3 Ways We Can Lift the Burden of Bipolar Disorder

Crazy. Lunatic. Psycho. It’s embarrassing to admit these are words we use to humiliate and marginalize people living with bipolar disorder. These are the words that saddle them with shame, time and again. After every manic episode, they hang their heads as the realization (or recounting) of their “descent into madness” rushes in. And the general American lexicon and attitude does nothing to protect or bolster their self-concept. Bipolar disorder, in its most notorious form, causes people to have vacillating mood states that consist of depressive and manic episodes. In a depression, a person has low mood, loss of interest in things, and usually changes in the way they sleep, eat and co

8 Things Your Teen Needs for Mental Wellness (Not One is Electronic)

A few days ago, a mom asked me how to help her teens navigate the current landscape of our world. It’s a fair question, becoming more common daily. School shootings, cyberbullying, and social media overshadow the world of a high school experience that used to be about classes, friends and Friday night football. I went to Mainland High School in Daytona Beach, FL in the mid-1990s. It was an idyllic experience. We had great athletes, an awesome marching band, and a huge community of teachers and parents that supported us. Our biggest worries had to do with the social things in school like lunchtime seating, picking the right outfit and making plans for homecoming dates. And the biggest th

Sex Therapy: It's Not as Weird as You Think

I had been caring for a patient for 4 years when she learned I had recently become a sex therapist. I remember when I told her, she grew silent – and staring at me, I could see the wheels turning. In her eyes were fifty questions she’d always wanted to ask someone about sex and intimacy but never had the comfortable opportunity. She took a big, deep breath and sighed. It was relief. Finally, she was going to get her questions answered in a safe space. I became a sex therapist after I noticed a pattern. Whenever I would need to inquire about a patient's sexual health, they would stop short of answering and look at me like, “this woman is strange.” I’d try to casually sit there like wha

Preparing for Another Child After Postpartum Depression or Anxiety

In my clinical experience with mothers who have survived postpartum mood and anxiety disorders, the idea of having another child brings both hope and trepidation. Women fear a repeat of a postpartum period filled with worry, exhaustion, guilt and at times despair. I have heard women echo fears that they are forever 'broken,' burdens, even frauds as mothers. However, I have seen those same women victorious over their fears when they manage to walk through pregnancy, birth, and the early years of their babies' lives armed with a plan for wellness. With a plan, compassionate and collaborating doctors and support, over 90% of my moms who are PPD/PPA survivors have subsequent postpartum periods o

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