References for "Becoming a better perfectionist"

Sassaroli S, et al. "Perfectionism in Depression, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and Eating Disorders," Behavior Research and Therapy (June 2008): Vol. 46, No. 6, pp. 757–65. Stoeber J, et al. "Positive Conceptions of Perfectionism: Approaches, Evidence, Challenges," Personality and Social Psychology Review (April 2006): Vol. 10, No. 4, pp. 295–319. (Locked) More »

References for "Beyond the 'baby blues'"

Dorheim SK, et al. "Sleep and Depression in Postpartum Women: A Population-Based Study," Sleep (July 2009): Vol. 32, No. 7, pp. 847–55. Figueiredo B, et al. "Anxiety and Depression in Women and Men from Early Pregnancy to 3-Months Postpartum," Archives of Women's Mental Health (June 2011): Vol. 14, No. 3, pp. 247–55. Lee KA, et al. "REM Sleep and Mood State in Childbearing Women: Sleepy or Weepy?" Sleep (Nov. 1, 2000): Vol. 23, No. 7, pp. 877–85. (Locked) More »

References for "Educating and empowering families"

Dixon L, et al. "Services to Families of Adults with Schizophrenia: From Treatment Recommendations to Dissemination," Psychiatric Services (Feb. 1999): Vol. 50, No. 2, pp. 233–38. Dixon L, et al. "Pilot Study of the Effectiveness of the Family-to-Family Education Program," Psychiatric Services (July 2001): Vol. 52, No. 7, pp. 965–67. Dixon L, et al. "Outcomes of the Peer-Taught 12-Week Family-to-Family Education Program for Severe Mental Illness," Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica (March 2004): Vol. 109, No. 3, pp. 207–15. (Locked) More »

References for "Protecting youths from online harassment"

Gifford NV. "Sexting in the USA," report of the Family Online Safety Institute, undated. O'Keeffe GS, et al. "The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents, and Families," Pediatrics (April 2011): Vol. 127, No. 4, pp. 800–804. National Crime Prevention Council. "Teens and Cyberbullying," executive summary released Feb. 28, 2007. (Locked) More »

Beyond the "baby blues"

Most mothers experience the "baby blues" during the first few weeks after giving birth. Telltale symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, and weepiness typically worsen by the fourth or fifth day after delivery and subside on their own within two weeks. An unfortunate few develop postpartum psychosis. This rare but life-threatening disorder requires immediate treatment (see "Postpartum psychosis"). Postpartum depression lies somewhere in between these two states. This disorder affects about 10% to 15% of mothers, whose "baby blues" turn into something more persistent. A mother with postpartum depression may feel sad, worthless, or guilty. She may be unable to concentrate or take interest in anything, even her baby (see "Symptoms of postpartum depression"). Postpartum depression also affects men. One analysis estimated that as many as 10% of fathers develop postpartum depression within the first year after the birth of a child. Although postpartum depression is surprisingly common, those affected may be embarrassed about feeling depressed and overwhelmed at what is supposed to be one of the happiest times of their lives. As a result, many people are reluctant to seek help. Fewer than half of women with postpartum depression seek treatment. Lack of treatment for postpartum depression can take a toll not only on a parent's mental health, but also on a child's development. In some cases, offspring of parents with any kind of untreated depression suffer delays in cognitive development, take longer to mature emotionally, or develop depression themselves. Fortunately, multiple treatment options exist for postpartum depression. More »

Protecting youths from online harassment

It's no secret that children and teenagers are spending a tremendous amount of time online. Popular digital communities include social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter and virtual worlds and gaming sites such as Club Penguin and Second Life. According to one poll, more than half of youths log on to some type of social media site at least once a day. Roughly one in four logs on to such sites at least 10 times a day. Although digital communities enable youths to socialize with peers and develop multimedia skills, these online forums also have risks. A common one is cyberbullying — a form of bullying that takes place entirely online in cyberspace. Another is sexting, a term that combines the words sex and texting and refers to the exchange of sexually explicit digital messages and images. Fortunately there are ways for parents to help their children avoid these new types of harm. (Locked) More »

Educating and empowering families

Mental health clinicians undergo rigorous training in their fields before treating patients with psychiatric disorders. Family members, on the other hand, may find themselves suddenly thrust into crisis situations with a loved one, struggling to understand an illness they know little about — all while dealing with their own powerful emotions. The result, not surprisingly, is that families often do not know how to respond effectively when a loved one develops a mental illness. Anger, guilt, shame, and other negative emotions — reinforced by society's continuing stigma about mental illness — may hobble families' abilities to support patients. And while clinicians would like to better involve and support family members, doing so can become a daunting task in the real world of conflicting demands of patient privacy, overbooked schedules, and insurance paperwork. Recognizing the challenges, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) offers a free 12-week course, the Family-to-Family Education Program. The curriculum includes medically reviewed and regularly updated content about major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and substance use disorders. (Locked) More »

Becoming a better perfectionist

People who are perfectionists set high standards for themselves. In itself, this is not such a bad personality trait to have — it helps some people become corporate leaders, skilled surgeons, or Olympic champions. But it is the dark side of perfectionism that gives this quality a bad name: a tendency toward endless self-criticism and focus on mistakes rather than on achievements. Perfectionism is sometimes a manifestation of a psychiatric disorder. In people with eating disorders, for example, perfectionism may show up as excessive self-criticism about weight or appearance. In people with depression, it may appear as a tendency to ruminate about failures. And in people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), it may be expressed as an obsession with arranging things symmetrically — such as lining up hangers or placing clothes in drawers in a specific way. But perfectionism does have its advantages. Desirable aspects of this personality trait include conscientiousness, endurance, satisfaction with life, and ability to cope with adversity. Dr. Jeff Szymanski, a clinical instructor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and executive director of the International OCD Foundation, believes it is possible to become a better perfectionist — by building on the strengths of this quality and learning to minimize its drawbacks. In his book, The Perfectionist's Handbook, he discusses this theory in greater detail and provides exercises people can try on their own at home. (Locked) More »