 

Four Must-Have Relationship Rules of Emotionally Healthy Couples

Starting a relationship with a significant other can bring much happiness. As with marriage, there's a honeymoon phase where you float above problems and always get along. But the honeymoon doesn't last forever. And if some ground rules aren't put in place early on, the relationship will crumble quickly. As the relationship progresses and depending on what level it gets to, more definition may be added. Here are some must-have rules.  Four Must-Have Relationship Rules of Engagement

The Importance of Boundaries and Road Signs in Relationships

Navigating relationships with significant others or spouses is a lot like driving on back roads. There are few stoplights, street markers or warnings posted. You only know you're in a blind alley, pitfalls or wrong turn when it's too late. In relationships, the only warning signs are those partners erect themselves and, as with traffic signals,they're usually not erected until an accident has occurred.  The Importance of Boundaries and Road Signs in Relationships 

How to parent kids who cut without getting hurt

Meander through any parenting forum and the subject of kids cutting themselves is bound to come up. Intentional self-harm is scary and hurts everyone involved. It's a painful subject just to talk about, let alone try to parent. As a parent to a child with an eating disorder and a childhood self-abuser myself, I've walked through many self-harm issues. Here's my emotional "first aid kit" for cutters and those who love them.   How to parent kids who cut without getting hurt 

Teach teens to tame temper tantrums

Teaching teens to tame temper tantrums is neatly alliterative, but in real life it's easier said than done. As parents, we often (wrongly) think it's our job to keep our kids under control. We can only model good choices, establish boundaries and enforce consequences. The teen must learn to manage his emotions and behavior. Here's how parents can help teens deal with anger. Teach teens to tame temper tantrums

Alanon Slogans to Treat Depression--One Day at a Time

Depression can be a crippling mental health condition. Though it manifests itself differently in different people, one common challenge is with control issues. Depression is often a precursor for addiction, power struggles in relationships and self-control problems.

Even though I've been in recovery for years, I still struggle with bouts of depression. Depression bouts are often triggered by negative experiences--job loss, relationship splits (or just rocky patches), health issues, kids moving away. Since I've hit menopause, I've been in a colossal depression jag. It's so bad that I've considered restarting an antidepressant after successfully weaning 2 years ago. It feels PMS everyday. All this reminds me that I can't quit quitting (the mental health work).

Alcoholics Anonymous and its partner groups Al-Anon, offers many helpful recovery tools. Even if there's no active addiction or codependency going on, Al-Anon is still really helpful. I find the slogans used by AA and Al-Anon, listed Addiction A-Z, particularly useful to heal issues associated with depression. I mediate daily on different slogans. Here are some thoughts on the slogan "One Day at a Time."
Al-Anon Slogans to Treat Depression--One Day at a Time

How Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Heals Negative Thoughts, Depression

I wouldn't say depression and I are friends, but we're definitely old acquaintances. I've tried different therapies to treat my depression. Counseling, journaling, herbal treatments, antidepressant medications, self-help books-each has helped me in some way. How Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Heals Negative Thoughts, Depression 

Using Al Anon Slogans to Heal Negative Thoughts, Depression

Depression is a lonely, scary condition. You feel like no one has ever felt like you feel. While I don't know exactly what you're feeling or what happened to cause your depression, I empathize. Depression and I go back a long way. I've tried many different techniques to heal or at least just cope with my it.

About 10 years ago, I tried Al Anon, the companion support group for Alcoholics Anonymous for a drinking issue. I discovered that Al Anon principles were useful for treating a gamut of emotional issues, including depression. See, depression stems from that stinking thinking they're always talking about in AA/Al-Anon. Usually codependency is somewhere tangled up in the roots. Recovery for me requires new self-talk, new I-messages.

Some of the most helpful components of Al-Anon, for me, are the recovery slogans. Addiction A-Z lists a collection of slogans for all different sorts of situations. There are general helpful reality checks and mental health tools, too.  Here's how I use them in recovery. Using Al-Anon Slogans to Heal Negative Thoughts, Depression . If you're feeling despair and you can't find help, get to a meeting. If you can't, check out Daily Remember--one day at a time. This too shall pass--and it will, I promise. 

Distorted Stinking Thinking of Low Self Esteem, Depression

Have you ever wondered what goes on inside the head of a person with low self-esteem? I can clue you in. I've had a lot (too much) of experience with it. If you're experiencing low self-esteem for the first time, it can be pretty scary. If you've not experienced it, it's hard to imagine why we behave as we do.

Low self-esteem often manifests as depression. It's a complex melange of feelings, but it's based on negative thinking. Stinking thinking, as Al-Anon and Alcoholics Anonymous would call it. Everyone has some thoughts of self-doubt, but in a person with low self-esteem, these thoughts are pervasive. Teens are particularly vulnerable. Negative thoughts are obsessive, inaccurate and distorted, too. Here's how people with low self-esteem think about themselves. Distorted Thinking of Low Self-Esteem, Depression 

How to balance family summer schedules with sleep-late teens

Summer vacation means different things for kids than it does for parents. Older kids and teens look forward to staying up late and sleeping late. Mom and dad, unfortunately, don't have that luxury. We still have that four-letter word (work) to look forward to. Here are tips to balance family life (and keep your sanity) with late-blooming teens and early-rising parenting. How to balance family summer schedules with sleep-late teens 

Mary Richardson Kennedy Death By Hanging--Kids Need Extra Support

Whatever the circumstances that led to Mary Richardson Kennedy's death, I say we need to give the family a lot of space and support to mourn. Especially her four kids. ABC News says that the 52-year-old wife of Robert Kennedy, Jr., was found dead from asphyxiation due to hanging in an outbuilding on the family property in Bedford, N.Y.  Kids Need Extra Support After Death of Mom Mary Kennedy

How to soothe a fussy, crying baby

Have you ever been in a store where a baby is endlessly crying? Probably every parent has experienced the chagrin of trying to comfort a child who will not be comforted. I've been that mom. Crying jags are distressing for parents, other shoppers, but mostly for baby herself. This one child was our little fuss pot. She got ill very early and cried frequently. Here are some tried-and-true tips to soothe from my 23 years of parenting successes and failures.  How to soothe a fussy, crying baby

25 Drug-Free Therapies to Treat Menopause Depression, Anxiety

Anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome): I struggle with each to a varying degree. For seven years I took the antidepressant Paxil (paroxetine), but I put on weight at an alarming rate. When I entered menopause, it felt like I had PMS every day. My depression and panic attacks escalated. I decided to quit and find ways to treat emotional distress without medication. Here are 25 drug-free therapies that have kept me off antidepressants and helped me to lose weight and feel better.Read more at: 25 Drug-Free Therapies to Treat Menopause Depression, Anxiety

Healthy Grieving and Coping with Loss Patterns

Healthy Grieving and Coping with Loss Patterns A friend who lost the love of her life shared recently that she had no idea that grief could be so pervasive or take so long to heal. I hold a degree in psychology and have grief counseling experience--none of that prepared me for the horrific and sickening vacuum that loss of a loved one left in my soul. Here are thoughts about coping with loss and helping others heal from their grief, collected from numerous personal grief experiences along with walking with friends on the healing journey. Read on...

Self Help Tricks, Mental Health Tips to Quit Antidepressants

Self Help Tricks, Mental Health Tips to Quit Antidepressants For seven years, I took Paxil (paroxetine) to relieve anxiety and depression. I began to put on an alarming amount weight and with extended use, the antidepressant didn't work as well, either. I decided to quit. I have been antidepressant-free for 16 months. Here are self-help tips and mental health strategies for quitting SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor). Some of these tips may fly in the face of conventional medical thinking, but I recommend them because they worked for me. I would also add another, that I remembered after writing this: journal your progress. Do your mental health homework. If you have bad days, don't worry. It happens. It's like the Rodney Atkins song says "If you're going through hell, keep on going, don't slow down. If you're scared, don't show it. You might get out before the devil even knows you're there." When you quit antidepressants, some days will feel like hell. But there were days I felt like hell even with the drugs. Those days don't last forever and they get fewer and farther between. If you can't or don't want to quit, don't beat yourself up. Some people need these meds. Some antidepressants are more effective with fewer side effects, too. I just found my life better without the Paxil. Read on...

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Freelance writer, Top 100 Yahoo! Voices, Yahoo! News, Shine, Michigan, Detroit), blogger, teacher, mom of 4, happily married 25 years. Graduated GVSU 1986, psychology/general education and special education. continuing ed up to present. Certified MI teacher. Writing Michigan history mystery, children's Gothic fantasy. Areas of expertise: education, relationships, mental health, nutrition, history, world cultures. Passions: faith, Catholic church, sustainable living, interfaith initiatives, living simply that others might simply live. Working on MA in EI education. 

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