The Gates of Hell Will Not Prevail Against You: Mental Health, Medication, Healing, and Holy Week

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One of the most liberating teachings of our Catholic faith is the idea that suffering--though undesirable and not part of God's original plan--is an inescapable part of living in a fallen world.  That might not sound terrifically liberating on the face of it.  Who wants to suffer?  No one, of course.  But although life is filled with trials and problems, much of the suffering we endure is brought on by the idea that suffering itself means that there is something wrong with us.  As a culture, … [Read more...]

Inconsistent Home Life/Common Family Problems May Increase Risk of Brain Disorders by Up To 60%

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Because parents don't have enough to worry about, two new studies point to the impact of a child's home life on brain development.The first study looks at how common family problems like lack of affection, poor communication, parental arguments and the like actually resulted in children developing a smaller cerebellum than children who did not experience the same type of common family problems.The study led by Dr Nicholas Walsh, lecturer in developmental psychology at the … [Read more...]

Double-Blind Study Shows Lavender Oil Capsules As Effective as Lorazepam (Ativan) for Treating Anxiety

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This is fascinating.  In doing some research for a client with generalized anxiety disorder, I found this double-blind, placebo-control study on the effectiveness of lavender oil capsules (silexan) for treating anxiety.  Remarkably, the study appears to show that the lavender oil capsules were as effective as lorazepam (Ativan) AND it had no side effects or potential for abuse.  Additionally,  participants experienced relief from their anxiety without any drowsiness.  Here is an excerpt from the … [Read more...]

Research Validates Parent-Directed Treatments For Kids’ Anxiety

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Parents often contact the Pastoral Solutions Institute's Tele-Counseling Practice for help in addressing their children's anxiety.  Whether phobias, separation anxiety, school related social anxiety or other anxiety related problems of childhood, our first approach is to work with the parents to teach them to help their children directly.  I and my therapists teach parents techniques to use with their children.  The parents report the results and we teach them the next steps.We have two rea … [Read more...]

Kids’ Tummy Aches Predict Adult Anxiety/Depression.

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Children who have frequent stomach aches are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression as adults, according to a new study.   Researchers evaluated about 330 children with functional abdominal pain syndrome (FAPS) — abdominal pain with no specific cause — and compared them with 150 children without stomachaches.Later psychiatric evaluations (conducted an average of nine years later) revealed that the risk of developing an anxiety disorder was about four to five times higher in indivi … [Read more...]

I’ll Be On Catholic Answers Tonight from 7-8pm Eastern

We'll be discussing A Christian Response to Anxiety.  I hope you'll tune in and call in! … [Read more...]

“What’s that? Post-Abortion Syndrome May Exist…? Nevermind.”

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This month, many secular psychologists are having an Emily Litella moment.Prevailing professional "wisdom" on the link between abortion and subsequent psychological problems is that there is none.   The official position of the American Psychological Association is, "Nothing to see here, folks, let's all just move along shall we?"Well, things are not quite as clear cut as the APA might like you to believe.  First, in 2008, a 30 year longitudinal study of 500 women found that post … [Read more...]

Catholics and Mental Illness (An Ongoing Series): Michelle–A Woman with Depression Suffers Alienation in the Church

St. Dymphna, Patroness of the Mentally Ill, Pray for Us.

A new post in our "What’s Your Experience?" Series,  in which People-of-Faith share their experience of depression, anxiety, and other mental illness as they relate to their parish and their Catholic faith.  Today, Michelle writes of her experience with crippling depression.Dr. Greg,  I was amazed when I came across a link for your article on Facebook because I have spent the past few days wondering about "What is my place in the Church?" as a mentally ill Catholic.I have been thinking a … [Read more...]


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