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The Pressure to Parent Perfectly

The coming of a new baby can be a joyous occasion. The gifts to the mom-to-be and baby roll in. Blankets, binkies, bottles and baby booties – all are an effort to help the new mom care for her baby. There are also the unwanted gifts given by well-intentioned people such as unsolicited advice, patting the “baby bump” and comments on how big the expectant mom has gotten. Mothers are also given a unique gift that is quietly and sometimes quiet unknowingly bestowed upon them from the moment they announce a pregnancy. This gift isn’t wrapped; there’s no bow on top. Fathers may also receive...

Could Mental Health be a Group Effort?

As any parent or caregiver can attest, the emotions displayed in a young child are at times unexplainable and fickle. The attempts of adults to help children calm down, regain composure and avoid a complete meltdown can range from using a soothing voice, to distraction, to physically changing the current environment. This attempt at interfering and changing the emotional state of another is known in psychology as social emotional regulation. Social emotional regulation is defined as one person, known as the regulator, intentionally trying to change the emotions of another, known as the target (Reeck et al., 2016). According to Reeck et al., developmental research...

Immigrant Anxiety

Moving is stressful. Moving to a new country is even more stressful and produces a lot of anxiety. So many questions and concerns race through one’s mind. How do people live in this new place? Where do people buy food? How do people who speak different languages communicate? Will there be a support system for people moving in? How does one navigate government issues? The list goes on and on. Having a support system to aid assimilating immigrants is vital to reducing their stress, but it’s rarely available to the millions who entered the United States. In 2016, 1.18 million people became legal permanent residents...

Supporting Someone with an Eating Disorder

An eating disorder can be a long, lonely and dangerous road to walk. Of all the mental health disorders, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate (Herstich, 2018; Scott, 2018). Like many other mental health disorders, it is not well understood by the general public, resulting in well-intentioned but often unhelpful remarks to the ill. There are many common misconceptions about eating disorders. One misconception is the idea that only young women suffer from them. The fact is anyone can suffer from an eating disorder, male or female, young or old (Scott, 2018). Another misunderstanding is that one must be extremely thin to have an...

Compassion Fatigue

Julie has many roles to fill. She is a wife, a mother, a daughter, an employee and now she is a caregiver. Julie’s mother was diagnosed with dementia and she can no longer live on her own. She moved in with Julie, who now makes sure that her mother is clean, fed and takes her daily medicine. Recently, Julie has felt very tired and depressed. She often has to force herself to help her mother with daily tasks. Like Julie’s mother, Tom’s wife is chronically ill and is unable to perform many daily tasks or help take care of their family. Tom is the breadwinner...

Support through Depression

It is not uncommon for people to feel down or sad after the excitement of the holidays have passed; the dark winter that seems to last forever can draw mood down; a recent loss or uncertainty about the future can also bring on a feeling of depression. These kinds of depression can be temporary. But for some people depression sticks around (Depression, 2016). Depression can affect anyone. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), depression “is one of the most common disorders in the US” (Depression, 2016). The World Health Organization also reports that depression is one of the most common mental health...