How Can Families Reunite After Trump’s Victory Split Them Apart?

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Before the 2016 election, writer Michael Noker was “incredibly close” with his mother. He saw her as a role model because of her strength, feminism and history of overcoming abuse. Before he came out as gay, his mother was already teaching him the importance of respecting members of the LGBT community.

Then he learned she was voting for Donald Trump. Because of Hillary Clinton’s persecution of her husband’s accusers during his sex scandal, his mother didn’t perceive Clinton as a more feminist choice than Trump. She was also disappointed with Obamacare and seemed to want a new leader who would change it.

When Noker told her about Trump’s comments on the infamous tape with Billy Bush, she dismissed them as “probably taken out of context.” He also informed her of the many sexual assault allegations Trump faced. She dismissed them as well, saying it was suspicious that women were coming forward so many years after the purported incidents. Continue reading How Can Families Reunite After Trump’s Victory Split Them Apart?

6 Ways to NOT Let Your Family Stress You Out Over the Holidays

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Are you dreading the holidays? Chances are it’s because every year your family stresses you out when all you’re trying to do is take a break from the stress of work. It’s especially bad if seeing your family evokes painful memories and dredges issues you would rather save for a therapist.

To help you manage this stress, here are six tips for staying calm and dealing with the most challenging members of your family. They might reduce that holiday dread.

1. Set Boundaries

Sometimes family members upset us frequently to the point where we have a rough idea of how long it takes for them to stress us out. Do you know what your limit us? If so, make sure you can say goodbye to your family before approaching that limit. Tell them your time frame ahead of the reunion so they can manage their expectations. This will also help you avoid hurting their feelings.
If you don’t know what your limit is, try to be careful and figure it out for next time. For now air on the conservative side.

You can also set limits on what you’re going to do when you’re with family. If they have a holiday habit of goading or guilting you into something you hate, tell them ahead of time that you’re not going to put up with that. Continue reading 6 Ways to NOT Let Your Family Stress You Out Over the Holidays

8 Mental Health Challenges Single Moms Face

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Imagine you suddenly had sole responsibility for two children, earned around $26,000 a year, found your friends drifting away, and continually felt judged for your parenting, no matter how well you handled it.

Welcome to the life of a typical single mom.

As the founder of ESME.com (Empowering Solo Moms Everywhere), I’m astounded by the resilience and fortitude of single moms, who currently are raising 23 million children in the United States alone. The route women take to single motherhood varies, but parenting alone is physically and emotionally demanding. For some single moms, it can take a toll on their mental health. Continue reading 8 Mental Health Challenges Single Moms Face

When Your Family Brings Up Post-Election Politics During Thanksgiving

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It’s going to happen. You’re praying it doesn’t, but it’s inevitable.

During Thanksgiving, one of your relatives is going to bring up post-election politics. If your family members have opposing political views, this could be the beginning of a terrible evening. Your annoying uncle might say Trump isn’t so bad, which spurs your equally annoying aunt into going on a rant about how your uncle hates women.

A few minutes later everyone is shouting and arguing about issues and people you are sick of hearing about: Trump, his cabinet, Hillary, her emails, the electoral college, Bernie Sanders, Obamacare, 2020 and much more. There’s a chance someone will rope you in and pressure you to take a stance in front of the whole family.

What do you do? How do you handle the situation and the stress? Continue reading When Your Family Brings Up Post-Election Politics During Thanksgiving

Social Media and Moms: Feeling Inadequate in a “Fakebook” World

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I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard from clients, “Other mom’s don’t seem to have this problem.” This statement could be about depression, anxiety, panic, marital issues, kid issues, trouble balancing or a myriad of other topics. When I ask why they think no one else struggles, social media is inevitably part of the answer. Continue reading Social Media and Moms: Feeling Inadequate in a “Fakebook” World

Keep Calm and Marry On: Wedding Planning’s Impact on Mental Health

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He or she popped the question, and now you are on your way to happily ever after! Time to have fun registering for gifts, picking out wedding colors, and telling the world how happy and excited you are to have your fairytale wedding.

But wait. Continue reading Keep Calm and Marry On: Wedding Planning’s Impact on Mental Health

4 Ways Pregnancy Changes Your Romantic Relationship

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Larger breasts and mood swings are only a few of the changes you’ll go through during pregnancy. Future mothers should also acknowledge that the relationship with their partners will alter.

The last thing you need during those nine months is extra relationship stress. Read this article so you and your partner can prepare for these changes and make the pregnancy as wonderful as possible. Continue reading 4 Ways Pregnancy Changes Your Romantic Relationship

Miscarriage: You Are Not Alone

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“Why do I still feel so sad,” my client said. She was crying in my office after losing her baby when she was 16 weeks pregnant.

“I shouldn’t still feel this sad.”

It had been many weeks since her miscarriage, but the emotional scars and pain were still poignant. My client had a hard time feeling like she had permission to have her feelings of grief and loss.

Miscarriage didn’t feel like a legitimate loss for her. There was no funeral. Many people didn’t know she was pregnant. She was walking around with a loss she felt she couldn’t tell others about. Continue reading Miscarriage: You Are Not Alone

Taking Control of Your Mental Illness During the Holiday Season

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Mental health professionals often refer to the holiday season as the most difficult time of year for their clients. There is more in the air than the scent of fresh baked cookies. On the not-so-sweet side there are awkward family interactions, embarrassing past woes revealed, resurfacing childhood trauma, addiction relapse rampant — the list goes on.

People seem to get sicker this time of year, both mentally and physically. If you find the holidays tough and notice negative changes in your mental health, these tips will shed some light on strategies you can use to stay balanced. Continue reading Taking Control of Your Mental Illness During the Holiday Season

The Harm Orphanages Can Have on a Child’s Mental Health

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When Monique Prince and her former husband had trouble conceiving, they decided to adopt children from a Ukrainian orphanage. Because adoption laws are different in the Ukraine, adopting children from this orphanage did not risk a potential custody battle with the biological parents.

“We didn’t want the children to be taken from us after we adopted,” Prince told Talkspace during a phone conversation.

These children desperately needed the kind of home Prince wanted to provide. The temperature in the orphanage was barely above the freezing point, Prince said. No one held the babies or gave them any sort of affection. The staff did not have the training or energy to properly address basic needs such as diaper changing and bottle feeding. Continue reading The Harm Orphanages Can Have on a Child’s Mental Health