Psychiatry Associates Blog

The Impact of Chronic Disease on Mental Health

Sometimes, sources of anxiety or stress are fleeting, offering the promise of a reprieve in a matter of days, weeks, or even months.  While the struggle may feel endless, we often ultimately realize that there is an end in sight.  However, when it comes to living and managing day-to-day life with a chronic illness, there may be no such promise ahead.   As a result, chronic diseases can have a drastic impact on not only a patient’s physical health, but on their mental health as well.  In fact, as many as one-third of those diagnosed with a chronic illness will also experience symptoms of depression.

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Coping with Grief During the Holidays

The loss of a loved one is difficult at any time, but the holidays can be particularly hard.  Family and friends move into center focus this time of year as we gather around the dinner table or the Christmas tree to celebrate.  Meanwhile, holiday music, decorations, movies, and music all serve as unavoidable reminders of exactly how different this year will be to those past.

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Healthy Levels of Narcissism vs. Narcissistic Personality Disorder

The term “narcissist” is tossed around regularly.  We often hear it used to describe someone’s ex, their boss, celebrities, or politicians.  But, is it likely that all of these individuals are truly suffering from narcissistic personality disorder?  What amount of appreciation for one’s self is healthy and appropriate, and at which point does it cross a line into problematic?  Let’s dive into some of the specifics regarding this personality trait and how to tell when it can no longer be classified as normal.

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Mental Health by the Numbers [INFOGRAPHIC]

Mental illness comes in many different forms and affects as many as 1 in 5 Americans.  These disorders can occur alone, but they often coincide with other mental health problems and can result in a wide range of complications from substance abuse to suicide.  Here are just a few of the most telling and important statistics regarding mental health in America:

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Beyond Major Depressive Disorder: 5 Other Types of Depression

Everyone is familiar with the concept of depression, and many have experienced it firsthand.  Estimates state that as many as 15 percent of adults will suffer from depression at some point in their lives.  Still, despite its prevalence, there is a lot about depression that many do not understand.  When, how, and why depression strikes can look vastly different from one patient to the next, largely based on the specific type they are battling.  Unbeknownst to a large portion of Americans, there are actually several forms of depression outside of the well-known Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), including the following five.

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in Children: Signs & Treatment

Watching your child struggle and feeling unable to help them is among the most heartbreaking experiences any parent endures, but it’s a feeling that every parent is sure to encounter at some point.  It may be the loss of a loved one, a breakup, or a dream that is dashed.  However, despite how difficult they may be to witness, most parents understand that these types of problems will improve given time.  In the case of mental health disorders, there often is no such silver lining.  When problems like obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) arise in children, parents may not understand the condition or how to address it, finding themselves in completely uncharted territory.

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Normal Teenage Defiance or Oppositional Defiance Disorder?

Parents are often heard lamenting the approach of their child’s teen years, as they envision sullen, defiant children who are attempting to find their own identities and separate themselves from their parents.  Undoubtedly, a certain level of defiance is to be expected from children, particularly during these formative years.  However, there are instances in which parents find their teen’s behavior to be so extreme that they wonder if the line of developmentally normal rebellion has been crossed.  Determining whether or not a child’s behavior is cause for deeper investigation with a medical professional is never easy, but there are some signs that parents can watch for.

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Mental Health and Addiction: How One Impacts the Other

It is often observed that addiction is a great equalizer, impacting people of all ages, races, genders, and socioeconomic classes.  The factors influencing who suffers from addiction and why are expansive and not entirely understood.  While we know that nature and nurture both carry some degree of weight in the struggle of addiction, there is continuing research to better grasp how the cycle begins and how to best help patients overcome it.  What we do know for sure is that there are many connections between mental health and addiction, with each one having the capability to drastically influence the other. 

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PTSD Triggers: Ways to Identify & Cope

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a common mental illness impacting those who have experienced or witnessed particularly traumatic events.  While it is commonly associated with combat veterans, anyone can suffer from PTSD.  Events such as assaults, car accidents, or natural disasters can all leave a lasting impact on the brain, leading to problems such as anxiety, insomnia, agitation, and self-destructive behaviors.  At times, these symptoms may be worse than others.  This is often due to thoughts or events that serve as “triggers.”  Learning how to identify these triggers and cope with them effectively is an important step in living a healthy, successful life with PTSD.

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Managing Your Child’s ADHD During the Summer

The school year has a certain rhythm that most families eventually fall into.  By and large, both parents and children know what to expect from each day with a consistent routine, and while the long, lazy days of summer hold a special appeal, they also mark a drastic shift in day-to-day life.  Determining how to navigate change can be difficult for many families, particularly those who have a child who has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

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