Maternal Depressive Symptoms – Nancy

Interventions to reduce maternal depressive symptoms, especially during infancy may have lasting effects on child neurological development.  A longitudinal study recently published in the Netherlands has found that children whose mothers exhibited depressive symptoms during their infancy have measurable reductions in brain size even by age 10.  These findings provide evidence for an observed link between maternal depression and ADHD …

Family and Bipolar – Nancy

Family members can be your best support, and they can also be a drag on your recovery.  How to help them understand your needs better so that they can make positive impacts and let you get what you need? Having a family member diagnosed with an illness like Bipolar can be a significant shock.  If it’s a child, parents may …

Raising Healthy Children

Raising Healthy Children

Raising healthy children is always challenging, a source of joy but also a source of anxiety. And having depression can add to the challenge. And yet many, many women that we have worked with have had successful pregnancies and raised wonderful, healthy, happy children. One key to success is paying attention to how mood can influence not only ourselves but …

Suicide Survivor Day

Suicide Survivor Day for Loved Ones

Suicide Survivor Day is the one day a year when people affected by suicide loss gather around the world at events in their local communities to find comfort and gain understanding as they share stories of healing and hope. Discover more about Survivor Day. UCSF and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention are hosting an important event for suicide survivors on November …

Dealing with Denial

Someone you love is no longer the same. They may be moody, angry at times, irrational, paranoid or they may act in ways that are harmful to themselves or to you. Trying to help loved ones deal with this situation is one of the most perplexing and difficult things that I do as a professional. The boyfriend of a young …

Children of Bipolar Parents

A series of presentations at the 2015 meeting of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry point to the importance of helping the families of parents with bipolar disorder. Juan David Palacio reported that children of parents with bipolar I disorder are at high risk for a number of psychiatric disorders, including bipolar spectrum disorders and substance use disorders. They …

Childhood Bipolar: Mother Knows Best

A recent blog post in Bipolar News (one of our favorite resources for up-to-date information on bipolar research) argues that mother’s evaluations of their children are more useful than teacher’s report of symptoms and than reports from the children themselves when diagnosing childhood bipolar. The article summarized research presented at the 2015 International Society for Bipolar Disorders by Eric Youngstrom. Eric Youngstrom, Ph.D., is …

Children at Risk for Bipolar

Greater Mental Health Risks For Children Of Bipolar Parents From the American Journal of Psychiatry: David Axelson and colleagues find that, within seven years, 74.2% of children of parents with bipolar disorder will receive a major (Axis 1) psychiatric diagnosis. And are themselves at risk for bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, and other disorders. This same group of offspring carries a …

Treating Mother’s Depression Helps Kids

Sometimes the very best way that mothers can help their children is by helping themselves. Fascinating study just published in the American Journal of Psychiatry by renowned psychologist Myrna Weissman adds to an extensive literature showing that maternal depression affects children in negative ways and that treating maternal depression can have profound benefits for the kids. In this article a …

Friends and Family Don’t Understand – Bipolar Communication Problems

Sometimes those without the challenges of bipolar neurochemistry simply “don’t get it” – how moods can shift abruptly and dramatically, and often without warning, or with subtle hints of the mood shift about to confront you  – and at what might be the slightest trigger a sudden onslaught of  overwhelming sensations due to hypersensitivity to stimuli, someone chewing can sound thunderous;  a repetitive noise, such …

Maternal Warmth Protects Against the Negative Effects of Maternal Depression

I recently spent time with a friend who is a mother-to-be and struggles with depression. She was worried about how her depression might affect her relationship with her child as well as how it might affect the child’s own mental health. These are common concerns for many mothers and thankfully research is being done to address these concerns. A recent …