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 …

Support a Loved One with Bipolar – Gina

Many family members I speak with struggle with the question of how to best support a loved one with bipolar. As a loved one, it can be incredibly stressful to battle with unknowns, one’s own anxiety and feelings of helplessness. People are understandably eager for information that can equip them with tools to help. I have found there are numerous things …

Support for Depression – How to Get More

Many of the people I see feel that it’s very hard to get support for their depression. They may find it hard to talk about the subject altogether or they may have had some experiences that suggests that “people just don’t want to know.” This morning I saw several people with depression and bipolar and what struck me was that …

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 …

Kathy Leichter and Here One Day

We had the absolute pleasure of talking with director Kathy Leichter about her experience of making her movie, Here One Day.  Here One Day is an intimate look into Kathy’s mother’s experience with Bipolar Disorder as well as her own experience, as her daughter. Question: How did you come up with the idea of Here One Day? Kathy Leichter: I’ve been …

Bipolar Suicide Film – Here One Day

I just attended the screening of a remarkable documentary at the Institute for Psychiatric Services meeting in San Francisco. The film is called Here One Day. It is an incredibly personal story by documentary film maker Kathy Leichter, about her mother, and her mother’s struggle with bipolar. The film is a tribute to a remarkable woman, who’s bipolar disorder both …

Suicide in Young Adults

Suicide in young adults and adolescents is one of the most troubling issues facing any of us dealing with depression. This post, provided by Yellowbrick, speaks specifically to parents; however, we find that it is a useful resource for all of us who have adolescents and young adults in our lives. Of particular importance is point number 8; it can be …

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 …

The Problem of Denial: How to Help Loved Ones with Substance Use and Other Destructive Habits

“What can we do to help our daughter, who is a young adult, living at home, and who is not compliant with treatment recommendations from mental health professionals and appears to be using substances and behaving in other self destructive ways?” We are often asked what can parents and family of young adults or seriously affected adults with mental illness …

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 …

Having Kids

Having kids 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 also …