Live in the Moment and Just Be

Common is one of my favorite hip hop artists as he deftly weaves dope beats and fresh rhymes to create socially conscious music. He uses his artistry to sing of love for his community but also to speak out against social injustice. He released his sixth studio album, Be, in 2005. To quote lyrics from the title track, Be, "Never looking back or too far in front of me, the present is a gift, and I just want to be." 

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3 Tips For When Your Child Worries

Honestly, these last 2 weeks have been pretty tough for the Cox family of five. Between my husband hosting the 2017 - 2018 NCAA Division III Men's and Women's Indoor Track and Field Championship at Birmingham Southern College, my son's weekly baseball practices and games, the daily grind of work and school, and threats of severe weather, we have been stretched thin. On top of that, there have now been 3 school shootings as of this writing - Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14, Huffman High School In Birmingham, AL on March 7, AL, and Great Mills High School in Great Hills, Maryland on March 20. Each shooting, tragic, and occurring within weeks of the other, my own anxiety escalated. But, this time my oldest was deeply impacted.

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The Scoop on Schizophrenia

Misunderstood. Feared. Stigmatized. Individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia regularly battle derogatory stereotypes. The media portrays those with schizophrenia as crazy, suffering from split personalities, or as deranged killers that commit mass murders.  Others use the term "schizophrenic" to describe erratic weather patterns. But the psychiatric illness that is schizophrenia is none of this. Schizophrenia is a disabling brain disorder that impacts about 1% of the adult population. 

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HELP! My Child is Struggling in School!

From kindergarten through high school, our children spend the bulk of their day at school. Within the school setting, they learn new skills and demonstrate mastery of educational concepts, form new friendships and nurture old ones, solve problems, manage conflicts and disagreements, and grow. Not infrequently, however, children begin to experience symptoms of a psychiatric illness that may greatly interfere with his ability to accomplish these tasks at school. The statistics bear out this very real risk of psychiatric illness.

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The Scoop on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

School shootings. Bullying. Sexual assaults. Hurricanes. Flooding. Tornadoes. Car accidents. Fires. Physical and sexual abuse. Exposure to violence. These days, the traumas that our children face seem endless. Exposure to traumatic events such as these can lead to the development of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD.

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This Valentine's Day ...

February is the month of love.  No one can escape the commercialism that is Valentine's Day as images of pink and red hearts, bouquets of lush red roses, and delicious chocolates flood every media outlet and our social media newsfeed. But love - real, unadulterated love, has nothing to do with any of that valentine stuff.

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The Scoop on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 68 children has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Autism is almost 4.5 times more common among boys (1 in 42) than girls (1 in 189). This neurodevelopmental disorder typically appears in children before the age of 3. While there is no cure for Autism, children make significant gains socially, emotionally, and cognitively through early intervention programs and treatment that targets some of the core symptoms of the disease.

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The Scoop on ODD

Typically first diagnosed in elementary-aged youth, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, or ODD, is a psychiatric condition characterized by a chronic pattern of disruptive behavior. Estimates suggest that anywhere from 6 - 10% of children have ODD. Core features include negativity, anger and hostility, verbal aggression, and behavioral outbursts. While all children periodically display developmentally appropriate oppositional behavior and test limits, those with ODD have frequent anger outbursts and repeatedly refuse to comply with rules and instructions.

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The Scoop on ADHD

In an effort to educate parents and families about mental illness, I have decided to write a series called, "The Scoop."  Every week, I will feature a different psychiatric disorder and discuss 5 facts about that illness to promote awareness and improve understanding of the condition.  This post focuses on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 11% of children ages 4 - 17 years old have ever been diagnosed with ADHD. 

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My 3 New Year Wishes for All Moms

A new year often ignites a desire for change, a fresh approach. For the last several years, I have had the same goals - to get my "fine on," incorporate more healthy parenting strategies, and to improve my financial position. And, every year I start off strong and then fizzle out by the spring. This year I still have those same goals, and I will continue to plow and toil to meet those goals; but, I also wanted to share my wishes for this new year in 2018 for all the moms.

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