Mental Health

Casting Light on America’s Maternal Mental Health Crisis

Posted on June 2nd, 2017

Every year some 4 million women give birth in the United States, and as many as 20% will suffer from some type of maternal mental health disorder during the postpartum period.

The American Academy of Pediatricians refers to postpartum depression as “the most common but most underdiagnosed obstetrical complication in the country.” Only 15% of the 800,000 women who suffer from maternal mental health disorders in any given year will undergo therapy for their conditions, adding statistical strength to this assertion.

In fact, postpartum depression is not the only type of maternal mental health disorder. Postpartum anxiety disorders are also common among new mothers, and in rarer instances a more serious illness known as postpartum psychosis may also be diagnosed. The latter is an extreme condition that if left untreated can lead to hospitalization, suicide and even infanticide, but thankfully it only affects about one out of every 500 women who give birth.

Postpartum mental disorders are distinct from the “baby blues,” a moderate-intensity condition marked by fatigue and depression that affects up to four out of five new mothers. The onset of true maternal mental health disorders can occur anytime up to a year after a child is born, and it is believed to be caused (at least initially) by hormonal changes that persist throughout the first few months of the postpartum period.

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Are You a People-Pleaser? Here’s How to Break the Habit

Posted on May 25th, 2017

It’s time to hit the pause button on your regularly scheduled life and do some self-reflection. Read the following statements and mark them true or false, based on whether they apply to you.

  • I often find myself putting other people’s needs ahead of my own.
  • I have trouble saying no to people because I don’t want to disappoint them or have them disapprove of me.
  • Making other people happy, having them rely on me, earning their appreciation or praise, is incredibly fulfilling to me.
  • I have a tendency to go out of my way to please people, try to get them to like me, or give them what I think they need.
  • I frequently go along with what other people want or defer to their preferences to keep the peace or make them happy.

If you marked any of these statements true, you’re personally familiar with the people-pleasing habit. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make other people happy or to have a positive effect on them. But if you find yourself going to great lengths to please other people and sacrificing or shortchanging your own needs consistently to do so, the need to please has become a problem.

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6 Ways DBT Can Help You Handle Distress

Posted on May 19th, 2017

By Kelsey Harper, PsyD, Clinical Psychologist and Program Director at Promises Malibu

Some people can sail through a crisis or upsetting event while others are overwhelmed by mild stress. What’s your coping style? One way we find out is through dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), which we use to assess distress tolerance skills, identify the ways a client typically reacts to stress, and teach tools for accepting and dealing effectively with the realities of any given situation. 

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Celebrities Open Up About Having Anxiety and Other Mental Health Issues

Posted on May 5th, 2017

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month, and many celebrities and prominent public figures are using the month as an opportunity to speak out about the mental health issues that affect them. Mental health disorders like anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), dyslexia, autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and others will be highlighted and humanized through various national campaigns and activities in May.

One of the most buzz-worthy platforms celebrities are using to discuss mental health in May is the Child Mind Institute’s Speak Up for Kids campaign. Following the campaign’s theme of #MyYoungerSelf, stars are telling their younger selves the things they wished they had heard when they were growing up with mental health issues, and struggling with feelings or problems they didn’t understand.

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How Physical Treatments Affect Mental Health

Posted on March 24th, 2017

Chemical interactions in the brain are the basis of all mental health. When the correct chemicals are present in the correct amounts, your mood remains stable and you have a positive outlook on life. When the chemicals become imbalanced, you may experience mood swings or get stuck feeling severely depressed, manic, anxious or paranoid, to name a few.

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What’s Your Therapy Style?

Posted on January 10th, 2017

Whether you are on the other side of an addiction and need help staying there, are having difficulty with relationships in your life or dealing with a long-term trauma, it is hard to figure out what kind of therapy will be best for you. There are so many different types. “The research evidence indicates — by and large — that when looking at types of problems and therapies, the type doesn’t matter. They have all shown to be equally effective,” says Jeffrey Binder, PhD, a clinical psychologist in private practice in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Is Your Brain Making You Obese?

Posted on October 6th, 2016

A new study may finally explain why it’s so hard for obese women to keep off weight long term.

Researchers at the University of Texas-Southwestern have found that obesity could be tied to how a person’s brain is wired rather than a lack of willpower.

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