Monthly Archives: December 2013

Why are there more breakups around the Holidays?

Psychological studies indicate 80% of Americans are stressed during the holidays to the point that according to a recent study one in five will inquire about divorce in January.  In addition, those with children have higher rates of stress.  Stress has a negative influence even on the most loving relationships.


There is “guilt” factor added in the time where it is suppose to be about celebration and joy.


A major cause of stress is drastic change in daily patterns due to over-indulgence; in buying, eating and drinking.


Psychological research indicates that “normal daily routines” and “rituals” are important to our family and health.  Rituals are defined as holidays and are important for the family structure.


Why does this occur during the holiday season?


Stress is in all areas of our life, relationships and financial situations are the prime factors. We are conducting our normal life schedule of work and family with the added stress of giving and providing more at the holiday season.


Psychological studies indicate that perfectionism is related more to anxiety than depression.  Perfectionism may lead to anxiety due to a fear of failure and the attainment of high standards.  At the holidays, we are dealing with normal daily routines coupled with an additional responsibilities and “guilt” of reaching the goals of making the holidays “perfect” for our family and friends.

Men with attractive wives report higher levels of marital satisfaction, new study finds

This study comes as no surprise.


It confirms the evolutionary theory of sex gender based on the survival of all species in the reproductive system.  The concept of sexual selection is that all species, humans included, will reproduce to continue their species.


Ancient man, in order to have his choice of available females needed to have superior hunting skills.  Women of that same era looked for a man who would allow her the resources to carry her child to term and support the child to maturity.


Therefore, the concept of attractive wives is part of the evolutionary theory into our current generation.  Today, men still seek the attractive female.   Vying for and winning the hand of an attractive wife translates into a happier marriage.


This is further supported by the social role theory that relates to the division of labor between men and women.  Our need for basic survival, as a family unit, has changed.  Modern women can get jobs and support themselves and their young without a man.


Today’s women can have it all.  They can have a career, marriage and/or children.


Yet, women still want a man who can provide and protect them.  Women continue to want to attract a male provider, even when she can provide for herself.


Today, we have added psychological variables to the basic survival instincts of procreation.


Women continue to compete for the attention of men.  It is still a prime driver for women to find a suitable mate, conceive and have children.


Just remember attraction is in the eye of the beholder.

Violent Video Games and Isolation

How are these games affecting our kids?


To quote Dr. Ferguson, Clinical Psychologist “statistically it actually would be more unusual if a youth delinquent or shooter did not play violent video games, given that the majority of youth and young men play such games at least occasionally”.


And “occasionally” is the key word.  Psychological studies indicate that playing video games more than 13 hours a week may lead to isolation.  As a psychologist, I like longitudinal studies, one study looked at exposure to violence in children at the age of 10-12 and then tracked them in their 20’s and found these children more aggressive and violent as adults


First is the importance of socialization of children is what is needed. We learn in school that yes, we will be accepted in certain circles and will be rejected by certain groups.  We learn that is a normal part of life and prepares for dealing with rejection and acceptance as adults without becoming psychologically devastated.



How do you talk to your kids about violent video games?


Parents make sure the child is playing the video games in the family room.


Limit the amount of time your child plays video games over 13 hours a week is not good.


Play the video game with them, this way you know what they are playing and you can talk to your kids about the game.  Guess what you may just have fun!


Make sure your child is socializing at school and in activities to find their interest.  That means having them involved in sports, music and the arts to develop their interest and make sure they have activities to socialize.



Should we be concerned about the growing prevalence of violent games in our society?


We are not going to change the Internet, video games or technology.  It is not the playing of a video game that is the problem.  It is the amount of time they play the video game, the lack of socialization skills and the isolation of the child.


Violence is acceptable and desirable in the rules of video games. In isolation some children develop the “mental health and depression issues” where the lines are blurred between what is a game and what is a reality.


In society, we need to be aware that “mental health” issues are not normal.  We need to make sure that we notice children and adults that are isolated and exhibiting “abnormal behavior”.  As a psychologist, we need to recognize children early so we can help them develop normal socialization and coping skills in society.  Parents, friends, our schools and our community need to attempt to get “help” for those with “mental health” issues.  Therefore, isolation and lack of socialization is a mental health problem.

Feds boosting mental health access, treatment

Dr. Wendy James – POV – Feds boosting mental health access, treatment


As a psychologist, I agree with Dr. Lieberman, president of American Psychiatric Association statement, “up to now, the law has not been complied with…companies have only sort of adhered to it”.  Private insurances need to comply.


  • There is a stigma attached to mental illness
    • Americans are reporting they have a problem with a person with mental illness
      • Assume they are more violent, do not want to be friends, do not want then in their workplace or to marry into their family (Journal of Health and Social Behavior)


  • The stigma of mental health results in those with mental health issues that need to be treated; refusing treatment, not taking their medication and not dealing effectively with their mental health problems.

-It also affects our Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

  • Veterans in defense industry often lose their clearance if they seek psychological treatment

  • We tend to ignore it in our community and fail to recognize that the person needs help.   Fear of violence results in no action until there is violence


  • 1 in 4 adults have a diagnosable mental illness (National Institute of Mental Health)
  • Seek help early and get treatment.
  • Family members, schools and communities need to be aware of those they know need help and help them seek treatment


  • Concerns
    • Less psychiatric hospitals, less stay in a hospital or facility for treatment
    • More isolation from social interaction, increase in physical problems and fear of stigma results in fear to seek treatment.
    • Result downward spiral



  • Psychologists need to diagnose and develop a treatment plan.  The goal to help them be responsible and productive members of society and our workplace