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Our Mental Health Blogs

Why Is My Child with DMDD so Mean?

Why Is My Child with DMDD so Mean?

It's already tough managing the destruction that comes with DMDD outbursts, but then there's the verbal abuse. How do we deal with our child when they're mean?The main symptom of disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD) is chronic irritability. “Irritability” is a vague word, though. It doesn’t adequately describe how angry and mean our kids with DMDD can get, or how demoralizing it feels. As parents, we work hard to raise decent human beings. Then a DMDD outburst erupts, and that decency seemingly flies out the door.

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Ways to Avoid Bipolar Instability Caused by the Flu

Ways to Avoid Bipolar Instability Caused by the Flu

Bipolar instability when you get the flu is often reality. But flu season doesn't have to undermine your efforts to control bipolar disorder. Try these tips.

Avoiding bipolar instability because you have the flu is important, but it can be difficult to maintain stability with bipolar disorder while trying to combat the effects of the local virus going around. If you are a parent of a child with bipolar disorder, a simple virus can lead to bipolar instability in your child’s mental health. It becomes a difficult cycle as increased instability with bipolar makes it hard to treat the flu and increased symptoms of the flu make it difficult to control bipolar. However, by planning ahead, parents can lessen the ill-effects of flu season and keep their child’s mental health as intact as possible.

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Stop Emotion Contagion with Mentally Ill Kids

Stop Emotion Contagion with Mentally Ill Kids

Emotional contagion between your mentally ill children and yourself can be stopped. Learn simple steps to stop the negative effects of emotional contagion here.

“Emotional contagion” occurs when we mirror the strong emotions of those around us whether those emotions are negative or positive. As a parent of a mentally ill child, it can be difficult not to “catch” our child’s negative emotions. By employing a few tools, parents can avoid the downward spiral of emotional contagion and help their melting down child find a way back to the positive.

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Tips to Manage DMDD in the Classroom and Beyond

Tips to Manage DMDD in the Classroom and Beyond

DMDD in the classroom is tough to manage. Read tips parents can share with teachers and other school caregivers to make managing DMDD in the classroom easier.Managing disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD) in the classroom isn’t as simple as knowing how to prevent DMDD behaviors. Yet parents of children with DMDD are often expected to have immediate solutions for teachers and caregivers in our children’s lives. Symptoms of DMDD are tough for even parents to handle, and immediate solutions don’t exist, but there are doable small steps that can help manage DMDD in the classroom.

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Finding Gratitude When Mental Illness Takes So Much from You

Finding Gratitude When Mental Illness Takes So Much from You

Finding gratitude around the holidays when mental illness fills our lives with loss isn't easy. Try these tips on finding gratitude in your life just as it is.

Finding gratitude when you or your family member lives with mental illness can seem so hard. The holidays especially can feel like a real season of loss for families with mental illness. While “normal families” seem to celebrate all the traditions that film and commercials dictate, families with mental illness cannot take on such busyness and chaos without negative repercussions or a mental health relapse. But, rather than see our alternate celebrations as a loss, finding gratitude during the holidays helps us see the better side of mental health struggles.

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Sibling Abuse as a Result of Childhood Mental Illness

Sibling Abuse as a Result of Childhood Mental Illness

Sibling abuse can result if one sibling has a mental illness like DMDD. Sibling abuse is often confusing for parents: When does rivalry become sibling abuse?

My family experiences sibling abuse because my son has disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD). This means his emotional responses are violently out of proportion to the trigger. Worse, the trigger is often his sister. If he perceives her to get anything positive that he does not, Armageddon breaks out. I don’t know how siblings without mental illness interact. All I know is that the fighting that goes along with sibling abuse is exhausting.

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Medication Compliance Monitored by an FDA Approved Drug

Medication Compliance Monitored by an FDA Approved Drug

Medication compliance rates for psychiatric medications could be better. Now there's a medication that digitally tracks compliance. Should we be worried?

Medication compliance for people taking psychiatric drugs is notoriously hit and miss. Because of that, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a form of aripiprazole (Abilify) that digitally tracks medication compliance in patients with schizophrenia, some forms of bipolar, and some cases of depression according to Psychiatric Times.1 A digital sensor in the pill tracks when the medication is ingested by sending a digital tracking signal to an arm patch. Information can be provided to patients and might be shared with families and providers. While this may be the first such drug approved by the FDA, it will not be the last. So, the question for mentally ill patients and their families is this: Is this a wonderful, new medication compliance tool, or is it a potentially dangerous invasion of privacy?

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Holiday Mental Health Plans for Families with Mental Illness

Holiday Mental Health Plans for Families with Mental Illness

Do you have a holiday mental health plan to make the holidays fun for everyone in your family? Try this tip to develop a holiday mental health plan that works.

Maintaining mental health over the holidays can be a real challenge for teens and young adults with mental illness. With 64% of mentally ill people finding holidays stressful, according to a study by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), it is important to find ways to stay healthy during the holidays. So read on for holiday mental health tips.

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Ask Your Adult Child to Waive Privacy Rights Under HIPAA

Ask Your Adult Child to Waive Privacy Rights Under HIPAA

Adult children with mental illness can waive privacy rights to allow parents to stay on the treatment team. How can a parent make that happen? Read this.

At 18, when our mentally ill children are no longer minors, it is important to encourage them to waive their privacy rights through the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and allow parents to participate on their mental health team. To assure that adult children waive their privacy rights, parents need to develop a relationship of trust.

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Support a Bipolar Teen: Progress with Problem Behaviors

Support a Bipolar Teen: Progress with Problem Behaviors

If you support your bipolar teen, she can manage her problem behaviors. With tiny steps and a lot of support for your bipolar teen, you can help her do it.

You can support a bipolar teen as she works on problem behaviors, but you must be patient. I didn’t have any more patience when my daughter’s new counselor asked me, “What’s the one behavior you would like to work on with your daughter?” I was stunned, one behavior? Did she have any idea how erratic and out-of-control my teen’s behavior was as her bipolar disorder cycled from frantic highs to screaming lows? I quickly listed 10 desires. But, no, the therapist insisted that I choose only one. My first reaction was to choose a new therapist to support my bipolar teen daughter.

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