Happy Cinco De Mayo

Happy Cinco De Mayo, from your amigos at Alpha Behavioral Counseling Center!

Woman doing yoga on a pink mat

Mind-Body and Fitness

Mind and body fitness: How exercise can improve your mood

By Brooke Showell


Read more: Mind-Body and Fitness

What Are the Treatments for PTSD

What Are the Treatments for PTSD?

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari, MD on November 7, 2017

Posttraumatic stress disorder(PTSD), a type of anxiety disorder, can happen after a deeply threatening or scary event. Even if you weren't directly involved, the shock of what happened can be so great that you have a hard time living a normal life.

Read more: What Are the Treatments for PTSD
Young girl smiling

Middle Childhood (9-11 years of age)


Developmental Milestones

Your child’s growing independence from the family and interest in friends might be obvious by now. Healthy friendships are very important to your child’s development, but peer pressure can become strong during this time. Children who feel good about themselves are more able to resist negative peer pressure and make better choices for themselves. This is an important time for children to gain a sense of responsibility along with their growing independence. Also, physical changes of puberty might be showing by now, especially for girls. Another big change children need to prepare for during this time is starting middle or junior high school.

Read more: Middle Childhood (9-11 years of age)
True healing from PTSD is a challenge to find

Helping Someone with PTSD

Helping Someone with PTSD

Helping a Loved One While Taking Care of Yourself


Authors: Melinda Smith, M.A., and Lawrence Robinson. Last updated: July 2018.

When someone you care about suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), it can leave you feeling overwhelmed. The changes in your loved one can be worrying or even frightening. You may feel angry about what’s happening to your family and relationship, or hurt by your loved one’s distance and moodiness. But it’s important to know is that you’re not helpless. Your support can make all the difference in your partner, friend, or family member’s recovery. With your help, your loved one can overcome PTSD and move on with their life.

Read more: Helping Someone with PTSD

10 indications you suffer from codependency


Codependency is an excessive emotional, physical, and psychological reliance upon a relationship that is dysfunctional. It is an emotional condition that can destroy a person’s happiness, career, health and personal relationships. Research has found that codependency is generational. It is a way of relating that is learned from the family of origin. Understanding codependency, the behaviors associated with it, and where it originated is important. At the core of the codependent behavior exists the refusal to acknowledge a problem and a belief that one’s needs should be sacrificed for others, regardless of the consequences.

Read more: 10 indications you suffer from codependency
How you eat affects how you feel

Food and Your Mood: Nutrition and Mental Health

The documentary 'Super Size Me' is a very extreme depiction of how food can make someone feel. In this 2004 movie, Morgan Spurlock sets out to eat only McDonald's food 3 times per day for 30 days to explore the connection between the obesity epidemic and the increased intake of fast food in our country. He consumes nothing, not even water, unless it comes from McDonald's, and if he's ever asked to 'super size' a meal, he has to say yes, hence the title. In addition, he restricts his physical activity.

Read more: Food and Your Mood: Nutrition and Mental Health

The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

The Exercise Prescription for Depression, Anxiety, and Stress

Everyone knows that regular exercise is good for the body. But exercise is also one of the most effective ways to improve your mental health. Regular exercise can have a profoundly positive impact on depression, anxiety, ADHD, and more. It also relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts overall mood. And you don’t have to be a fitness fanatic to reap the benefits. Research indicates that modest amounts of exercise can make a difference. No matter your age or fitness level, you can learn to use exercise as a powerful tool to feel better.

What are the mental health benefits of exercise?

Read more: The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise
Your mental health is affected by your mental health

Exercise for Mental Health

Exercise for Mental Health

Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry. 2006; 8(2): 106.

Ashish Sharma, M.D.,1 Vishal Madaan, M.D.,2 and Frederick D. Petty, M.D., Ph.D.3

In this era of exponential growth of the “metabolic syndrome” and obesity, lifestyle modifications could be a cost-effective way to improve health and quality of life. Lifestyle modifications can assume especially great importance in individuals with serious mental illness. Many of these individuals are at a high risk of chronic diseases associated with sedentary behavior and medication side effects, including diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and cardiovascular disease.1 An essential component of lifestyle modification is exercise. The importance of exercise is not adequately understood or appreciated by patients and mental health professionals alike. Evidence has suggested that exercise may be an often-neglected intervention in mental health care.2

Read more: Exercise for Mental Health

The link between food and mental health

The link between food and mental health

New research connects nutrition and mental illness, though more rigorous research is needed

By Rebecca A. Clay

September 2017, Vol 48, No. 8

Can nutrition affect your mental health? A growing research literature suggests the answer could be yes.

Western-style dietary habits, in particular, come under special scrutiny in much of this research. A meta-analysis including studies from 10 countries, conducted by researchers at Linyi People's Hospital in Shandong, China, suggests that dietary patterns may contribute to depression (Psychiatry Research, Vol. 253, 2017), for example. Dietary patterns are also related to hippocampal volume in older adults, according to a study led by Felice Jacka, PhD, director of the Food and Mood Centre at Deakin University in Australia (BMC Medicine, Vol. 13, No. 215, 2015).

Read more: The link between food and mental health

Teenagers' mental health at risk over late-night phone use

Researchers advise ‘physical boundaries’ over devices in bedrooms after study finds poor sleep associated with phone use linked to depressed moods

Tue 30 May 2017 01.10 EDT

Last modified on Wed 20 Sep 2017 14.05 EDT



Elle Hunt

Teenagers who reported ‘constantly texting into the night’ said the problem had escalated a year later.

Teenagers’ late-night mobile phone use is harming their sleep and potentially their mental health, say researchers who advised that “physical boundaries” be set over use of such devices in the bedroom.

A longitudinal study of 1,101 Australian high school students aged between 13 and 16 found poor-quality sleep associated with late-night texting or calling was linked to a decline in mental health, such as depressed moods and declines in self-esteem and coping ability.

Read more: Teenagers' mental health at risk over late-night phone use
Getting enough sleep has an impact on your mental health

Bipolar disorder and sleep

Bipolar disorder and sleep




Extreme highs, extreme lows, and the sleep problems that go with it are commonplace for the over 3 million Americans living with bipolar disorder.

Read more: Bipolar disorder and sleep

Symptoms of Codependency_1

Symptoms of Codependency

By Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT

Codependency is characterized by a person belonging to a dysfunctional, one-sided relationship where one person relies on the other for meeting nearly all of their emotional and self-esteem needs. It also describes a relationship that enables another person to maintain their irresponsible, addictive, or underachieving behavior.

Do you expend all of your energy in meeting your partner’s needs? Do you feel trapped in your relationship? Are you the one that is constantly making sacrifices in your relationship? Then you may be in a codependent relationship.

Read more: Symptoms of Codependency_1
Sometimes, it can be hard to realize that you are in a co-dependent relationship

Are You in a Codependent Relationship?

Are You in a Codependent Relationship?

By Feifei Sun


Do find yourself making lots of sacrifices for your partner's happiness, but not getting much in return? If that kind of one-sided pattern sounds like yours, you don't have to feel trapped. There are lots of ways to change a codependent relationship and get your life back on an even keel.

Read more: Are You in a Codependent Relationship?

Symptoms of Codependency

Symptoms of Codependency

By Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT

Codependency is characterized by a person belonging to a dysfunctional, one-sided relationship where one person relies on the other for meeting nearly all of their emotional and self-esteem needs. It also describes a relationship that enables another person to maintain their irresponsible, addictive, or underachieving behavior.

Read more: Symptoms of Codependency
An anxiety disorder is more than just a stressful day.

Occasional anxiety is a normal part of life

You might feel anxious when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test, or making an important decision. But anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry or fear. For a person with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time. The feelings can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school work, and relationships. There are several different types of anxiety disorders. Examples include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder.

Read more: Occasional anxiety is a normal part of life

Stages of Human Development

Stages of Human Development: Birth to 5 Years

This page presents an overview of child development from birth to five years of age. It is important to keep in mind that the time frames presented are averages and some children may achieve various developmental milestones earlier or later than the average but still be within the normal range. This information is presented to help parents understand what to expect from their child. Any questions you may have about your child’s development should be shared with his or her doctor.

Read more: Stages of Human Development
Managing stress may take more than one strategy

10 Tips to Manage Stress


Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD on November 3, 2016

These days it’s hard not to get overwhelmed once in a while. Between juggling work, family, and other commitments, you can become too stressed out and busy. But you need to set time aside to unwind or your mental and physical health can suffer.

Learning how to manage your stress takes practice, but you can -- and need to -- do it. Here are 10 ways to make it easier.

Read more: 10 Tips to Manage Stress

Sleep Habits: More Important Than You Think

Chronic Sleep Deprivation May Harm Health

By Michael J. Breus, PhD


Not sleeping enough and not sleeping well is not OK. As a matter of fact, there is quite a price to pay. It may surprise you to learn that chronic sleep deprivation, for whatever reason, significantly affects your health, performance, safety, and pocketbook.

Read more: Sleep Habits: More Important Than You Think
Knowing when to draw the line on anxiety is important

Anxiety when does it become a problem?

Anxiety is a normal feeling that everyone experiences – a reaction that we have to stressful or unexpected events or situations. We are hard wired to have a “fight or flight” reaction. Even though we are not facing true survival situations every day, we still have the reaction to any situation that we believe is risky to our well being. Whether it is a shouting relative or a punitive boss, or a demanding teacher.

Some anxiety is normal, of course. However, sometimes it needs to be addressed with a qualified professional. How do you know when to talk to your doctor or a therapist? Ask yourself:

Read articleAnxiety – when does it become a problem?

Sleep Disorders: Connecting Sleep And Mental Health


Many people experience problems sleeping including not getting enough sleep, not feeling rested and not sleeping well. This problem can lead to difficulties functioning during the daytime and have unpleasant effects on your work, social and family life. Problems sleeping can be secondary to a medical illness such as sleep apnea, or a mental health condition like depression. Sleep issues can be a sign of an impending condition such as bipolar disorder. In addition to affecting sleep itself, many medical and mental health conditions can be worsened by sleep-related problems.

Read more: Sleep Disorders: Connecting Sleep And Mental Health