All About Caregiving

In a 2004 national survey, the AARP found that 44.4 million Americans are providing unpaid care to an adult, and the estimated annual value is $257 billion. To do so is a beautiful act of love and devotion, but also a great drain on one's physical and psychological resources.

Recent Posts on Caregiving

Changing the ‘No Casserole’ Response to Mental Illness

A mother of two who is active in the International Bipolar Foundation shared a story the other day. When her youngest daughter was diagnosed with diabetes, friends called, sent cards and flowers, brought food, and posted encouraging Facebook messages.

Humiliation, Recovery and Monica Lewinsky

By Carrie Barron M.D. on March 27, 2015 in The Creativity Cure
Public shaming, online harassment and cyber-bullying are ubiquitous but they were not always. This blog examines the heart wrenching plight of one woman and how she overcame humiliation to become a tour-de-force and an agent for public good.

Anorexia and the Dangers of Blog Post Titles

By Emily T. Troscianko on March 26, 2015 in A Hunger Artist
Few topics induce stronger emotion than parenting and children’s illness, and where emotions are heightened miscommunication can easily occur. Here I try to clarify my mother’s original argument, respond to some readers’ comments which blur the crucial distinction between personal and scientific ‘findings’, and reflect on the role of choice in recovery from anorexia.

Falls End Lives; Good Balance Saves Them

By Allen J Frances M.D. on March 24, 2015 in DSM5 in Distress
Falling is a major cause of disability and death. Physical exercise and specific balance tasks greatly reduce the risks. People who don't change their behavior to prevent falls are almost sure to have them.

How Drug Addiction Impacts Infant Care

By Molly S. Castelloe Ph.D. on March 24, 2015 in The Me in We
Drug abuse short circuits neural connections between child and caregiver.

Rescue the Mangroves, Rescue Ourselves?

By Sam Osherson Ph.D. on March 24, 2015 in Listen Up!
A small, dirt-road fishing village on the Pacific coast of Mexico organizes to restore their threatened ocean environment and provides hope for all of us. They remind us of the powerful hunger to take care of the natural world and "our animal relatives."

Four Years Out: My Favorite “Turning Straw Into Gold" Pieces

My personal favorites cover a broad range of subjects and are spread evenly across the four years. I invite you to browse through the list and read (or re-read) those that spark your interest.

Adolescent Excellence and Managing High Expectations

When parents either support or encourage their teenager to have high personal performance expectations, they also need to provide guidance about how to manage their feelings when these outcomes are not met, as will sometimes occur.

Prenatal Drug Exposure and Disruption of Attachment

By Ira J. Chasnoff M.D. on March 20, 2015 in Aristotle's Child
For successful attachment between caregiver and infant to occur, the caregiver must be able to read and respond to the infant's cues and the infant must be able to read and respond to the caregiver's cues.

Why Parents of Chronically Ill Children Deserve Respect

By Seth Meyers Psy.D. on March 19, 2015 in Insight Is 20/20
Most of us have no idea about the challenges parents of chronically ill children face. Seeing your child in pain takes a toll, so the rest of us must do our part and recognize their unique parenting experience and contribution.

Children Who Kill Are Often Victims Too

Children who murder have often been severely abused or neglected and have experienced a tumultuous home life

How to Change Your Attachment Style

Although in childhood you may have learned habits of insecure attachment, it may be possible for you to override them with effort as an adult.

5 Ways to Motivate and Encourage Seniors

Caring for, and having successful relationships with older adults often require unique interpersonal skills and strategies.

Are You Too Clingy? Too Distant? Or Is Your Partner?

By Peg Streep on March 11, 2015 in Tech Support
Our childhood experiences can influence us in our day-to-day adult lives, especially in the arena of intimate relationships. Are you able to find the balance between being yourself and part of a dyad? If not, you should probably read this...

5 Must-Ask Questions When Your Doctor Prescribes Painkillers

So what’s a patient to do when they’re on the receiving end of an opioid painkiller prescription? Talk. It may not feel natural to question your caregiver—they are the one with the medical degree after all—but healthy skepticism is in order when opioids are recommended.

Do Not Sleep When the Baby Sleeps

By Sharon Praissman on March 09, 2015 in Beyond the Egg Timer
The age old advice on surviving the early newborn days may not be that prudent.

Meeting the Needs of the Alzheimer's Family

Addressing the concerns of Alzheimer's care partners and families is critical, but research would suggest that, too often, doctors are not meeting these needs.

8 Pet Peeves about Doctors

I’ve had some excellent medical care, so I want don’t want to paint with too broad a brush. But the following have happened to me and others multiple times, so I think it’s fair to call them Pet Peeves.

Antidepressants: The Wrong Drug for the Problem?

By Katherine Bouton on March 08, 2015 in What I Hear
Widespread use of antidepressants among the elderly, including the antipsychotic Abilify. Widespread undiagnosed and untreated hearing loss in the same demographic. Could there be a link? Maybe patients should get a hearing test before doctors write the prescription for antidepressants.

Bull Durham, Mindfulness and Providers of Care

Choosing to break the self-perpetuating cycle of stress by paying attention to what it feels like to breathe allows the brain to settle. Since most of us don’t know a Crash Davis, we have to break ourselves out. Taking a moment to attend carries great benefit and does not require anything as extreme as eyelid breathing.

Hiding From Relationship—In Relationship

Suppression of the high emotional investment called passion is both the benefit and the cost of irrelationship. A side effect is the suppression of the full range of emotional experience. A mutually created irrealtionship protects both partners from the dangers and anxiety that come with passion and intimacy, but the price is very high.

Why Do All the Bad Boys Come in Such Beautiful Packages?

By breaking social norms and acting in unpredictable ways, bad boys inspire fascination in us. Bad equals attractive, because distortions and deformities to normal behavior produce a sense of thrill, something that is easily confused with being in love.

The Paradox of Modern Adulthood

By Steven Mintz Ph.D. on February 26, 2015 in The Prime of Life
Less secure, less stable, more anxious, yet better nonetheless.

Personality Disorders Explained 2: Origins

By Michael Karson Ph.D., J.D. on February 24, 2015 in Feeling Our Way
Every cognitive map of the social world also defines a role for the person to play; a personality disorder implies a limited number of acceptable roles.

A Response to Sam Harris's Writings on Moral Truth Pt 1 of 3

By John A. Johnson Ph.D. on February 23, 2015 in Cui Bono
In August of 2013, Sam Harris issued a challenge to refute, in 1,000 words or less, the central thesis of his book, The Moral Landscape. This thesis is that "questions of morality and values must have right and wrong answers that fall within the purview of science." In a three-part blog post, I explain why I agree with everything in his book except the central thesis.

What Exactly Is 'The Best Interest of the Child?', Part 2

When parents are asked about the essential needs of their children during and after parental separation, children’s emotional, psychological, social, moral and spiritual needs are seen to be of paramount importance. But what exactly are these “metaphysical” needs?

What Exactly Is “The Best Interest of the Child”?

A truly child-focused approach positions children’s needs at the forefront of “best interests” considerations, along with corresponding parental and social institutional responsibilities to these needs.

A Psychologist Views Why Moms Get Nothing Done

By Denise Cummins Ph.D. on February 21, 2015 in Good Thinking
Imitation is a powerful form of learning that comes on-line early in development and shapes who we become.

Discussing Illness Without Alienating the Ill

By Julie K Hersh on February 20, 2015 in Struck By Living
The arts offer an unthreatening microscope and telescope to examine stories, which we can adapt to our own healing.