Young adulthood, depression, and anti-depressants

Young adulthood, depression, and anti-depressantsA recent article in the New York Times (4/17/2104) The Antidepressant Generation by Doris Iarovici M.D. raises some important points about the use and possibly over-use of anti-depressant prescriptions for young adults.

There is little doubt that anti-depressants can offer great relief to adults struggling with paralyzing depression, when they are having difficulty functioning in their life. Read more »

Bringing Up A Moral Child

Bringing up a moral childWhile most parents are naturally concerned about their children becoming successful adults, we are more concerned about our kids becoming kind, compassionate and helpful. Indeed, most social surveys across the world show that parents want their kids to be caring and kind over material achievement.

Apparently, like most parents, I was very concerned with my children’s moral development. I wanted them to be compassionate towards others, caring and kind. But how do we accomplish this “hard to measure” goal? Read more »

What did your parents teach you?

What did your parent's teach youDuring our tenure in the parenting business (believe it not, while you never stop from being your kids parent, you do, hopefully, let go of the parenting role), we are always coaching our children. “Remember to brush your teeth, make your bed, say please, thank you, your welcome, wipe your feet, wash you hands, comb your hair, make your bed, clean up after yourself”—the list is endless. A large part of parenting involves socializing your children into our culture, teaching them the basics, and helping them develop good habits. When they are little, it’s amazing how frequently we have to prompt them to do the things that will later become automatic. It’s important. Read more »

Rolling With Change

changeThis is a guest blog from James Dauer, Licensed Mental Health Counselor. Mr. Dauer sees Behavioral Health patients at our Smokey Point location.

Let’s face it. For the most part, we do not like change. We like what we like. Back in the Day and The Good old Days are common pop culture themes that direct our mind to a better time and place—at least for some. Such themes resonate with today’s modern lifestyle and have made their way into music and the movies.

Remember When is a moving song by country music star Alan Jackson that chronicles life in the context of love, family, and change. The song is touching because it captures both the joys and sorrows of change, Read more »

Why are funeral rites important?

funeral-ritesRecently, a friend’s mother died at the tender age of 51, after a two-year struggle with cancer. Her 21-year-old daughter, Sarah, sobbed as she told me the story of her ordeal. My heart broke for her. She is so young to lose her mother. I asked her when the funeral was planned so that I could attend. She explained to me that her mother’s ashes would be spread sometime later this year, but there would be no funeral or memorial service. Read more »

Why Dieting Doesn’t Work

Why diets don't workSpring is finally here, with blooming cherry trees, and apple blossoms, white and luminous. I love the first weeks of this season, which always comes early to the Northwest. We have even been blessed with a couple of sunny days!

It’s easy to get ahead of ourselves and dream about lazy summer days, floating on our backs in a nearby lake. But oh no! What about those several pounds that I gained over the winter? I guess it’s time, once again, to “go on a diet” and lose my winter weight. Read more »

What is wisdom? How to develop it.

wisdomOur society is continually on the hunt for new knowledge. We want to understand the physical world, harness it’s energy, create new technology, and delve into the secrets of the universe. Those lucky individuals, who have lived for a century, have seen huge scientific advances.

But what about wisdom? How do we understand that elusive concept? We have the ability to create vast new technologies, but do we have to wisdom to know what to do with them? What do we know of the purpose of life? How do we employ the knowledge we have for the benefit of others? Read more »

Were You Overweight As a Child?

overweight-childrenThere was an excellent essay last Sunday (New York Times, March 23, 2014, What I would say to my fat son, by Joshua Max) about the author’s overweight childhood. So many children and teens struggle with their self-image, who simply doesn’t fit the cultural picture of “slender”. Frequently, they are height and weight proportionate, but just genetically configured differently than Hollywood’s idea of the beautiful body. Moms and dads try to reassure these kids, keep them focused on what’s important, and try not to make a big deal about their children’s weight and shape. They just hope that they won’t make their appearance a big deal.

But what if your son is actually overweight? What if your daughter is obese? Read more »

Relationships 201: A Common Pitfall and How to Avoid It

communication-201-mind-readingWhy is so hard to communicate with your partner? It’s hard to understand her, difficult for him to understand you, and even harder to get her to listen to what you have to say. Sometimes I think I am talking to the wall! And I know that my wife feels the same way.

The number one complaint in couples is poor communication! Not so hard to figure out why. The need to communicate underlies all human intercourse. Furthermore, the more “business” we have with a person, the more we need to communicate effectively.
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The Natural End of Life…a Personal Journey

pompanobeach-20121209-00039Today I returned from two weeks of caring for my mother in Florida as she slides towards the natural end of life. In the last two and half months I have been by her side for five weeks. It’s been hard. It’s painful to watch her dwindle, like a candle that is barely flickering, but still lit. I have had the opportunity to hold her hand at 3 a.m. in the morning, as she lay in her hospital bed at home, short of breath, frightened, waiting for the liquid morphine to work that I dropped under her tongue. I have been able to give her comfort in this final chapter of her life. I have been able to tell her how much I love her. And I have been able to reassure her that our family will be okay after she leaves us. Other family members have taken my place for the next three weeks, if she is still with us.

I am waiting for the telephone call, which will come soon. Read more »