Blog Articles

Children and Antipsychotics

In a 2015 study, the National Institute of Health found that boys are being prescribed antipsychotics much more often than girls are.

Jul 7th, 2020
Responding to Social Rejection

Can you track your heartbeat without feeling your pulse? If you can, you might be better prepared to cope with being excluded in social situations.

Jun 8th, 2020
Sleep to Remember

We’ve all experienced negative effects from lack of sleep — exhaustion, blurry vision, depression, irritability. But lack of sleep also interferes with your ability to store memories.

May 29th, 2020
Let Your Teens Sleep In: It's Good for Mental Health

For parents who are suddenly homeschooling teenagers during COVID-19, here's a tip: let them sleep in. Studies show that extra sleep for teenagers actually helps shield them against depression and anxiety.

Mar 31st, 2020
Treating Mood Swings During Periomenopause

Perimenopause--the time before a woman enters menopause--can be an emotionally challenging time. Here are some symptoms, treatment and support available to you or a loved one who may be in perimenopause.

Mar 5th, 2020
Talk Therapy or Drug Therapy?

Treatment means treating the whole person, which means that everyone has different needs--whether that means medication, lifestyle changes, or both.

Feb 20th, 2020
Listening: A Loving Gift to your Partner

Displays of romance have been all around us. Flowers, chocolates, and jewelry are nice, but a more meaningful gift you can give anyone you love is the gift of listening.

Feb 13th, 2020
Does Personality Affect your Happiness?

I've seen fascinating research discussing what types of personality traits tend to lead to happier people. Spoiler alert: any personality type can learn traits that lead to more happiness!

Feb 5th, 2020
Is Caffeine Good or Bad for Mental Health?

There have been numerous articles extolling both the benefits and harmfulness of caffeine. When it comes to your mental health, I urge caution in how much you take in.

Jan 27th, 2020
Inflammation and The Brain

Did you know that aspirin can reduce symptoms of psychosis in schizophrenia patients? Or that ibuprofen may guard against Alzheimer's?

Jan 6th, 2020
Anxiety Disorders in Children: A Family Affair

What is the cause of anxiety disorders? It’s not fully understood, but we do know that anxiety disorders tend to run in families—probably a mixture of environmental upbringing and heredity. 

Dec 16th, 2019
Lots of TV is bad for your brain

Sitting around watching TV for hours every day not only affects your body, research shows it’s bad for your mental health, too. 

Dec 11th, 2019
Accountability and Mental Health

Patients have a direct role and responsibility in their mental health. A person could have years of counseling and medication services, yet if there is no accountability on the patient’s part then what good would they do? 

Nov 20th, 2019
Depressed? It May Be the Time Change

A Danish study recently found that depression diagnoses go up significantly (8 percent) in the month following the change from Daylight Savings Time back to standard time.

Nov 13th, 2019
Self-Compassion and Your Mental Health

Perfectionism — ever-unattainable! — is bad for your mental health. People who expect perfection are often overly critical of mistakes, which can lead to depression.

Nov 7th, 2019
Medicating for Depression: the Basics

When someone comes to me with depression, the first decision we make together is whether we’ll treat with therapy, medication, or both. In my experience, a combination of the two is the most effective approach.

Oct 27th, 2019
Tourettes and OCD

Tourette’s causes so much pain, especially in social interaction. It can cause shame and social isolation for patients and their families, but things can get better with therapies and medication.

Oct 8th, 2019
YOUTH AND SUICIDAL THOUGHTS

Suicides among teens ages 15-19 are the highest they’ve been since 2000, says a new study by the Journal of the American Medical Association. Here’s a snippet from an NBC analysis of the study: The new study found that in 2017, 6,241 teenagers and adult

Jun 19th, 2019
HOW TO FALL ASLEEP QUICKLY

This is second in a two-part series about sleep. Click here to read part one. Last week I wrote about how poor sleep can negatively affect your mental health. If you’re thinking, “It’s not my fault, I just can’t fall asleep at night!” then try this metho

Jun 5th, 2019
HOW POOR SLEEP AFFECTS YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

I can’t stress this enough: part of managing your mental health includes getting enough sleep. I’ve written about this here before: in my career I’ve seen how poor sleep can lead to suicidal thoughts, memory issues, even weight gain. According to an artic

May 28th, 2019
SOME ADHD MEDS INCREASE RISK OF PSYCHOSIS

New evidence is emerging that some medications for ADHD put teens and young adults at risk for developing psychosis. According to this study of more than 200,000 people ages 13 to 25, one out of 660 people had an episode of psychosis in a few months afte

May 21st, 2019
SUMMER BREAK WITH YOUR HIGH-NEEDS CHILD

As thrilled as kids are with summer break, it can be difficult on parents to muster the same enthusiasm. You’re all out of your routine and it can take time to get used to a new schedule, and get used to each other. If you have a child with developmental

May 12th, 2019
THE NEED FOR MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT IN SCHOOLS

A recent report from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) makes a case for more mental health professionals–including nurses and social workers–in schools. From the report: School counselors, nurses, social workers, and psychologists are frequently

May 12th, 2019
HOW DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY CAN AFFECT YOUR MEMORY

In 1958, researchers in the UK began collecting data from thousands of children born in a single week that year, creating the National Child Development Study (NCDS), which has been ongoing for nearly 60 years. This is so fascinating to me! Mental health

Apr 2nd, 2019
WHY DOCTORS AND NURSES NEED TO TAKE MENTAL HEALTH DAYS

Nurses and doctors–those critical caretakers of society!–often carry heavy mental and emotional burdens in the course of their work. Think about it: nurses often witness the worst hours and days of a person’s life. Doctors take care of patients and their

Apr 1st, 2019
THE SKILL OF KINDNESS IN DISAGREEMENT

This opinion piece about civility in politics got me thinking about kindness. How can we learn to be more understanding with those we disagree with? Columnist Dave Brooks gives practical tips on curating difficult conversations you have face-to-face, whet

Mar 8th, 2019
WHY YOU SHOULD STOP PUTTING PLASTIC IN THE MICROWAVE

There is increasing evidence that some of the preservatives, packaging and food coloring in America’s food may be harmful to kids’ physical and mental health. Also, putting plastic in the microwave and dishwasher may cause plastic to leach chemicals into y

Feb 21st, 2019
THE CONNECTION BETWEEN TRAUMA AND OCD

This is the third post in a series about post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You can read part 1 here and part 2 here. Is there a connection between post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)? I believe there is, and

Feb 12th, 2019
PTSD AND SUICIDE

This is Part 2 of a three-part series on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). You can read Part 1 here. On this blog we’ve established how to recognize the signs of PTSD. This can befall mothers after a dangerous birth, a newly diagnosed cancer patient,

Jan 31st, 2019
DO I HAVE MAJOR DEPRESSION?

Sometimes it’s hard to tell if you have major depression, especially when you’re living with it. For some people, depression is a pervasive feeling of sadness or hopelessness. For some, depression means feelings of anger or extreme irritability. People

Jan 24th, 2019
WHAT IS POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can develop after living through extreme stress, a terrifying or distressing event, or a prolonged traumatic experience. What kinds of experiences could lead to PTSD? combat (for mil

Jan 10th, 2019
SUNLIGHT HELPS FIGHT DEPRESSION

I’ve written about this before: exposure to sunlight can help fight depression. Coupled with mild to moderate exercise, being out in the daylight can help fight carbohydrate cravings, weight gain, social avoidance, even fatigue! A 2014 study of office wor

Jan 8th, 2019
POLICE ARREST FEWER MENTALLY ILL PEOPLE WITH NEW PROGRAM

In Gainesville, Florida, officer Shelly Postle teamed up with Makenzie Boyer, a mental health professional to handle calls regarding people with mental health issues. Postle and Boyer handled 434 calls in eight months, making a co-responder team that halt

Jan 8th, 2019
BEAT THE POST-CHRISTMAS BLUES

The post-Christmas season can be a real emotional low point. Maybe there’s a backlog at work. Maybe your kids’ schedule is thrown off by late nights and holiday excess. Maybe you had a blowup at a family member during Christmas. Whatever may be dragging y

Dec 27th, 2018
HOW CHARITABLE GIVING BENEFITS YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

This title from Time Magazine really does say it all: “Being Generous Really Does Make You Happier.” Researchers from the Unviersity of Zurich in Switzerland told 50 participants that they’d be receiving about $100 in a few weeks. Twenty-five people promi

Dec 24th, 2018
FOUR WAYS TO BEAT HOLIDAY STRESS

The Christmas season can be overwhelming. Managing traditions, a heavy end-of-year workload, financial stress, even time spent with extended family can contribute to poor mental health. Here are ways you can manage your stress during “The Most Wonderful Ti

Dec 7th, 2018
SINGING THROUGH PARKINSON’S DISEASE

Patients with advanced Parkinson’s are singing their way to better mental health, says Elizabeth Stegemöller, assistant professor of kinesiology at Iowa State University. (Click here to see a video of Stegemöller leading her singing group in 2017.) Stegem

Dec 7th, 2018
BOOK REVIEW: THE CHOICE BY DR. EDITH EVA EGER

The Choice by Dr. Edith Eva Eger is an incredibly empowering book on trauma recovery, written by a woman who has sometimes been nicknamed “the Anne Frank who didn’t die.” The pain of Dr. Eger’s story is hard to fathom. Nearly her entire family, all Hungar

Nov 16th, 2018
GRANDMAS AND FRIENDSHIP BENCHES HELP TREAT DEPRESSION IN AFRICA

Grandmothers, take note: in Africa, mental health professionals pioneered a method where they used grandmothers and friendship benches to screen people for basic psychiatric services. In 2004, a man named Dixon Chibanda was one of only two psychiatrists i

Nov 15th, 2018
THE EFFECTS OF GRATITUDE ON HEART AND BRAIN

I’ve written about the ways gratitude can improve your life. Gratitude can improve your romantic relationships, help you sleep better, decreases depression, even decreases suicidal thoughts. A 2017 study conducted at the University of Seoul, South Korea,

Nov 15th, 2018
HOW STRESS ALTERS YOUR BRAIN

If you are in your 40s and suspect your memory is already slipping, stress could be the culprit. A new study found that forty-somethings who had high levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) in their bodies also had reduced brain volumes and lower cognitive

Nov 6th, 2018
WHY AM I HAVING NIGHTMARES?

What causes nightmares, anyway? Nightmares tend to crop up when we’re stressed, anxious, depressed, on certain medications, or when our sleep is being consistently interrupted (hello, parents of a newborn!). Occasional nightmares are normal, but consistent

Oct 24th, 2018
THE MENTAL TOLL OF CANNABIS USE

I’ve written about this before: when you use cannabis to manage your mental health, the long-term risks far outweigh the short-term benefits. There is research linking cannabis use to schizophrenia in teens, as well as hallucinations, paranoia and other ps

Oct 24th, 2018
DADS’ MENTAL HEALTH AFFECTS THEIR CHILDREN

We’ve written about this before: treating depression can be a family affair. Recent studies are focusing on why a father’s mental health is just as important on their children. This 2017 study out of the United Kingdom drew a strong correlation between de

Oct 18th, 2018
FORGIVENESS AND MENTAL HEALING

“We are not responsible for what breaks us, but we can be responsible for what puts us back together again. Naming the hurt is how we begin to repair our broken parts.” ― Desmond Tutu, The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our

Oct 8th, 2018
MEMORY AND SEXUAL ABUSE

Last week Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh testified before the Senate judiciary committee about allegations of sexual abuse. This sparked discussions about sexual abuse in news and social media across the United States. (Several victims even call

Oct 1st, 2018
WHY DON’T PEOPLE REPORT SEXUAL ABUSE RIGHT AWAY?

There’s a debate swirling in American politics right now about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a woman who alleged that Kavanaugh attempted to rape her at a party when they were both teenagers. The arguments have been

Sep 24th, 2018
NEW TO BOISE STATE ATHLETICS: A MENTAL HEALTH DIRECTOR

When athletes battle mental health struggles alone, the consequences can be disastrous. Tyler Hilinski, a Washingston State quarterback took his own life in January 2018, only four months after an incredible triple-overtime victory over Boise State. Hili

Sep 8th, 2018
HAVING BACK TO SCHOOL JITTERS? TIPS FOR YOU, THE PARENT

If you’re dreading the back-to-school transition, you’re not alone. We are well aware how difficult it is to shift a kid from from late night barbecues and lazy mornings into waking up at 6:30 a.m. Juggling earlier bedtimes, packing lunches and managing a

Aug 20th, 2018
WHEN BOYS’ ANXIETY COMES OUT AS ANGER

The sullen teenage boy is everywhere, so common it’s almost a cultural cliché. But what if it’s actually anxiety? This article from the Deseret News presents another side to the story, where several young men share their stories of grappling with feelings

Aug 18th, 2018
NEUROIMAGING: A NEW APPROACH TO EATING DISORDERS?

To treat eating disorders or even obesity, scientists have been turning to neuroimaging–scans of the brain–to teach patients how to understand the path between mind and stomach. In a 2015 study, scientists used neuroimaging to identify what they called “b

Aug 16th, 2018
UNDERSTANDING EMOTIONS IN LEFT-HANDED PEOPLE

Studies on emotion in hemispheres of the brain may have been skewed exclusively toward right-handed people, according to a new study from Cornell University. In hundreds of studies conducted since the 1970s, research has shown that the left side of the br

Aug 5th, 2018
MAGNESIUM: AS EFFECTIVE AS ANTIDEPRESSANTS?

I’m always interested in learning how supplements can improve health, and lately I’ve been researching magnesium. It turns out one study shows the supplement can be as effective as SSRIs in treating mild to moderate depression. The FDA hasn’t yet rated ma

Jul 24th, 2018
STRESS RELIEF COULD SOMEDAY BE AN IMMUNIZATION AWAY

There’s a bacterium found on the shores of a Ugandan lake that could help reduce our stress. Scientists recently injected it into stressed-out mice with promising results. The bacterium, called Mycobacterium vaccae, reduces inflammation in the brain, whic

Jul 14th, 2018
MOTIVATING YOURSELF TO EXERCISE WHILE DEPRESSED

You’ve heard it before: Exercise is crucial for mental health. That concept is in the news again now because a recent study found exercise can help prevent heart disease in depressed people. The results aren’t surprising, but they come along with some gre

Jul 1st, 2018
REWRITING TRAUMATIC MEMORIES

Did you know memories can be rewritten? There’s a method of treating post-traumatic stress disorder that attempts to erase or dampen the stressful feelings associated with a traumatic memory. Mental health professionals use a few techniques to do this. W

Jun 27th, 2018
A NEW STORY BEHIND DEPRESSION

One of the most prominent theories about the cause of depression is that it’s the result of serotonin or norepinephrine shortages in the brain. But the thing is, taking drugs that add more of one or both of these chemicals back into the brain doesn’t fix

Jun 20th, 2018
DEPRESSION IN DIABETICS: IT’S ALL ABOUT INFLAMMATION

We’ve known for a long time that people with Type I diabetes are at increased risk for depression. Scientists are now closer to figuring out why. Diabetes (types I and II) and depression have all been linked to inflammation. A new study shows a more spec

Jun 8th, 2018
STUDY: DEPRESSION AGES YOUR BRAIN

We’ve known for years that people with depression are at higher risk for dementia, but a new study shows it’s more than that. Depression causes all kinds of signs of brain aging. A new study looked at depression’s effect on memory loss, executive function

May 25th, 2018
DEPRESSED OR ANXIOUS? CHECK YOUR THYROID

A new study shows more than 40 percent of people diagnosed with depression also suffer from autoimmune thyroiditis, or AIT. The same is true for 30 percent of people diagnosed with anxiety.

May 23rd, 2018
FINDING RELIEF FOR HIGHLY STRESSED TEACHERS

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week this week, and man, do these teachers deserve our appreciation. A recent study found 93 percent of elementary school teachers are highly stressed. That so many endure this stress and continue their work teaching children is

May 3rd, 2018
CAN SMOKING POT LEAD TO SCHIZOPHRENIA?

The simple answer is maybe. There are a number of studies that link marijuana and schizophrenia, but researchers don’t go so far as to say one leads to the other. The most recent study was published at the end of last year. It followed 6,788 people who ex

Apr 30th, 2018
DEPRESSION IN MOTHERS CAN LEAD TO LOWER IQS IN CHILDREN

If you’re a depressed mom, you might not be giving your children everything they need to develop to their full potential. That doesn’t mean you can’t; it just means you’ve got to be aware of the potential pitfalls. A new study followed Chilean mothers and

Apr 30th, 2018
COLLEGE AND MENTAL HEALTH

I read an article this week about college students’ declining mental health and how their schools are responding, and it reinforced my belief that parents and others can do a much better job preparing their kids for the mental and emotional challenges of a

Apr 3rd, 2018
HEALTHY COPING STRATEGIES FOR OCD

When you’re stressed, you can respond in helpful ways or unhelpful ways. Learning early to respond in those helpful ways (“adaptive coping”) can lead to much better mental health down the road. A new study found that obsessive-compulsive disorder sufferer

Apr 1st, 2018
BIGGEST RISK FACTOR FOR DEMENTIA: HEAVY DRINKING

Dementia is a terrible thing to watch, and an even more terrible condition to experience. It is defined as a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. There are things you can do now to prevent later dementia, and a new study s

Mar 22nd, 2018