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                    THE COUPLE,  MENTAL HEALTH, AND OTHER                                     


Marijuana Users Have Poorer Verbal Memory

by Debra Brandt on 02/10/16

Besides the fact that pot is one of the most non-motivating drugs, researchers are looking at memory issues as well.  The research tested 13 y.o. I. Q. and followed them until the 30's and tested them again and found the I.Q. had lowered.  More teenagers use pot than cigarettes because they feel there is less harm with marijuana.

The Heartbreak of Substance Abuse

by Debra Brandt on 01/13/16

I get so many parents who come into my office who have felt the helplessness and heartbreak of having a child who is an addict.  Helplessness is probably the big word for me.  I think being scared for what that child (and mostly adult children) will do to him or herself is extremely trying.  We do not have control of the situation.  As one of my patients said the other day...I can't be a babysitter all the time.  I have to work to pay the bills, etc.  And the child, again, my experience is with mostly adult children, doesn't seem to be able to care for themselves either.  They tend to be very impulsive or obsessive or something.  Once they get a thought in their heads, they pretty much follow through (an example is taking a bottle of pills).  How ironic that they can follow through with that and not healthier thoughts.  Again, a lot of helplessness.  But, Parents, you must get it together again and again to find something that will help.  Even though the statement keeps popping up...Can't help someone who is not ready  to be helped. Put them in treatment.  And then they use again.  Put them in treatment and then they use again.  Try tough love.  Doesn't seem to be working either.  It is a dilemma!

Attached is a very sad article:  Bringing Substance Abuse to the Classroom


by Debra Brandt on 12/18/15

Wikipedia defines the co-dependent relationship as a type of dysfunctional helping relationship where one person supports or enables another person's addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or underachievement.

Mental Health of America reports co-dependency is a learned behavior that can be passed down from one generation to another.  The link below is a very informative article that also discusses characteristics of co-dependents and a questionnaire to help identify signs of co-dependency.  Go to Co-dependency and read further.  For instance, do you avoid arguments?  Are you always worried about others's opinions of you?  Very interesting!

One of the best films I have seen on this topic was written, directed, and starred in by Dyan Cannon...The End of Innocence first shown in 1990.  You can find and watch it on the internet.  (I understand it is free to watch) It is well worth it. Blog us back and tell us what you think!

Survived Thanksgiving

by Debra Brandt on 11/30/15

I really try to simplify the Holidays.  I believe our family was invited to 3 different homes for Thanksgiving.  Members of my birth family could not get it together to have only one, but had to have two separate dinners.  I refuse to get into the family politics.  At least they were courtesous enough to have them at separate times.  My partner's ex-inlaws had another sceduled earlier.  I accepted the first invitation and did not attend others.  I was very glad the one I accepted was the last one of the day and I spent a lovely day by myself attending to my dog, orchids and watching t.v. at my leisure.

Holiday Blues

by Debra Brandt on 11/15/15

Are you going to allow yourself to be depressed around the Holidays?  A lot of us suffer from the Holiday blues.  We are lonely, or the magic of the Holidays is gone, or traumatic events have occurred around this time of year...whatever the reason may be you need to take action and make a plan.

Some suggestions are:
1.  Keep your spending down.  Stick to a budget you can afford.  If you can not afford much, then make things...maybe cookies, artsy things, photographs.  I like what my daughter is doing this year.  She grew a plant that make sponges. Not only did the plant take over her growing area, but you should see the size of her sponges!  Don't think this is good enough?  Well, it sure is going to feel great that you are not in debt due the Holidays.  
2.  Keep yourself in the present.  Don't harp on the previous years.  I think the Holidays are not the same since my parents are not with us anymore.  But it is my job to make my Holidays magical again.  I need to set new memories.
3.  Do some volunteer work.  This is one of the best ways to get you outside of yourself and concentrate on someone or something else.  Help in a soup kitchen. Go to a nursing home and visit with the residents.  There are so many places you can help out.
4.  Do not drink excessively.  This will definitely get you down in the dumps.
5.  Spend time with people you care about.  Or reach out and meet new friends.
6.  Do something different.  Make up new traditions!  I added reading fairy tales on Christmas morn.  I really enjoyed going away for Christmas, but my kids asked me not to.

The internet has a lot of information on Depression during the Holidays.
Please write in and tell us how you defeat depression around the Holidays.
So it is holiday time again.  Another year has gone by and we have to problem solve how to make the Holidays jolly. I had made some suggestions to my man, but he said no.  So if I let him do the planning on the Holidays we will end up doing nothing except go over to the relatives for food.  Since my parents are no longer around that no longer appeals to me.  I wanted to go to Gaylord Palms in Orlando for the 1st.  Which was great the year we did that.  We had a great magical time when we went up North to NY and Canada one year.  The cold, the snow, the picturesque Christmas card scenes, the butterfly museum, the Mafia was great! Back to the problem-solving table...

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