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This week’s Psychology Around the Net takes a look at what to do if you think your child is at risk for mental illness, why self-regulation is so important for people with ADHD, the symptoms of problematic smartphone use, and the mental and physical fatigue that often accompanies chronic illness, and more.




Does Mental Illness Run in Families?: What should you do if you suspect your child is at risk of developing a mental disorder — especially when mental illness runs in your family? According to psychologist Scott Bea PsyD, an important first step is helping your child build resilience, a personality trait that helps children deal with the emotions caused by their thoughts. He goes on to suggest simple steps parents can do to help their child be emotionally strong before any real symptoms emerge. 

Self-Regulation: The Skill to Master if You Have ADHD: Self-regulation is the ability to monitor and manage your thoughts and emotions in a way that helps you adjust your behaviors to always be moving toward what you want — rather than what you don’t want. The trait of self-regulation is especially important for people with attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Natalia van Rikxoort, MSW, ACC, says, “Many of my clients tell me that they know what they need to do but, for one reason or another, they just don’t do it. This is where the importance of self-regulation comes into play.” She goes on to share specific tips on how people with ADHD can strengthen their self-regulation skills and keep persisting toward their goals.

One in Four Children and Young People Show Signs of Addiction to Smart Phones: Do you suspect your child may be addicted to his or her smartphone? What are the signs? In a new review, published in BMC Psychiatry, researchers investigated the presence of “problematic smartphone usage” — behaviors that mimic addiction — among 41 international studies of young people ages 11 to 24. In general, 6 basic behaviors resemble addiction, including an intense urge to look at one’s phone and feeling panicked if the battery runs out. The researchers found that 10 to 30 percent of young people showed two or more of these behaviors. Do your children have any of these?

My Life is Inconsistent Because of Fatigue: If you or someone you love struggles with a chronic illness, you are probably familiar with the excessive brain fog and fatigue which can make even the smallest task feel impossible. In this article, a lupus patient shares her struggles with mental and physical exhaustion and how people can sometimes mistake these debilitating symptoms for laziness.

11 Gifts for People With ADHD, From Somebody Who Can Relate: Will you be buying a gift for a loved one with ADHD this season? ADHD advocate Margaux Joffe shares 11 fun and practical gift ideas for anyone who would like to get more organized or who has a hard time relaxing.

ASD May Increase Risk for Depression, Bipolar Disorder and Anxiety: A new study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics suggests that people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may be at much greater risk for certain mental disorders than previously thought.