Behavioral Health

As family well-being declines, so does children’s behavior

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the mental health of people who have not been sick, and parents are being hit particularly hard. A survey of US parents found that these worsening circumstances also affect children’s behavior.

Staying positive during difficult times

The trials and challenges of this year are weighing heavily on many people, but attempting to employ positive psychology to put personal struggles in context, and accepting the ups and downs life brings, can ultimately increase positive feelings and provide perspective.

Managing the new normal: Actively help your family weather the pandemic

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

More than six months into the pandemic, it’s clear that we are going to be living with it for some time, and that expectations of life soon returning to normal are not realistic. This is a good time to assess the adjustments we’ve made and see how we can make different choices to get ourselves and our families through the challenge.

How can you help a loved one suffering from loneliness?

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, more people are dealing with extended periods of isolation from family and friends. Increasing feelings of loneliness are a serious health issue that can increase the risk of death. If you or someone you know is in this situation, there are things you can do to mitigate the circumstances.

Children, teens, and the safety of psychotropic medicines

While many children and teens are prescribed psychotropic medicines to treat conditions like depression or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a comprehensive look at safety data has been lacking. A recent review of multiple studies synthesizes evidence on the side effect profiles of many widely used medicines.

When lockdown is not actually safer: Intimate partner violence during COVID-19

Eve Valera, PhD

Contributor

For women living with abusive partners, the COVID-19 pandemic has made an already difficult and dangerous situation even worse. And even if a woman had been thinking about leaving an abusive situation or planning to leave, with current restrictions she may not be able to.

What should you do during a psychiatric medication shortage?

With the increased stress caused by the the COVID-19 pandemic, prescriptions for medications to treat mental illnesses have increased, leading to potential shortages of certain psychiatric medications. This means that some people might need to discuss their options with their prescribing clinician.

How to help your young child cope with the pandemic

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

It’s easy to think that the COVID-19 pandemic has not changed life much for younger children, but it has, and they certainly notice their parents’ or caregivers’ behavior. There are no easy solutions, but there are definitely things parents can do to help their children understand what’s happening, and cope.

4 parenting tips to break the negativity loop

Children and teens may get stuck in a cycle of focusing on negative emotions or aspects of daily events. Try these four tips to help break the negativity loop.

Summer’s here, teens and parents — now what?

For many teens, summer activities like jobs, internships, and camps are probably on hold this year, and a sense of uncertainty hovers over nearly everything. How can parents guide teens and help them flourish while also keeping them safe?