New York Times Mental Health


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If You Need One Take A Sad Day

The Chains of Mental Illness in West Africa | The New York Times

When your brain and body need a break, taking a mental health day off from work or school can help you rest and recharge. As one clinical psychologist told Christina Caron: You wouldnt feel bad about taking time off when sick. You shouldnt feel bad about taking some time off when youre sad. You dont need to tell anyone why youre taking the time off. In most situations, just say that you need to take a sick day, and leave it at that, the experts told Ms. Caron. But try not to spend the day checking your messages or feeling guilty. Make a plan to do something that will help you recharge. Our readers offered their suggestions here.

Read More On The Coronavirus Pandemic

And emergency legislation, passed in the early days of the pandemic, may have played a role. The new rules lifted the requirement that doctors see patients in person in order to prescribe them certain controlled substances, including Adderall.

Even so, patients seeking help are doing so against a backdrop of isolation, restriction, uncertainty and grief.

I think what a lot of people are trying to avoid talking about is trauma: People were traumatized by Covid, said Alex Stratyner, a psychologist in New York. Millions of people have died. There has not been a processing on a grand scale of what it is we just endured.

Dealing With Anxiety Mental Illness And Grief

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How did I know my anxiety had gotten the better of me? When I found myself taking meticulous notes on a forthcoming book by Erica Feldmann called HAUSMAGICK: Transform Your Home With Witchcraft . The year 2018 hadnt been so great, what with the death of a husband and, possibly, a republic. Maybe 2019 would be better if I bought certain purifying elements for my home. The right crystals, sage sticks and salt? Apparently, you can sprinkle salt around the house after a person with toxic energy visits. Attention future dates: If you see me reaching for the shaker as youre leaving, you know things havent gone well.

If my nerves are frayed, I take cold comfort in knowing Im not alone. Whether its our political situation, the jangling distractions of everyday life or the not-irrational sense that mankinds need to find another planet isnt just a sci-fi plotline, we seem to be in the midst of one massive freakout. Kierkegaard argued that anxiety stemmed from the dizziness of freedom, the paralysis that comes from infinite choice and possibility. That was in 1844. Imagine what he would have thought about today.

I cant help noting, however, that the last time I checked Haigs Twitter feed he had posted seven times in two hours. Maybe hes still trying.

Youre welcome.

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Its So Easy To Get Roped In

Ms. Hawkinss son, Ronan Cosgrove, 16, who has been on TikTok for about four years, said that among some of his peers it has become trendy to identify with a mental health disorder. For them, he added, it is considered a personality trait rather than something you want to heal.

On TikTok they show Oh, Im this, and look at how cool I am, and then people will look up to those people and its just so skewed and not, like, reality, Ronan said. Its so easy to get roped in.

Kids are searching for a community, and are using their current struggle with mental health symptoms as a way to find like-minded people, sometimes wearing their symptoms as a badge of pride or a shorthand way to explain themselves to others, Dr. Prinstein said.

And some adolescents may seek mental health information online because the adults in their lives are not open to talking about it.

Its incredibly disheartening, he added.

A study published in March analyzed 100 videos on TikTok with the hashtag #mentalhealth that had collectively received more than 1 billion views. It showed that adolescents appear to be turning to TikTok as a source of support, and the advice there is largely driven by users conversations.

On the flip side, she added, finding a positive, supportive community online can be powerful, especially for those who are marginalized or who lack access to mental healthresources.

It kind of brought me into a world that I would have never otherwise have seen, he said.

Nyt Expos: No More Hiding Bidens Failing Mental Health

Who Decides Whether Trump Is Unfit to Govern?

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In an extraordinary article published on Sunday by the New York Times, a trio of investigative reporters reveal what life is really like inside the Biden White House, alleging the president is slow to make decisions and is given to outbursts of frustration, often laced with profanity. He will, they wrote, often snap.

Based on more than two dozen interviews with current and former Biden associates, the reporters learned that staffers spend an inordinate amount of time preparing Biden for public appearances: His aides say it takes a lot of behind-the-scenes work to prepare him to project an assured demeanor.

Additionally, Biden reportedly has little patience with staffers, wrote the authors, being increasingly quick to cut off conversations and even occasionally hangs up the phone on someone who he thinks is wasting his time. He is also quick to demonstrate his displeasure with those who cannot answer his questions.

According to the article, Bidens staff schedules 15-minute breaks between his daily appointments, apparently because he becomes exhausted quickly, despite a light daily schedule. He typically arrives in the Oval Office around 9:30 in the morning and usually is back in his residence by 7:00 pm.

The authors added:

Each of these examples is a telltale sign of dementia, perhaps leading to Alzheimers disease. The following signs of early stage Alzheimers is drawn from the Alzheimers Association and the Mayo Clinic:

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The Unexpected Joy Of Being Sober

  • Who its best for: anyone who is going through recovery or is ready to learn about the benefits of being sober
  • Key message: When youre in recovery, you may often feel like youre missing out, but there are many joys to discover in sobriety.

Catherine Gray is a journalist who has personally dealt with alcohol addiction. Throughout Grays book, The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober, she discusses her experience with addiction and recovery, shares scientific facts, and brings in expert insight that can be applied to all types of addiction.

She dives into the darker days of her life, then shines a light on her path to sobriety and all of the unexpected joys that came along with it. The overall goal is to relay the message that there are many benefits of being completely sober or even just cutting back on your alcohol consumption.

Gray isnt a mental health professional but her experience may help readers feel less alone in their struggles.

  • Who its best for: women who have experienced any type of partner abuse
  • Key message: Sometimes the road to recovery after trauma feels long, but there is a way to rebuild your self-esteem and heal.

Within the book, readers can take an assessment to understand if they are ready to undergo the exercises. The guide covers subjects like physical and emotional boundaries, self-soothing techniques, female sexuality, self-destructive behaviors, communication techniques, and acceptance.

Mental Health Addiction Human Behavior And Neurosciencemore

Richard A. Friedman has been a contributor to the science section of The Times since 2002.

Dr. Friedman is a professor of clinical psychiatry and the director of the psychopharmacology clinic at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York. He is an expert in the neurobiology and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders and has done research in depression. He has a keen interest in mental health policy and the social and cultural implications of current psychiatric practice. He has published on a wide range of topics in The New England Journal of Medicine, The American Journal of Psychiatry and The Journal of the American Medical Association.

Outside the office, he is an avid long-distance swimmer and classical pianist.

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It Didnt Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are And How To End The Cycle

  • Who its best for: anyone looking to dig into generational trauma and how to break the cycle
  • Key message: Your family has an enormous impact on why you are the way you are, but with some practice, you can become anyone you want to be.

The highly reviewed book has shared therapy tactics and scientific research that therapists within the industry have applied with their own clients. Alexanndra Kreps, MD, was one professional who contributed a blurb on the informative work where she writes, I found myself immediately able to apply Mark Wolynns techniques with my patients and saw incredible results, in a shorter time than with traditional psychotherapeutic techniques.

When approaching trauma, it is best to consult a mental health professional before diving into work that could be triggering. One Amazon reviewer cautioned, I would say you have to be ready to face these things and it is most definitely not a light read.

  • Who its best for: those looking to improve their personal relationships and form deeper connections
  • Key message: There are three main attachment styles and understanding yours can deepen your relationships and help you connect with your partner.

Attached is a sigh of relief for anyone who struggles with anxiety and navigating conflict, says Danielle Friedman, LMHC, Free Space Counseling. She finds that the book serves a deeper purpose by teaching the reader that emotions are deeply rooted in ones upbringing.

Give Your Mental Illness A Name Too

Teens Are In Crisis. Hereâs Why. | The New York Times

While Lily Burana had always been candid about her depression and anxiety, getting a third diagnosis this spring for A.D.H.D. made it harder to discuss her mental health clearly, she wrote. So Ms. Burana gave the whole bundle a nickname: Bruce. As in Springsteen, a public figure who has been open about his own struggles with mental health. The nickname allows me to efficiently keep people apprised of my status, as in: Bruce has really been bringing me down this week, she wrote. The nickname helps me lighten up about my own darkness.

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Allow Yourself To Grieve Small Losses

In the hierarchy of human suffering during the pandemic, a canceled prom or vacation or lost time with grandchildren may not sound like much, but mental health experts say that all loss needs to be acknowledged and grieved. We need to give ourselves permission to mourn, Tara Parker-Pope wrote in an article about disenfranchised grief. Once you accept that your grief is real, there are steps you can take to help you cope, she said. Consider planting a tree, for example, or finding an item that represents your loss, like canceled airline tickets or a wedding invitation, and burying it.

How Matt Richtel Spoke To Adolescents And Their Parents For This Series

In mid-April, I was speaking to the mother of a suicidal teenager whose struggles Ive been closely following. I asked how her daughter was doing.

Not well, the mother said: If we cant find something drastic to help this kid, this kid will not be here long term. She started to cry. Its out of our hands, its out of our control, she said. Were trying everything.

She added: Its like waiting for the end.

Over nearly 18 months of reporting, I got to know many adolescents and their families and interviewed dozens of doctors, therapists and experts in the science of adolescence. I heard wrenching stories of pain and uncertainty. From the outset, my editors and I discussed how best to handle the identities of people in crisis.

The Times sets a high bar for granting sources anonymity our stylebook calls it a last resort for situations where important information cant be published any other way. Often, the sources might face a threat to their career or even their safety, whether from a vindictive boss or a hostile government.

In this case, the need for anonymity had a different imperative: to protect the privacy of young, vulnerable adolescents. They have harmed themselves and attempted suicide, and some have threatened to try again. In recounting their stories, we had to be mindful that our first duty was to their safety.

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Hope And Help For Your Nerves: End Anxiety Now

  • Who its best for: those who deal with a lot of intrusive, repetitive thoughts that can trigger anxiety and panic
  • Key message: Anxiety comes with many physical symptoms brought on by an overactive nervous system, but there are behavioral techniques you can use to calm yourself down.

Do you ever feel like a prisoner to your thoughts? If you cant seem to snuff out the flames of intrusive thoughts, theres a book for that. Intrusive thoughts can sometimes feel like a gnat you cant seem to keep away. At other times, they may feel like an avalanche that sends you into a panic.

In Hope and Help for Your Nerves, Dr. Claire Weekes provides step-by-step guidance on how to understand and mitigate your symptoms of anxiety. She uses her own experience and scenarios from pioneering work in psychiatry to provide a clear-cut path to help readers find their own power.

How To Help Teens Struggling With Mental Health

Advocates Seek Mental Health Changes, Including Power to Detain

Recognize the signs.Anxiety and depression are different issues but they do share some indicators. Look for changes in a youths behavior, such as disinterest in eating or altered sleep patterns. A teen in distress may express excessive worry, hopelessness or profound sadness.

Approach with sensitivity.If you are seeking to start a discussion with a teen who might be struggling, be clear and direct. Dont shy from hard questions, but also approach the issue with compassion and not blame.

Offer healthy ways to manage emotions.Children who are emotionally struggling are at risk of turning to self-harm to redirect the pain they feel. To prevent that, encourage practices known to help our psychological well-being, such as exercise, meditation and journaling.

Get the correct diagnosis.Find the right doctor for your child by asking for recommendations. Ask the specialist about her experience treating specific conditions in children and the measurement tools she uses to make medical assessments.

Carefully consider medications.Press doctors on their experience treating children with specific drugs and make sure you understand their side effects and interactions with other treatments, as well as how to tell if a medication is working and how hard it is to wean off of it.

The falling age of puberty, he said, has created a widening gap between incoming stimulation and what the young brain can process:

Theyre being exposed to this deluge at a much earlier age.



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Mental Health In America Today

Readers discuss recovered memories of abuse, community-based care, politics and more.

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To the Editor:

Re The Forgotten Lessons of the Recovered Memory Movement, by Ethan Watters :

We are alarmed that The Times, as a part of drawing attention to the shocking state of mental health of Americas youth, is promoting the erroneous notion that there is a movement of therapists implanting false memories of abuse in their patients minds.

Childhood abuse and neglect constitute possibly the largest public health issue in the U.S., as it is associated with pervasive effects on mental and brain development.

Vast scientific literature has demonstrated that dissociative amnesia and delayed recall are common phenomena following trauma, not only in abused children, but also in war veterans and other traumatized populations.

Delayed recall usually happens spontaneously in the context of specific reminders, only very rarely in a therapists office. Furthermore, the majority of adult survivors of childhood abuse who experience delayed recall have been shown to be able to produce evidence that corroborates their memories.

An essential part of recovery is being helped to feel safe enough to confront the realities of ones life.

To the Editor:

Those cases have nothing to do with traumatic amnesia.

To the Editor:

Benedict Carey And Other Contributors To Science Times Take Deeper Looks At The Latest News Developments In Psychiatry Psychology And Neurosciencemore

Benedict Carey has been a science reporter for The New York Times since 2004. Previously, he was a health and medical writer for The Los Angeles Times from 2000 to 2004. Mr. Carey had been a freelance journalist since 1997, and before that a staff writer for Health Magazine.

He has written three books, “How We Learn” about the cognitive science of learning “Poison Most Vial” and “Island of the Unknowns” , science mysteries for middle schoolers.

Mr. Carey graduated from the University of Colorado with a mathematics degree in 1983. In 1985 he completed a one-year journalism program at Northwestern University.

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