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Archives for June, 2012

Partners In Wellness with Joan Winifred

Goodbye, Thank You, and Best Wishes

Dear readers of Partners in Wellness,

Today I say goodbye to you as the author of Partners in Wellness. To discontinue authorship of this blog was a difficult decision, and I hope that someone will decide supporting the partners of those with mental illness is a topic worth writing about in the future.

When I began this blog in March of 2011, it was because there were very few resources that spoke...
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Dads at Risk for Post-Partum Depression?

Leading up to the birth of a child, the majority of the attention is focused on mom because--let's face it--she is doing the hard work. After birth, Mom also tends to shoulder much of the responsibility for the newborn, especially if she is breast-feeding.

Even the most well-adjusted, connected, and caring fathers are likely not going to get as much attention as mom and baby, and that includes when it comes to the...
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Does Your Partner Feel Emotionally Safe?

When you have a partner with mental illness, you are likely always on alert for behaviors that might indicate the illness is progressing. Was that laugh too loud, and a sign of impending mania?...Does the fact that he doesn't want to go to the party mean his depression is coming back?...Did he forget to pick up the dry cleaning because he didn't take his ADHD meds?...Did she skip dessert because she's full or because...
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Anxiety and Panic

Eight Tips for Handling Partner Anxiety

If you have a partner with anxiety--whether it is "everyday anxiety" or a full-blown anxiety disorder--you know the ways anxiety can wreak havoc on your lives and your relationship. It may feel like everything revolves around what will and will not make your partner anxious. Feelings of frustration, unfairness and anger on your part are all normal.

Since anxiety is one of the easiest psychiatric disorders to treat, hopefully your partner...
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Partners with Personality Disorders: Crazy-Making?

The world can be an unfriendly place, and defense mechanisms are how we survive. If you have a partner with a personality disorder, the way they use defense mechanisms can be confusing, frustrating, and crazy-making. You may continuously be taken by surprise when something that seems logical to you is twisted into something else that puts your partner into a rage.

As a result, you yourself likely use defense mechanisms...
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Partner Having Summer Depression?

Many people associate seasonal affective disorder (SAD) with the cold, dark, winter months. So, it may come as a surprise to you when your partner begins to experience depression during the summer. After all, summer is a time of vacations, warmer weather, and more hours of daylight, and those are good things, right?

Yes, that's true. But summer also means changes in schedule (especially if your kids are out of school), heat intolerance...
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Why Your ADHD Partner is Not “Lazy”

"If you just tried harder, you could do what I'm telling you to do!"

People with ADHD--children or adults--hear this phrase from frustrated teachers, supervisors, and yes, even partners, far too often. From the outside, the symptoms of ADHD can make it look as if your partner isn't trying hard enough, resulting in things being forgotten or left unfinished.

The reality couldn't be further from the truth: the person with...
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Talking to Kids About a Parent’s Mental Illness: Part 2

Today's post is Part 2 on how to help kids who have a parent with a mental illness. In Part 1, we discussed how kids think about and react to having an ill parent. This post will address how to talk with kids when their Mom or Dad has a mental illness, and provide helpful resources.

Talking with kids about mental illness

Experts recommend that you address these main topics with...
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Talking to Kids About a Parent’s Mental Illness: Part 1

When a parent is mentally ill, children are often confused, scared, angry, and/or worried. Depending on their ages, how long the parent has been symptomatic, and experiences with Mom or Dad being sick, children need appropriate levels of education and support.

Children of parents with mental illness are at risk a range of mental health problems, including depression and anxiety, alcoholism, and personality disorders.

In this two-part...
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