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Our Mental Health Blogs


Managing Your OCD Symptoms: June 30

Managing Your OCD Symptoms: June 30

Have you ever experienced unwanted thoughts or felt the need to repeat an action over-and-over again until you felt safe? Have these thoughts or actions caused you anxiety, to the point of interfering with your normal activities? If so, we invite you to watch Tuesday night’s show focusing on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

The Impact of OCD

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder also causes fear in individuals, which leads to unwanted repetitive actions. An example of these actions may be washing hands repeatedly due to fear of germs, or maybe even driving all the way back home numerous times just to check and see if an appliance has been turned off.

Bottom line, OCD symptoms can take away one’s sense of well-being by not allowing rest until the action is repeated. This can cause serious impairment to a normal lifestyle.

Treatment of OCD

Our guest on Tuesday’s HealthyPlace Mental Health TV Show, James Callner, suffered from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder for many years and was first diagnosed with OCD in his late 20’s. Thirty years later, he is proud to say that he is living a high-functioning lifestyle, despite his disorder. Mr. Callner has also made several films, one of which is based on his own battle with OCD.

During the show, he’ll discuss his struggle with OCD and enlighten us on various OCD treatment methods that worked for him.

With his OCD under control, Mr. Callner is now a college professor as well as President and Co-Fonder of the Awareness Foundation for OCD and Related Disorders.

Learn How to Effectively Manage Your OCD Symptoms

As I’ve mentioned before, the goal of the HealthyPlace Mental Health TV Show is to educate those suffering from a mental illness as well as provide information to friends and family members. One way we stand by this commitment is to allow you, the viewers, to ask our guests as well as HealthyPlace.com Medical Director and Board-Certified psychiatrist, Dr. Harry Croft, any questions you may have during the show either via chat or email.

If you would like to contribute your personal story on dealing with OCD, either written or video, feel free to contact me at producer AT healthyplace.com.

See you Tuesday! You can watch the HealthyPlace Mental Health TV Show live or on-demand on our website.  Dr. Croft’s blog post on Living with OCD is here.

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Parenting Child w/ Mental Illness Show Recap

Parenting Child w/ Mental Illness Show Recap

Parenting is a tough job. Parenting a child with a mental illness is unusually tough, as we learned from Tuesday evening’s HealthyPlace TV Show.

Diagnosing Mental Illness in Children

HealthyPlace.com Medical Director, Dr. Harry Croft, related that diagnosing psychiatric disorders in children can be difficult because children often act out for many different reasons, such as teething or sibling rivalry or stressful family situations, not just because they have a mental health problem.

And while children do not come with instruction manuals, Dr. Croft says there are warning signs of child psychological problems to look out for:

• Inability to socialize with others
• Crying inappropriately
• Anxious or angry for no “real” reason

The debate on how early a child can be diagnosed with some psychiatric disorders is ongoing. One thing Dr. Croft would like viewers to remember is that anything that gets in the way of child’s development should be carefully monitored.

If your child has experienced any of the psychiatric symptoms we talked about on Tuesday’s show, a good first step is to see the pediatrician for a comprehensive evaluation and then discuss treatment based on results. Many times, psychiatric medication is not the only method of treatment. Therapy and counseling can be very effective in treating child psychological disorders.

Accepting Your Child’s Mental Illness

It’s challenging for parents to accept that their child has psychiatric disorder like bipolar disorder. Many blame themselves for their child’s mental illness or are blamed by others, including family members, for lack of parenting skills, which is not the case. Science has shown that for most, a combination of genetics, biology and life experiences is the cause of mental illness.

How A Child’s Mental Illness Impacts Parents

Our guest, Cheryl Murphy, has struggled with 2 generations of children in her own family, who have mood disorders. Three of four have been diagnosed with childhood bipolar disorder and depression. And at the young age of 4, her biological grandson, who she adopted, was diagnosed with ADHD and Bipolar Disorder.

Over the years, with suicide watches, substance abuse and uncontrollable fits of rage in her children and grandchildren, Cheryl faced a strained marriage and financial stress caused by the inability to hold down a job (she was always being called away to care for her children). Feeling alone in her situation and depressed, she scoured the web and came across the Depression and Bipolar Disorder Alliance (DBSA) which she says “saved her life.” Now the president of the Southern Nevada chapter of DBSA, Cheryl provides support and education for other parents struggling with their children’s behavior disorders.

Additional Information on Parenting A Child with a Mental Illness

If you would like to know more about parenting a child with a mental illness or any other mental health issues, HealthyPlace.com serves as an abundant resource of mental illness conditions.

As for not getting a chance to watch the show, not to worry, you can catch this episode, as well as others, by choosing the “On-Demand” option on HealthyPlace TV Show player here.

Thanks for watching! See you next week when we’ll be talking about living with OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder)!

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Parenting a Child with a Mental Illness – June 23

Parenting a Child with a Mental Illness – June 23

Anyone who is raising a child knows of the challenges involved. From a very young age, all the way into teenage years, parents sometimes struggle to understand mood behaviors, actions and learning problems of their precious children.

Many parents wonder: “is there something wrong with my child?” – but they can’t put their finger on the problem or they make up excuses to validate the child’s behavior – “all boys are like that.”

Your Child’s Mental Health: What Every Parent Should Know

This coming Tuesday, June 23, we’ll be discussing how to tell if your child has a mental illness and what to do about it. HealthyPlace.com Medical Director, Dr. Harry Croft, will be providing tips and strategies

Our guest is Cheryl Murphy, mother of 3 children diagnosed with depression and grandmother of four who have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.

In the meantime, here are 12 Questions Every Parent Should Ask About Their Child’s Mental Health.

We’ll see you Tuesday night, 5:30p PT, 7:30 CT, 8:30 EST, for the HealthyPlace TV Show. You can watch it right from our site. During the show, you can ask our guest a question and later, you’ll have an opportunity to ask Dr. Croft any mental health question on your mind.

If you know of anyone who could benefit from watching the show, I hope you’ll pass this blog post and our show link onto them. http://www.healthyplace.com/mental-health-tv-show/

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Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse – Recap

Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse – Recap

Mental health certainly carries a lot of stigma, but think about this — how many adults have you ever heard discuss surviving child sexual abuse? Outside of my job, the answer would be “none.” No one talks about it. They mention sexual predators or child molesters, but not what life is like after being sexually abused as a child.

On Tuesday night’s HealthyPlace TV Show, the discussion centered around the impact child sexual abuse has later in life. Dr. Harry Croft, Medical Director of HealthyPlace.com, helped us understand how sexual abuse impacts victims in their adult lives. Many child abuse survivors suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, personality disorders and may self-harm. It’s frightening, but some go on to become abusers themselves.

Our guest, Diane Champe led us through her difficult struggle with child sexual abuse. Tragically in her case, she was abused by her parents. Her military upbringing and constant traveling and starting over in new cities left her with no friends and no one to talk to. Her victimization, at the hands of both her parents, went on until she was 21 years old.

While determined to make a better life for herself, she shut off her emotions and became a very successful business woman. Unfortunately, life handed her another set of problems: her brother began sexually abusing her niece, her husband divorced her after her many attempts at suicide, and she was released from her job after she was very close to retirement.

Unable to cope with her “new” problems and not healing from her “old” problems, Diane sought treatment and soon realized she had developed Dissociative Identity Disorder (23 personalities to cope with her traumatic experiences) in response to her years of repeated sexual, physical and emotional abuse.

Today, with much of her painful past behind her, she occasionally suffers from PTSD and has a damaged nervous system. She is also an ardent supporter of adult survivors of child sexual abuse.

Dr. Croft recognized many of Diane’s symptoms. He explained that a child may not know that the abuse they are going through is wrong. “How can a child know that the only mother and father they have would do something to hurt them?” It’s often not until the child interacts with others, says Dr. Croft, that they find out the behavior is anything but normal.

Diane’s story, along with the clips of victims who have also endured sexual abuse, provide insight into this traumatic and challenging problem. Dr. Croft also had an important take away message from Tuesday’s show: “Child abuse effects people for the rest of their lives.”

Protecting Children From Child Abuse

If you missed it, you can watch the HealthyPlace TV Show on Surviving Childhood Sexual Abuse here. Maybe you’ll even share what you’ve heard. You may be helping someone take the first step in getting their life back.

Next week’s show is: “Your Child’s Mental Health: What Every Parent Should Know.” I hope you’ll join us.

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Impact of Child Sexual Abuse Later in Life: June 16

Impact of Child Sexual Abuse Later in Life: June 16

In today’s world, there is much discussion on the subject of sexually abused children. On a regular basis, our nightly newscasts bring us appalling stories of sexual predators and their young, innocent victims. Do you ever stop to wonder what happens to these “children” as they turn into adults themselves and try to lead a normal life? What is a normal life after you realize that you’re youth has been taken away?

On Tuesday’s show (June 16), we’ll dig into a topic that is often never talked about: adult survivors of child sexual abuse. Many times, victims try to lead normal lives but encounter problems such as low self esteem, problems with relationships, trust issues, and the ability to have normal sexual relations. As a result of the sexual abuse, other disorders such as PTSD and depression occur.

Our guest, Diane, knows these feelings all too well. As a child, she was sexually abused and endured it until she was 21 years old. Diane will let us into her world and tell us about her attempts at living a normal life as an executive to her bouts with therapy. She realized that even with a successful job, she could not leave her traumatic experiences behind her.

Take the time, this Tuesday, 5:30p PT, 7:30 CST, 8:30 ET to watch the HealthyPlace TV Show, live on our site. Diane will be respond to your questions and in the second half of the show, HealthyPlace Medical Director, Dr. Harry Croft answers your personal questions on any mental health subject.

If you would like to share your story of being an adult survivor of child sexual abuse, or you have a question for Dr. Croft , please feel free to contact me at producer AT healthyplace.com.

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Recovering From Borderline Personality Disorder Show – Recap

Recovering From Borderline Personality Disorder Show – Recap

What a great show!

Tuesday night, we visited the topic of Borderline Personality Disorder and revealed some ugly truths that come along with it. HealthyPlace Medical Director, Dr. Harry Croft, provided insight into the difficulty of diagnosing Borderline Personality Disorder and how far treatment of BPD has come along over the years.

Dr. Croft told us that BPD does not discriminate. Although the disorder commonly occurs in those who were sexually abused as children or maybe even neglected, it can also show up in those who lived in a nurturing environment.

We were lucky to have two guests, Tami Green and A.J. Mahari. Both recovered from Borderline Personality Disorder.

A.J., who was diagnosed with BPD at age 19, shared her experience of living with Borderline Personality Disorder. Her road to recovery started when she realized the common denominator in her strained or failed relationships was herself. Her unhappiness was unbearable. She soon realized there was much more to life than just being angry and feeling hurt. Today, she is 14 years into recovery and attributes her success to dedicated therapists.

Our second guest, Tami Green, has a different but victorious story. After struggling with drug abuse and a poor sense of self, she was able to stabilize with the help of a nurturing community. Unfortunately, as she got older, her Borderline Personality Disorder symptoms returned. Soon she found herself drinking alcohol and her marriage ended in divorce. Now a life coach for BPD sufferers, she says that the transformation of her sense of self was significant in her recovery. She was able to give stages to recovery that starts with tolerating stress.

After hearing both of these courageous women speak, it seems they shared a common problem. In the beginning of their recovery, their mental health providers were not able to properly treat their symptoms. Although BPD is stigmatized with notions of “untreatable” and “hopelessness,” these two women were able to overcome their symptoms and lead a normal, fulfilling life.

If you would like to learn more about A.J. Mahari, you can visit her website. Her website will lead you to her other websites, blogs, and podcasts that she is active with.

If you’re interested Tami Green’s work, you can visit Tami Green’s website. Her website is filled with her speeches as well as articles she has written on BPD.

As always, Tuesday’s night show can be viewed on the HealthyPlace TV Show homepage. Just click “on-demand” button on the TV show player and you will be on your way to finding out how this information can help you with your recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder.

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Can Borderline Personality Disorder Be Treated Effectively? June 9

Can Borderline Personality Disorder Be Treated Effectively? June 9

Sometimes in life, we encounter many situations that leave us empty or broken, causing us to feel like we have failed. For some, it’s easy to pick up the pieces and move on; but others are not so lucky. Feelings of self-doubt, emptiness and sorrow consume some people leaving them with nowhere to turn.

Do these symptoms describe you? If you feel like you have experienced any of these feelings, please watch the HealthyPlace TV show live on our website this Tuesday night as we discuss Borderline Personality Disorder and the possibility of treatment.

On the show, we will talk to A.J. Mahari, who was formally diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder at the age of 19. Now at age 51, she is 14 years into recovery and helps others with their own struggles dealing with Borderline Personality Disorder by writing articles and becoming a life coach. You won’t want to miss her compelling story as she takes us through her full circle encounters with BPD.

As always, we invite you, the viewer, to ask A.J. any questions that might help you better understand what you or a loved one is going through. Our Medical Director, Dr. Harry Croft will also be on hand to answer questions on BPD (read Dr. Croft’s blog on Borderline Personality Disorder: Symptoms to Treatment) or any mental health concerns you are experiencing. If you would like to submit your questions prior to the show, e-mail me at producer@healthyplace.com.

HealthyPlace.com is committed to keeping you informed on mental health disorders by providing trusted information. Feel free to check out our section on treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder to answer any questions you have before the show. Be sure to join us this Tuesday at 7:30 CST, 8;30 ET as we uncover ways you can beat this disorder and help get back your life back on track.

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Eating Disorders Recovery Show Recap

Eating Disorders Recovery Show Recap

On Tuesday night’s show, we addressed the difficulty in recovering from eating disorders. HealthyPlace.com Medical Director, Dr. Harry Croft mentioned a key factor in understanding this disease is to remember it is not about having a fat phobia‚ but it has to do with control, or maybe even lack of.

Body image also plays a major role in eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. Many times, sufferers do not see themselves the same way as a friend or loved one does. When they look in the mirror, they see a distorted image of themselves – “I’m so fat” – which leads to “I have to quit eating so much”.

Our guest, Shannon Cutts, author of the book‚ Beating Ana, and a 15 year sufferer of anorexia and bulimia provided some great insight into her struggles. She openly gave suggestions on how to approach a loved one with the disease, as well as putting the disease into perspective by comparing it a bad relationship.

If you, or someone you know, is struggling with an eating disorder, treatment is not as simple as taking a pill. Both Dr. Croft and Shannon noted the importance of therapy for treatment of eating disorders and Shannon explained that having a mentor, someone who has lived with an eating disorder and received treatment for it, is very helpful in the recovery process. Shannon developed the program, MentorConnect.

For more information on eating disorders, visit the HealthyPlace.com Eating Disorders Community and read Dr. Croft’s blog post: “Anorexia Nervosa: Development and Treatment“.

You can watch the show on the “Difficulty in Recovering From Eating Disorders” here.

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Difficulty of Recovering From An Eating Disorder: June 2

Difficulty of Recovering From An Eating Disorder: June 2

For many people with an eating disorder, trying to recover from anorexia or bulimia can be a long and difficult process.

This Tuesday night, June 2, we’ll be discussing what recovery from an eating disorder really means and why it’s so darn difficult to “quit your eating disorder.” Our guest, Shannon Cutts, will give us a look inside her life and her 15-year struggle with Anorexia and Bulimia. Shannon understands firsthand the total isolation, dead-end thinking, and exhausting mind tricks that eating disorders confine you to.

Today, Shannon is very involved in her community as a mentor with the organization called Key to Life, where she reminds others that recovery from anorexia and bulimia is possible. She is also the author of the book titled‚ Beating Ana, which chronicles her life and provides insight on how to take your life back from this debilitating disorder.

During the show, you can ask Shannon questions about what it was like living with an eating disorder and her experience with treatment for anorexia and bulimia. During the second half of the show, Dr. Harry Croft, HealthyPlace.com Medical Director, will answer any mental health question you might have. If you would like to submit your questions in advance, email me at: producer AT healthyplace.com.

Beforehand, you can read Dr. Croft’s blog post on Anorexia Nervosa: Development and Treatment. Then join us for this in-depth discussion this Tuesday, June 2 at 5:30p PT, 7:30 CT, 8:30 ET and look for ways to identify as well as recover from eating disorders. You can watch the HealthyPlace Mental Health TV show live on our website.

Remember, at HealthyPlace.com, you’re never alone.

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