Health Library

The Health Library is a collection of health and wellness resources created for learning and accessibility. Select a topic below for related health information or search for a topic in the search bar for more information on other medical conditions.

Psychiatry and Behavioral Health

  • Children and teens with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) do not misbehave to spite their parents or other adults. Problems develop because ADHD often causes children and teens to react impulsively and makes it difficult for them to...

  • Discusses autism, an autism spectrum disorder (once known as a pervasive developmental disorder). Looks at signs of autism, including problems talking or repetitive behaviors. Covers behavioral and physical exams used to diagnose autism. Covers treatment options.

  • Sex and sexuality communicate a great deal: affection, love, esteem, warmth, sharing, and bonding. These gifts are as much the right of older adults as they are of those who are much younger. Three aspects of sexuality are covered in this topic: the changes that come with aging, suggestions on how to adjust to these...

  • Looks at illness that causes extreme mood swings, ranging from mania (feeling overly energetic) to depression. Also called manic-depressive disorder. Covers treatment with counseling and medicines like mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, and antidepressants.

  • Written tests called rating scales are used to check for symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD). These tests can help measure and compare a child's behavior with that of other children the same age. It is best to complete one...

  • The child who is being evaluated for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be evaluated for other disorders associated with the condition, such as learning or behavior disorders. The child may be asked questions (verbal tests) or may...

  • Many medicines can cause changes in how we feel. Some can cause symptoms of depression. These include: Blood pressure medicines, such as clonidine (Catapres). Barbiturates. Some examples are pentobarbital (Nembutal), phenobarbital, and secobarbital...

  • The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that all people, starting at age 12, be screened for depression. Screening for depression helps find depression early. And early treatment may help you get better faster. Depression is a disease....

  • The best thing parents can do to help prevent drug and alcohol use by their children is to get involved before a problem begins. Starting when your child is age 5 or 6, talk with him or her about how these substances are harmful to kids....

  • What is schizophrenia? Schizophrenia is an illness that can affect your ability to think clearly, manage your emotions, and interact with others. It affects each person differently. The way other people react to schizophrenia can make a difference in how schizophrenia affects you. It can make it easier or harder...

  • The following are some obvious signs that a person may be smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, or using other substances. This is not a complete list of signs to look for. If you suspect a particular drug or drugs, get more information on signs of...

  • Support groups provide encouragement when you have decided to quit smoking. Support groups can: Increase your chances of success. Keep you motivated. Allow you to express your feelings with others who understand. Give you hope and the confidence to...

  • To help a child between 8 and 14 months old stop biting: Make clear rules about biting. Tell the child, "We never bite people. We bite food like apples and cookies." If the child bites, say "Biting hurts." If you are bitten, exaggerate your response...

  • The habit of smoking is very strong: you puff on a cigarette hundreds of times each and every day—and for many years. When people who have smoked for a long time stop, they find it strange to have nothing in their hands or mouths. They have become so accustomed to handling cigarettes that their hands seek cigarettes...

  • Some mood disorders are characterized by manic episodes, periods of abnormally high energy. Behavior may be diagnosed as a manic episode if: An abnormal and continuously elevated (happy or energetic) mood or an irritable mood occurs and lasts at...

  • The following warning signs may be present in adults who have a high risk for suicide: Depression or other mental health condition, such as severe anxiety, bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness), or schizophrenia Depression followed by sudden cheerfulness and contentment, which may mean the...

  • Your doctor may ask you to keep a record of your child's temper tantrums before you bring your child in for a physical exam. It's a good idea to include the following information. How often does your child have tantrums? What usually leads up to...

  • A nicotine patch looks like an oversized adhesive bandage. The outer part of the patch sticks to your skin, while the inner portion presses against and slowly releases nicotine into your skin. See a picture of how to use these patches to help you quit smoking or stop using smokeless tobacco. Nicotine patches are...

  • Exposure therapy is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy. It reduces the physical or emotional distress you feel when confronted with a particular object, situation, or distressing thought or memory. During this type of counseling, you may relive...

  • Complications that can develop from grieving include depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and physical illness. If you or someone you know experiences any of the following problems, contact a doctor or mental health professional for counseling, medicine, or both. Depression Depression is...

  • Symptoms of severe anxiety and panic linked with social anxiety disorder include: Fast heart rate and fast breathing. Sweating. Nausea. Trembling and feeling weak in the knees. Being unable to move or run away. Symptoms of panic include: Feelings of...

  • Belly-breathing fills your lungs fully, slows your breathing rate, and helps you relax. Place one hand on your belly just below the ribs and the other hand on your chest. You can do this while standing, but it may be more comfortable while you are...

  • If you want to save this information but don't think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number. Be careful online too. Your online activity may be seen by others. Do not use your personal computer or device to...

  • Resilience is an "inner strength" that helps you bounce back after stressful situations. When you are resilient, you may recover more quickly from setbacks or difficult changes, including illness. Developing resilience begins with simple actions or...

  • Learning disabilities make it hard for your child to learn in certain areas. Your child may have trouble with listening, speaking, reading, writing, spelling, or doing math. One example of a learning disability is dyslexia. A child with dyslexia has...

  • Learn how negative and positive thoughts affect the way you experience pain.

  • Learn how to change your outlook on life by focusing on helpful thoughts.

  • Learn how to reduce stress by tensing and relaxing your muscles.

  • Hear how four people kept their friends and sense of self when they quit smoking.

  • Long-acting opioid pain relievers are medicines used to relieve moderate to severe long-term pain. They are also called extended-release opioids. Opioids relieve pain by changing the way your body feels pain. They don't cure a health problem, but they help you manage the pain. If you take a lot of short-acting...

  • See how family and friends helped three people cope with depression.

  • Learn some of the many immediate and long-term health benefits of quitting smoking.

  • Learn to cope with your feelings after finding out you have cancer.

  • Practice recognizing and replacing thoughts that cause anxiety.

  • Hear how one woman found the support she needed to make heart-healthy choices.

  • Learn some common signs of a problem with prescription medicine misuse.

  • Get help making a plan to change your drinking habits.

  • What is antidepressant withdrawal? Antidepressant withdrawal is a problem that can happen if you stop taking your antidepressant too quickly. It can make you feel sick. This problem is sometimes called "antidepressant discontinuation syndrome" or "SSRI discontinuation syndrome." The symptoms may be...

  • People who have Alzheimer's disease or another dementia are sometimes easily confused. They may forget where they are, what day it is, and other common facts. Sundowning is a term to describe increased confusion that occurs in late afternoon and at...

  • Dementia is a loss of mental skills that affects daily life. It can cause problems with memory and with how well a person can think, plan, and communicate. Usually dementia gets worse over time. How long this takes is different for each person. Some...

  • Learn about your treatment options for substance use disorder.

  • Learn what's happening to your body during drug withdrawal.

  • Pseudobulbar affect (PBA) is a problem in the brain that causes you to laugh or cry for no reason. When you have PBA, sudden fits of tears or laughter can come from nowhere. This behavior usually has nothing to do with what you're doing or feeling....

  • Learn what steps you and your family can take to help you live well with this disease.

  • Opioids are strong pain medicines. Examples include hydrocodone, oxycodone, fentanyl, and morphine. Heroin is an example of an illegal opioid. Opioid use disorder means using these drugs in a way that keeps you from living the life you want....

  • Opioids are strong pain medicines. Examples include hydrocodone, oxycodone, fentanyl, and morphine. Heroin is an example of an illegal opioid. Taking too much of an opioid can cause death. An overdose is an emergency. Naloxone is a medicine used to...

  • What is gender dysphoria? Gender identity is your inner sense of being male, female, both, neither, or some other gender. For transgender people, their gender identity does not match the sex that they were assigned at birth. Sometimes gender identity is outside the two most common categories of male or female. People...

  • Adults with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities are more vulnerable than other adults because they are not as independent. They may have a hard time making decisions. Or they may have problems controlling their behavior. Along with older adults, these vulnerable adults have a higher risk of being abused by...

  • What is dissociative identity disorder? Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is a rare mental health condition. It was once known as multiple personality disorder. People who have it have two or more separate personalities. But they often don't know that the other personalities exist. And they can't remember things...

  • What is withdrawal? If you drink alcohol regularly and then cut down on how much you drink or suddenly stop drinking, you may go through some physical and emotional problems. That's because the alcohol is clearing out of your system. This is called withdrawal. Clearing the alcohol from your body is called...

  • Discover how your antidepressant can make life better and how to make it easier to take.

  • Naloxone can stop an opioid overdose. Here's how to give it—just in case.

  • What is schizoaffective disorder? People with schizoaffective disorder have the symptoms of schizophrenia and a mood disorder. Mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder or depression, are medical problems that affect how you feel. What causes schizoaffective disorder? Experts don't know what causes it. It may have...

  • Let others, including your health care team, support you so you can grieve in your own way, when you're ready.

  • Gender identity is your inner sense of being male, female, both, neither, or some other gender. For transgender people, their gender identity does not match the sex that they were assigned at birth. Sometimes gender identity is outside the two most common categories of male or female. People who feel this way may use...

  • Learn how electroconvulsive therapy is done and what the benefits are.

  • Learn why it's important to prepare for the times when your baby won't stop crying.

  • Learn how to encourage resilience so your child can better handle life's challenges.

  • Learn strategies to help yourself stop emotional eating.

  • Learn ways to deal with cravings when you're trying to quit.

  • Learn how to use mindfulness to cope with illness, pain, or stress.

  • Learn what to think about and plan for when you're getting ready to quit smoking.

  • Get ideas for increasing social connection and reducing feelings of loneliness.

  • Learn how to move ahead with your plan to quit smoking after having a smoking relapse.

  • Learn tips for coping better with stress and finding balance in your life.

  • Learn how changing the way you think about stress can influence how you feel.

  • Learn to plan in advance for how you'll avoid emotional eating in the moment.

  • This article helps you prepare for responding to stress before stress hits.

  • Learn five tips to help you keep a healthy lifestyle change going.

  • It's normal to feel worried during times of stress. Many people struggle with anxiety in the best of times. Here are some steps you can take to manage anxiety and lower your stress. Get the facts. Go to trusted sources. Check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at cdc.gov...

  • Stigma is a negative feeling based on a belief about a group of people. Stigma often occurs when there's a disease outbreak. It's a common human reaction to look for someone to blame when we feel afraid. In the case of COVID-19, some people have blamed it on people of Asian descent or people who have traveled. Some...

  • The need to stay at home and limit contact with others is important right now, but it can be lonely and isolating. Loneliness can take a toll on both our mental and physical health. Try these tips to stay connected and positive.

  • This is a very stressful time. You may be worried about getting COVID-19 or afraid that someone you care about will get it. If you've lost your job, you may be anxious about your finances. On top of that, you're probably stuck at home. Cabin fever can set in. You may feel trapped, bored, and irritable. Cabin fever...

  • Learn how your thoughts affect what you feel and do.

  • Learn some tips to help reduce loneliness and increase connection.

  • This topic helps readers assess whether they may have a drinking problem.

  • Learn strategies to help manage the impact of news and social media use in your everyday life.

  • Learn about strategies for how to cope during stressful times.

  • Learn some things you can try to help you become more optimistic.

  • Find out how adding a little movement to your life may help your mental wellness.

  • Learn about ways to show care and compassion to yourself.

  • Learn about simple ways to practice mindfulness.

  • Learn ways to exercise at home during the pandemic.

  • This article helps you learn how to handle stress in your relationship.

  • Learn strategies to help yourself manage the impact of news and social media use in your everyday life.

  • Learn how to create a healthy work-from-home schedule.

  • Learn the basics about getting started with teletherapy.

  • Covers three types of counseling used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Looks at cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure therapy, and a newer therapy called eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).

  • Covers treatments other than cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and antidepressants for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Looks at group therapy, brief psychodynamic psychotherapy, and family therapy.

  • Looks at the problem of using alcohol or drugs as a way to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Covers when alcohol or drug use becomes a problem. Includes a test to see if you have a problem with alcohol or drugs and steps for getting help.

  • With post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), your symptoms can be overwhelming. You may be thinking about harming yourself, or even thinking about suicide. Sometimes people with PTSD also have depression, panic attacks, severe anxiety, or a substance use problem. This may put you at a higher risk for suicide. You...

  • After a traumatic event, you may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You may not feel close to people, or you may feel on edge. Your friends and family may tell you that you don't seem the same. You may feel angry. Anger is a normal...

  • Covers how you and your family can be better prepared for changes PTSD can bring to your life. Looks at family support and talking with your kids. Discusses triggers that suddenly remind you of your traumatic event. Includes coping with holidays.

  • Covers how mental health problems can affect your relationships. Looks at the stigma of mental health problems. Offers ways to help others understand. Covers how to get help. Includes links to info on specific disorders like depression, OCD, or PTSD.

  • Covers panic attack, an intense fear that comes on suddenly. Looks at physical symptoms such as chest pain, pounding heartbeat, and sweating. Includes getting treatment with cognitive-behavioral therapy or medicine.

  • Treatment helps you quit alcohol or drugs, but your recovery doesn't end there. After you're done with treatment, it's important to focus on quitting for good. After treatment, you may choose to continue with counseling or group therapy. These meetings can help you stay committed to an alcohol- or drug-free...

  • If you have a substance use disorder, your doctor may suggest treatment at an inpatient or outpatient facility. At inpatient facilities, you stay overnight. At outpatient facilities, you come only during the day. How long you stay varies among programs. How are inpatient and outpatient treatment similar...

  • In residential treatment, you live in an alcohol-free and drug-free setting while recovering from substance use disorder. How long you stay varies. You may stay for a number of months or more. Residential treatment may be a good option if you have a...

  • During pregnancy, everything you eat, drink, or take into your body affects you and your growing baby ( fetus). Pregnant women often need to make changes to have a healthy pregnancy, such as eating better or exercising. But one of the most important things you can do when you are pregnant is to avoid alcohol and drugs...

  • Discusses how you can get better sleep. Covers reasons for sleep problems, such as stress, depression, or insomnia. Offers sleep tips such as avoid caffeine and don't exercise in late afternoon. Does not cover sleep apnea or sleep disorders.

  • Guides you through ways to relieve stress. Covers tips to relax your muscle groups such as hands, arms, head, neck, and upper and lower body. Looks at roll breathing to relieve stress. Includes slideshow of roll breathing.

  • Covers how you can help a family member who has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Includes dealing with anger or violent behavior. Looks at how to communicate better. Covers how to take care of yourself and how to get support from others.

  • Some people who drink alcohol, use illegal drugs, or misuse prescription or nonprescription medicines may develop substance use disorder. This means that a person uses these substances even though it causes harm to themselves or others. Substance use disorder can range from mild to severe. The more signs of this...

  • Anger signals your body to prepare for a fight. This reaction is commonly classified as "fight or flight." When you get angry, adrenaline and other hormones are released into the bloodstream. Then your blood pressure goes up, your heart beats faster, and you breathe faster. Many people mistakenly believe that anger...

  • Feeling worried or nervous is a normal part of everyday life. Everyone frets or feels anxious from time to time. Mild to moderate anxiety can help you focus your attention, energy, and motivation. If anxiety is severe, you may have feelings of...

  • You may feel that you do not want treatment for mental health problems. You may: Not trust mental health care professionals, such as counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, or social workers. Worry about money, even if you have insurance. Feel...

  • Discusses using time management to help reduce stress. Covers prioritizing tasks, controlling procrastination, and managing commitments. Offers interactive tool to help test what you've learned. Provides links to more info on stress management.

  • The holidays can be a joyful time, offering a chance to reconnect with friends and family. But they can also be stressful. You may feel pressure to buy and give gifts. Maybe you are worried about money. The holidays can also be hectic. There never seems to be enough time to get things done. Think about the kinds of...

  • In addition to meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, and breathing exercises, you might try these other ways to relieve stress. Mindfulness-based stress reduction can calm your mind and body to help you cope with illness, pain, and stress....

  • What is smokeless tobacco? Smokeless tobacco comes in many forms, such as snuff, chewing tobacco, and snus . Snuff is finely ground tobacco sold in cans or pouches. Most of the time, snuff is used by putting a "pinch" or "dip" between the lower lip or cheek and the gum. Chewing tobacco is...

  • Many people are affected by mental health problems such as depression or panic disorders. These problems can make it harder to think clearly, manage how you feel, and work with other people. Sometimes you may feel helpless and hopeless. But you're not alone. Talking with others who suffer from these problems may help...

  • Provides links to information about drug and alcohol misuse. Includes info on substance misuse in teens and adults and resources for cutting back or stopping drug and alcohol use.

  • Children of all ages need plenty of sleep to grow and develop. School-age children may have trouble learning and developing socially if they don't get enough sleep. Children's sleep problems can cause stress for parents, who may worry about their children. Parents also may be awake much of the night trying to get a...

  • Sexual orientation means how you are attracted romantically and sexually to other people. There are different kinds of sexual orientation. For example, a person may be: Heterosexual—attracted only or almost only to the other binary (male/female) gender. "Binary" is the idea that there are only two genders, male...

  • Many people believe things that aren't true about gay, lesbian, and bisexual people. Here are some questions people sometimes have. Question: Can gay, lesbian, and bisexual people change their sexual orientation? Can they get some kind of treatment? Answer: Like heterosexuals, gay...

  • Gender identity is your inner sense of being male, female, both, neither, or some other gender. For transgender people, their gender identity does not match the sex that they were assigned at birth. Sometimes gender identity is outside the two most common categories of male or female. People who feel this way may use...

  • Inner strength, often called "resilience," is the ability to cope with the stressful situations that life throws at us. Building inner strength begins with simple actions or thoughts that your child practices, such as planning for what to do next and learning to accept change. Inner strength can help a child face...

  • When Joe turned 60 last year, he decided he was overdue for a good, old-fashioned physical. He had always been blessed with good health, but he knew that at his age he should be having regular checkups, especially since he was overweight. His doctor gave him a full exam and found no serious health problems. She also...

  • Childhood isn't all fun and games. Even young children can feel worried and stressed. Stress can come from outside, such as family, friends, and school. It can also come from children themselves. Just like adults, children may expect too much of themselves and then feel stressed when they feel that they have failed.

  • High cholesterol is treated with heart-healthy lifestyle changes and medicine. These can lower your cholesterol and your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. You and your doctor may decide to first try treating your high cholesterol without medicine. Changing some of your habits may be all you need to do to...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause confusion or make you less alert. A few examples are: Antidepressants. Antihistamines. Opioid pain medicines. Sedatives and tranquilizers. Medicines for bladder control problems (anticholinergics). Contact your doctor before you stop taking or reduce the...

  • Humor therapy (sometimes called therapeutic humor) uses the power of smiles and laughter to aid healing. Humor therapy helps you find ways to make yourself (or others) smile and laugh more. When you think of humor therapy, picture clowns in the...

  • Many health problems cause confusion or decreased alertness. It is not unusual for a person who is sick to be sleepy or confused when he or she wakes up. But extreme sleepiness may be a symptom of a more serious health problem. Confusion may range from mild to severe. Symptoms of confusion may include...

  • Sometimes Patty doesn't know whether to laugh or cry when one of her three kids runs at her for a flying hug. She loves the affection, but picking up her kids all the time is one reason the 33-year-old third-grade teacher has back pain. She tries to smile and gently remind her kids to hug mommy with their feet on the...

  • Ravi thought he was coping well with his back pain. He had gotten used to having pain most days since he hurt his back in college while playing rugby. He figured some amount of pain would always be part of his life. But over a couple of months, Ravi stopped going out with friends after work. He didn't go on bike rides...

  • Gratitude is saying "thank you." But it's more than a thank-you to a friend for a favor or gift. Gratitude is saying thanks for everything that is important to you and good in your life. You are thankful for a gift, but you're also thankful to watch...

  • MBSR is a program that helps you learn to calm your mind and body to help you cope with illness, pain, and stress. MBSR teaches "mindfulness," which is a focus only on things happening in the present moment. Mindfulness is not a time to "zone out"...

  • Social connections are the relationships you have with the people around you. They may be close, like family, friends, and coworkers, or more distant, like people you know casually. They can be as close as next door or so far away that you only...

  • You can make it through your depression. Hear from people who have recovered from depression.

  • Learn how depression medicines can help and why it may take time to find the right medicine for you.

  • Learn how working with the right counselor can help treat depression.

  • Learn a deep-breathing exercise to reduce your stress.

  • When your back hurts all or most of the time, it can affect more than just your body. There's an emotional side to chronic pain. You may need a shoulder to cry on or someone to talk to. You need support. Support groups—where you meet or talk to...

  • As soon as you start to think about leaving, you need to take extra care to stay safe. For example, if you printed out this information, it may be better off in the hands of a trusted friend than at home. The more prepared and supported you are, the safer leaving can be. Here are some tips that may be helpful. Keep in...

  • After you leave a violent relationship, you may have to take extra steps to stay safe. For example, if you printed out this information, it may be better off in the hands of a trusted friend than at home. Here are some tips that may increase your safety. Keep in mind that this information is not official legal advice...

  • In the past, opioids were used only for short periods for short-term pain or for cancer pain. Many experts now also use them for longer periods to treat chronic pain. You can take these drugs, which are sometimes called narcotics or opiates, to...

  • If you've decided to change a habit—whether it's quitting smoking, lowering your blood pressure, becoming more active, or doing something else to improve your health—congratulations! Making that decision is the first step toward making a change. 1. Have your own reason Your reason for wanting to change a...

  • Neuropsychological testing can help your doctor find out how a problem with your brain is affecting your ability to reason, concentrate, solve problems, or remember. Doctors use a wide variety of tests for neuropsychological testing. In most cases you will take a series of tests, rather than a single test. This...

  • You're lying in bed with some kind of health problem, taking medicine and maybe getting some kind of treatment or therapy—and feeling pretty down. Or maybe you're taking care of someone who's ill, and it's wearing you out. Sometimes life can feel...

  • What is optimism? Optimism is a hopeful, positive outlook on the future, yourself, and the world around you. It is a key part of resilience, the inner strength that helps you get through tough times. By definition, optimism helps you see, feel, and think positively. But it has extra benefits you might not know...

  • What exactly is a negative thought? Suppose a coworker or a grocery store clerk suddenly gave you a mean look. How would you react? Would you just let it slide off you, like water off a duck? Or would you take it personally and feel bad about yourself, or even get angry about it? If you turn small things into big...

  • Taking certain medicines together can cause a serious but uncommon condition called serotonin syndrome. The best way to prevent serotonin syndrome is to make sure that all of your doctors know about all of the medicines you are taking. Serotonin syndrome can happen when the level of a substance in your brain (called...

  • Several medicines can help you stop smoking. You can take medicine to reduce your craving for nicotine. You also can use nicotine replacement products to reduce cravings and give you smaller and smaller amounts of nicotine. Your doctor can help you...

  • What is medical marijuana, and is it legal? Marijuana is a drug that is made up of the leaves, flowers, and buds of the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. Medical marijuana is the use of this drug to help treat symptoms like pain, muscle stiffness ( spasticity), nausea, and lack of appetite. It may be used by people who...

  • Learn how to use your inner strengths to get through tough times and overcome challenges.

  • You are not alone in feeling down. Hear from others who have depression.

  • Hear from others who have repeated bouts of depression.

  • Learn how keeping your mood healthy can also help keep your heart healthy.

  • Learn how to deal with common side effects of depression medicines.

  • Learn why it's important to work with your doctor when stopping depression medicines.

  • This questionnaire—called the GAD-7 screening tool—can help you find out if you might have an anxiety disorder that needs treatment. It calculates how many common symptoms you have and—based on your answers—suggests where you might be on a scale, from mild to severe anxiety. GAD-7 stands for "generalized anxiety...

  • "In my head, I felt I was cured. After I recovered from my breast cancer surgery, that's how I thought of myself. So when my doctor told me last month that my cancer had come back, my world came crashing down, hard."—Kelly, 42 "When my doctor told me that my cancer had spread, I felt ready to give up then and there...

  • "When you hear the word 'cancer,' the worry begins. Am I going to survive this? How is it going to affect my family? I couldn't seem to focus on anything except cancer, and I felt like I'd lost control of my own thoughts. A friend suggested starting a journal, and I found that writing out my thoughts allowed me to let...

  • "When I heard the word 'cancer,' I couldn't believe it. Part of me was terrified, but another part was in denial. How could this happen to me? I just didn't want to deal with having cancer, didn't want to put my family through all of it. It took a...

  • Learn to relax by using a deep-breathing exercise called roll breathing.

  • A cancer diagnosis changes your life, but it also affects the people who care about you. You're already dealing with your own distress about having cancer. And it can be hard to talk about it when you know people who care about you will be upset by the news. You may wonder: "How can I tell my children?"...

  • Learn how your mind and body respond to stress, and find out some things you can do to help care for yourself.

  • Learn how depression medicines work to help you feel better.

  • Learn how depression medicines balance chemicals in your brain to help you feel better.

  • Learn how your thoughts can contribute to weight gain.

  • Learn how reframing your thoughts about managing your weight can make a healthy difference.

  • Learn how replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts can help you reach a healthy weight.

  • Learn how to take your mind to a calming beach where stress melts away.

  • Get some tips on saving money on medicine for depression.

  • Find out just how common depression is and why treatment matters.

  • Discover some lifestyle changes that can help with sleeplessness.

  • Get a brief introduction to the ways depression can be treated.

  • See how a person started reframing their thoughts so they could feel better about themselves and their life.

  • Learn how it may take a few attempts before you quit smoking for good.

  • Learn about products and medicines that can take the edge off nicotine cravings.

  • Learn why nicotine makes it hard to quit smoking and how it can be overcome.

  • Learn why it matters that your reason for quitting comes from inside you.

  • Learn how to get past those things that make you want to smoke by replacing them with healthier things.

  • Learn tips, including ideas for self-care and other support, to build resilience to help with challenging times.

  • Learn how to train your brain to work for you, not against you.

  • Learn how medicine can double or triple your chances of stopping smoking.

  • Imagine your life without cigarettes.

  • Learn tips for getting a good night's sleep.

  • Learn how you can find the right professional to meet your needs.

  • Living with pain can be hard, especially if it's long-term—or chronic—pain. Chronic pain is pain that lasts for 3 months or longer. It can make you sleep poorly, feel tired and irritable, and have a hard time being active or working. It may strain your relationships with loved ones too, making it hard to be the kind of...

  • Sex is part of a healthy life. And it can be safe for people who have heart problems. But some of these people may worry about having sex. Or they may have problems having sex or enjoying sex. If you are having sexual problems, talk with your...

  • Follow along to learn progressive muscle relaxation to reduce stress.

  • Learn how other people quit smoking by using nicotine replacement and other medicines.

  • Practice talking to your smoking friends about your decision to quit.

  • Hear why some people choose medicine and why others try to change their habits first.

  • Learn how expressing your negative feelings about asthma will help you feel better.

  • Learn how healthy lifestyle changes can help lower your blood pressure.

  • Learn to check your mood for warning signs that depression may be coming back.

  • Learn about physical symptoms that may be linked to depression.

  • See how depression can affect relationships and why treatment matters.

  • Learn how tracking your mood can help you manage depression.

  • See how a diagnosis of heart disease inspired others to care for their heart.

  • Learn how heart disease affects you and how to help prevent a heart attack.

  • Learn what you can do at home to slow down kidney damage.

  • Learn what many people tell themselves about a cough that won't go away.

  • Learn how to reach out to friends and loved ones for support.

  • Find motivation to quit by comparing what you tell yourself about smoking and what the facts are.

  • Learn how continuing to smoke will affect your COPD symptoms.

  • Hear how one man with COPD finally quit after many years of smoking.

  • What is aggression? Everyone gets angry sometimes, even small children. But some children and teens have so much trouble controlling their anger that they shove, hit, or make fun of other people. This causes them trouble at home and at school. They often have a hard time making friends. And their aggression makes...

  • Almost everyone wants to change or improve some part of his or her life. For some people, it's eating better or getting more exercise. For others, it might be quitting smoking or drinking less. But whatever the change, you have to be ready to make it. And the reality is that only you know when you're ready for a change...

  • Maybe you're fine with the way your life's going right now. Or maybe the timing is wrong, and you need to wait to plan for a change. Either way, there might be something here that interests you. Don't change anything This may not be the time to make a change in your life. Instead, maybe it can be a time to...

  • Changing anything big in your life can be stressful. It can seem like a lot to do. This can be especially true when the change involves tobacco, a drug, alcohol, or changing how you eat. For some people, knowing that something has to change happens...

  • Deciding to make a change that matters is a big step. Maybe you're feeling hopeful, excited, and ready for the change. You could be feeling nervous about changing. Or maybe you're worried that you'll let down yourself and others if you're not able...

  • So, you're ready to make a change that matters to you. You've planned for this change. You have your larger plan and smaller steps defined. Let's get started. As you start, it may help to know that you don't have to do it all at once. Taking one step at a time helps you stay focused. It makes it easier to manage...

  • Thinking about change, planning for change, and making your change happen all take work. Keeping a change going can be just as hard. It takes time to make it your new "normal." And you can expect to have a few tough times. To make this change part...

  • Learn how to assess the things that led to a slip-up and get back on track with quitting.

  • Learn what mindfulness is and how it can help reduce stress.

  • Practice mindfulness to help reduce stress.

  • Learn how to practice mindfulness even when your thoughts and daily life get in the way.

  • Learn how two people practice mindfulness to help them cope with stress or a health problem.

  • Learn how too little sleep affects your health, and how getting enough can undo these effects.

  • Learn how to reduce technology use before bed for better sleep.

  • Take steps to reduce your technology use before bed.

  • Get motivated to quit by thinking about the example you are setting for your child.

  • Guides you through the decision to use the medicine metformin, lifestyle changes, or both to prevent type 2 diabetes. Provides specifics about metformin and goals for lifestyle changes. Lists benefits and risks. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Make your own plan for reaching a healthy weight.

  • Learn what sleep studies are and why they're done.

  • Learn about the range of emotions you may experience when you have cancer.

  • Learn ways to cope with your feelings when dealing with cancer.

  • Learn to check in with yourself and to be aware of your feelings when you have cancer.

  • Learn how to find hope when facing advanced cancer.

  • Learn how you can get the support you need when dealing with cancer.

  • Learn to track how well you are managing your anxiety.

  • Learn how prediabetes motivated one woman to change her habits.

  • Learn how anxiety is different from stress and how it can affect your life.

  • Learn about different treatment options for anxiety and how they can help.

  • See how treatment can help reduce anxiety.

  • Learn about the range of emotions you may experience after you've had a stroke.

  • Get inspired to make some healthy changes to the way you eat.

  • Why is sleep important to your child? A good night's sleep helps your child to grow, to form memories, and to learn. Sleep helps your child stay alert and focused at school and play. Children who don't get enough sleep over time can have behavior problems and trouble learning. They may become moody, sad, or...

  • Get help thinking about ways to stay positive and hopeful after a stroke.

  • Learn about other ways to manage pain, in addition to medicine.

  • Hear how others found strength and support to manage their pain.

  • Learn to reduce your pain by changing negative thoughts.

  • What is hoarding disorder? Hoarding disorder is an illness that makes people feel a very strong need to collect things. They can't bear to think about parting with their things. Over time, the collected items may take over the person's house. The items may cover tables, beds, counters, and floors. Hallways and...

  • A nicotine test measures the level of nicotine—or the chemicals it produces—in your body. It's usually done by testing a sample of your blood or urine. The test is used to see if you smoke or use other forms of tobacco. All forms of tobacco have...

  • Learn about the different types of treatment that can help with prescription medicine misuse.

  • Learn the simple steps that can help you reach a goal of quitting medicine misuse.

  • Learn about the importance of finding support for recovery.

  • Learn how to renew your commitment to stopping medicine misuse after a slip-up.

  • Learn the signs of possible risky use of alcohol and think about the role alcohol plays in your life.

  • Hear how others found the motivation to change their relationship to alcohol.

  • Learn more about the different treatment options that can help you change your alcohol habits.

  • Use what you learn from a slip-up to help prevent a relapse and strengthen your plan to change your habits.

  • Learn how to plan ahead for coping with stress and symptoms at home.

  • Learn how to check on how you're feeling during or after PTSD treatment.

  • Learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

  • Learn about the treatment options for PTSD.

  • Hear how others decided to get treatment and how it helped them.

  • Everyone knows that sleep is important. Without it, you don't have the energy to get through your day. But sleep problems that go on for a long time can affect your health. How does sleep affect your health? Most adults do best when they get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each day. Sleep gives your brain a...

  • Help your teen learn to deal with conflict at school or on social media.

  • Experts believe that one-third to one-half of all cancers can be prevented. That's because there are certain things about our lifestyles—our daily habits—that can make us more likely to get cancer. Here are some steps you can take today to help...

  • Guides you through the decision to have your child take medicine for ADHD. Lists benefits and risks of medicines. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Looks at assessments done to discover problems like depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, learning disabilities, or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Covers what is done, including an interview, physical exam, lab tests, and written or verbal tests.

  • If you want to save this information but don't think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number. Be careful online too. Your online activity may...

  • Guides you through decision to put a relative who has Alzheimer's or other dementia in long-term care. Lists reasons for and against. Covers types of long-term facilities available. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • You may be able to tell when someone is paranoid. The person may accuse others of trying to harm him or her or may look around fearfully. The person may talk about protecting himself or herself from attack. Here are ways to help the person who is...

  • Here are ways to help your family member take the medicines: Talk about medicines in a way that is meaningful to the person. For example, point out the reasons to take medication. Say, "Your medicines help quiet the voices you hear," or "Your...

  • Marijuana, also called cannabis, is a drug that is made up of the leaves, flowers, and buds of the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. It is often smoked in pipes or hand-rolled cigarettes. But it can also be vaporized, applied to the skin, cooked in food,...

  • Guided imagery is a program of directed thoughts and suggestions that guide your imagination toward a relaxed, focused state. You can use an instructor, tapes, or scripts to help you through this process. Guided imagery is based on the concept that...

  • If you want to save this information but don't think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number. Be careful online too. Your online activity may be seen by others. Do not use your personal computer or device to...

  • A good quit-smoking program can help a person quit smoking by providing support and encouragement. Programs are available for you to attend in-person, by telephone, or online (on the Internet). Look for a program that is led by someone who has had training in helping people quit smoking. Better in-person smoking...

  • While most people with schizophrenia are not violent, violence is one of the reasons someone who has schizophrenia may need hospitalization. It is a way to protect the person or those around him or her until the delusions or hallucinations often...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause sleep problems. A few examples of these medicines are: Antidepressants. Cold medicines. Steroid medicines. Nonprescription diet aids. Other substances Other substances that may cause sleep problems include: Alcohol. At first, drinking alcohol may cause...

  • Elder abuse refers to any of several forms of maltreatment of an older person by a caregiver, family member, spouse, or friend. Categories of elder abuse The 1987 Amendment to the Older Americans Act identified three separate categories of elder abuse: Domestic elder abuse usually takes place...

  • Guides through decision of when to do something about your child's bed-wetting. Includes common reasons and home treatment options for bed-wetting. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Some babies bite during teething, because they feel discomfort or pain. The most common symptoms of teething include: Swelling, tenderness, or discomfort in the gums at the site of the erupting tooth. Increased saliva, which can cause drooling....

  • Children who are 15 months to 3 years old may bite other people out of frustration or when they want power or control over another person. Some ways you can help prevent a child this age from biting include: Helping the child put words to his or her...

  • Emotional eating means that you eat for reasons other than hunger. You may eat because you're sad, depressed, stressed, or lonely. Or you may use food as a reward. Food can be soothing and distract you from what's really bothering you. If you are an...

  • How much hair loss is common? Everyone loses some hair every day. Losing up to 100 hairs a day is normal. But if hair loss runs in your family, you could lose a lot more hair. With this kind of hair loss, you may end up with bald spots if you are a man. If you are a woman, you may find that the hair on the top of your...

  • You may have started smoking to fit in with your friends. Maybe your parents smoke or your brother chews. Whatever the reason you began using tobacco, there are lots more reasons to stop: Smoking is much more addictive than you may believe. You may...

  • If you are a woman who smokes and you are thinking about getting pregnant or are pregnant, now is a good time to quit smoking. Women who smoke may have a harder time getting pregnant. Women who smoke are more likely to have the following...

  • Nicotine replacement therapies are helpful for people who quit smoking. They are available in several forms, such as patches, gum, lozenges, nasal sprays, and inhalers. All forms of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) work equally well. But talk with your doctor about what products might be best for you and what...

  • You chew nicotine gum as a way to help yourself quit using tobacco. The gum contains nicotine and feels and looks like chewing gum. When you chew the gum, the nicotine begins to slowly release into your mouth. Then you hold the gum in your mouth between your cheek and gums. Cigarette smoke passes nicotine almost...

  • You may feel frustrated around a person with bipolar disorder who is having a manic episode. The high energy level can be tiring or even frightening. The person may also actually enjoy the mania and may not take medicines, which can prolong the...

  • Hypomanic episodes can occur in people who have mood disorders. Hypomanic episodes are less severe than manic episodes, although a hypomanic episode can still interfere with your ability to function properly. Hypomania may be diagnosed if: A...

  • A few disorders have some of the same symptoms as schizophrenia (schizophrenia spectrum disorders), including: Schizotypal personality disorder. A person with schizotypal personality disorder has a difficult time developing close relationships with other people and may hold beliefs not shared by other...

  • A relapse can happen when you have schizophrenia. In a relapse, your symptoms return and may be so severe that they cause a psychotic episode. This means you can't tell the difference between what is real and what isn't real. A relapse or a...

  • Social skills training helps you get along better with other people in daily life, at work, and in social situations. These classes also help you develop skills for your personal relationships. Class topics may include: What is right and wrong...

  • A hallucination is a perception of something that is not really there. It can involve sight, hearing, taste, smell, and/or touch. For example, you may hear voices that nobody else hears or see something that nobody else sees. You probably will know...

  • Guides through decision to use selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medicine for premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Lists home remedies to try for PMS before SSRI. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Suicide rates increase with age and are highest among white men age 65 and older. Divorced and widowed men in this age group have the highest suicide rates, and their most common method of suicide is firearms. The following warning signs may be present in older adults who have a high risk for suicide...

  • Worry and anxiety can develop after a major loss. Anxiety is a general feeling of tenseness or uneasiness. You may feel generally anxious (called free-floating anxiety). Anxiety can cause physical symptoms, such as an upset stomach or a headache. Anxiety can also cause you to act in ways that are unusual for you, such...

  • It is common to feel some kind of guilt or regret after losing a loved one, an opportunity, or a valued way of life. If you find yourself feeling guilty about a past action or inaction, set aside time to think about your feelings and work through...

  • After a major loss, you may feel insecure and unsure about yourself. Maintaining relationships may be a struggle at this time. You may have a difficult time making decisions, paying attention to what others are saying, or taking care of your personal responsibilities. Later, you may not remember some of the events...

  • Emotional development Consider your child's age and emotional development so that you can explain loss and death in a way that he or she will understand. Children younger than 2 years of age cannot express in words what is going on in their lives. You can reassure the child by holding and cuddling him...

  • A major loss can make you question your beliefs. Sadness, anger, guilt, hopelessness—all these emotions can make you question everything you once believed about life, death, and suffering. Some people are able to find comfort, courage, and hope from their beliefs. But if you're like a lot of people, you just feel...

  • Meditation is the practice of focusing your attention to help you feel calm and give you a clear awareness about your life. Eastern philosophies have recognized the health benefits of meditation for thousands of years. Meditation is now widely...

  • You can gently encourage someone who smokes to quit. Think of your comments about smoking as only one event that moves that person toward quitting. Start any discussion of quitting in a gentle way. Let the person know why you want him or her to...

  • If you smoke, your chance of dying from a heart attack is 2 to 3 times greater than that of a person who does not smoke. About 1 out of 4 heart attacks is believed to be directly related to smoking. Smoking is a much more important risk factor for a...

  • Many common activities or events can trigger the urge to smoke. Knowing how to deal with them can help you deal with these triggers: Finishing a meal. Get up from the table immediately. Rinse your mouth with mouthwash or brush your teeth. Or start a pleasurable activity. Try a walk or a new hobby...

  • Smokeless tobacco products include chewing tobacco and snuff. These products are less harmful than smoking cigarettes. But they are just as addictive as cigarettes and do have serious health risks. Smokeless tobacco causes the following health...

  • A nicotine inhaler looks like a cigarette. It has a cartridge that contains nicotine. You inhale, and nicotine vapor is absorbed into your mouth and throat area. You don't absorb the nicotine into your lungs like you do with a cigarette. As a result, you don't get the same "hit" of nicotine as with...

  • When you quit smoking, you'll reap many physical benefits. Your taste buds will come back to life. Your sense of smell will improve. Your voice may improve as irritation of the voice box (larynx) from cigarette smoke is reduced. Your teeth will become whiter (less yellow). Your hair and breath will no longer smell...

  • If you are having ongoing sleep problems, consider whether you may be under a lot of stress. Stress is a normal part of everyday life, but an increase in stress can cause physical and emotional problems. Symptoms of stress include: Problems sleeping or a change in your sleep pattern. Headache, stiff neck, or nagging...

  • Ask yourself some questions to see whether you smoke to relieve tension, irritability, and stress or to improve your mood. Does smoking a cigarette automatically come to mind when you are frustrated, angry, or sad? Does smoking a cigarette calm you when you are upset? Do you smoke more cigarettes when you are under...

  • Sadness and yearning for a loved one, an object, or a way of life you have lost are the most common and expected feelings that occur after any loss. Probably the best thing you can do to cope with your sadness and yearning is to talk about how you...

  • If you struggle with frustration and anger related to trauma or loss, you may try to hide your feelings in the hope that they will go away. Unfortunately, intense feelings must be recognized and dealt with; they don't just go away on their own. You...

  • Hyperactivity refers to inappropriate or excessive activity for a person's age or situation. Hyperactivity is not always a continuous behavior, as is often assumed. A person who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with hyperactivity...

  • Impulsivity Impulsivity refers to acting without thinking first. Impulsivity in a person who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is highly likely to continue into adulthood. People with symptoms of impulsivity often: Are impatient...

  • Grief counseling is short term and focuses on working through the grieving process related to a major loss. Grief counseling is also called bereavement counseling. The term "bereavement" usually is used only when referring to the loss of a person through death. Grief counseling typically has four components...

  • The loss of someone special translates into many separate losses in a person's life. Multiple losses occur when a person loses: A partner. Loss of a partner usually also means the loss of a constant companion. Loss of a partner can also cause financial hardship, and sometimes a loss of standing or...

  • Know what is normal for your teen's age group. As teens grow and develop, they change the way they think about and express grief. Although each teen is different, there are some expected changes in thinking that occur during the early, middle, and late teenage years. Listen and watch for opportunities. If you listen...

  • Virtual reality therapy is the use of computer-produced situations to make you believe and feel as though you are actually in a different place and situation. You may wear a helmet or goggles that contain a small video screen through which you see computer-produced images. When you move your head, the images on the...

  • Smoking may be a big part of your social life. Do you automatically smoke when you are around someone who is smoking? Do certain people, places, or things seem to make you want to smoke? Do your friends smoke? Friends care about one another, support...

  • There is no definite point in time or a list of symptoms that define unresolved grief. Unresolved grief lasts longer than usual for a person's social circle or cultural background. It may also be used to describe grief that does not go away or...

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy is an active type of counseling. Sessions usually are held once a week for as long as you need to master new skills. Individual sessions last 1 hour, and group sessions may be longer. During cognitive-behavioral therapy for eating disorders, you learn: About your illness, its symptoms...

  • Some unsuccessful attempts to quit smoking result from picking a time when it is harder to quit. If your life is hectic, you may feel there will never be a good time to quit. In that case, pick a time to quit, and do what you can to make your life...

  • Tracking your smoking can be helpful both while you prepare to quit and after you quit. Use it to record information about your smoking behavior, such as: Your list of reasons to quit. Your smoking triggers, which are those times, places, and...

  • Reduced smoking is a conscious change in the amount you smoke. It can prepare you to quit smoking at a later date, even if the quit date doesn't come for a long time. Reduced smoking has some limitations, and it should not be a goal itself, because...

  • Night eating syndrome is a condition in which people eat large amounts of food after the evening meal, often waking up during the night to eat. People with this condition may delay their first meal of the day for many hours. Experts still do not...

  • Light therapy is exposure to light that is brighter than indoor light but not as bright as direct sunlight. Do not use ultraviolet light, full-spectrum light, heat lamps, or tanning lamps for light therapy. Light therapy may help with depression,...

  • There are many myths about Tourette's disorder (TD). Myth Truth "Everyone who has Tourette's disorder uses obscene words and gestures." Most people who have the condition do not have this symptom. "People who have Tourette's disorder often 'blow up'...

  • Older adults often have many major losses within a short period of time. For example, an older adult who loses a partner may suffer many losses, including financial security, his or her best friend, and social contacts. The natural aging process brings many losses, such as loss of independence and physical strength...

  • Smoking can gradually and permanently damage blood vessels throughout the body, including those that carry blood to the penis. This can make it difficult to get or maintain an erection (impotence). Quitting smoking may help prevent new damage from...

  • If you are like most smokers, you know that smoking is not good for you. But what you may not know is that the smoke from your cigarettes (secondhand smoke) also puts your loved ones' health at risk. Because of secondhand smoke, spouses and children...

  • Grief is a normal and healthy reaction that occurs when you lose someone or something important. Although it is possible to delay or postpone grieving, it is not possible to avoid grieving altogether. Grief will subside over time. However, the grieving process does not happen in a step-by-step or orderly fashion. Give...

  • Children see loss and death in different ways as they grow and develop. Tailor your help according to your child's age and emotional development. How you learned to deal with loss will affect how you help your child. Think about what helped you when you lost something as a child. Don't try to keep grieving a private...

  • Everyone gets angry from time to time. Anger and arguments are normal parts of healthy relationships. But anger that leads to threats, hitting, or hurting someone is not normal or healthy. This is a form of abuse. Physical, verbal, or sexual abuse is not okay in any relationship. When it occurs between spouses or...

  • Covers when feelings of sadness or anxiety may indicate need for treatment for depression. Offers tips to help with depression. Explains emergency symptoms, like talk about suicide. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Provides overview of head injuries in those age 3 and younger. Offers tool to help you check symptoms and decide when to see doctor. Discusses emergency symptoms and when to seek care. Offers prevention tips.

  • Psychological issues may play a role in erection problems (erectile dysfunction). These issues may include depression, anxiety disorder, or another mental disorder. Men with these types of problems may benefit from therapy. Psychological treatment...

  • Sex therapy may be helpful for some men who have erection problems (erectile dysfunction). Sex therapy doesn't involve having sex with or in front of the sex therapist. Also, isn't long-term or open-ended therapy. It usually involves working with a...

  • Talking with your partner may help your erection problems (erectile dysfunction). Couples often assume that they each know what the other person likes when it comes to sex. Sometimes they are wrong. Don't assume. Tell your partner what you do and...

  • The CAGE questionnaire is used to test for alcohol use disorder in adults. It is not used to diagnose the disease but only to show whether a problem might exist. The CAGE questionnaire consists of four questions that relate to your use of alcohol: Have you ever felt that you ought to C ut down on your...

  • The physical signs of alcohol use disorder can be vague in the early stages of the disease. Some early symptoms include: Blackouts, which cause you to not remember what happened when you were drinking. Blackouts are not the same as passing out....

  • When visiting a treatment center to see whether the program offered there meets your and your family member's needs, ask the following questions. Are the counselors certified chemical dependency counselors (CDC)? Counselors who are certified have...

  • Is this topic for you? This topic is about alcohol use disorder in adults. For information about alcohol problems in teens or children, see the topic Teen Alcohol and Drug Use. What is alcohol use disorder? Alcohol use disorder means having unhealthy or dangerous drinking habits, such as drinking every day or...

  • Childbirth and breastfeeding may affect your sexual desire. Exhaustion, breast soreness, your baby's demands, and recovery from childbirth may reduce your interest in intimacy with your partner. But you may feel more comfortable having sex after the...

  • A person's medical history and a physical exam are important parts of the evaluation when the person has symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer's disease. The doctor will ask questions during a medical history to assess a person's past and current...

  • A health professional may evaluate the day-to-day functioning of a person who has Alzheimer's disease by asking questions and observing the person. This often is done informally during the medical history and physical exam. Sometimes the health professional may use a more formal functional status exam to evaluate a...

  • Most people who develop Alzheimer's disease do not have a history of the disease in their families. But if you do have a family history of Alzheimer's disease (one or more members of a family have had the disease), then your risk of getting it is...

  • You can help protect the person in your care by making the home safe. Pad sharp corners on furniture and countertops. Keep objects that are often used within easy reach. Install handrails around the toilet and in the shower. Use a tub mat to prevent slipping. Use a shower chair or bath bench when...

  • A person who is aware of losing some mental and functional abilities may be depressed or frightened and may feel like a burden to those who take care of him or her. Helping the person stay active and involved may make it easier for both of you. Take...

  • People who have Alzheimer's disease or another dementia are sometimes easily confused and may forget where they are, what day it is, and other common facts. The following tips will help avoid confusion. Use familiar objects, such as a favorite chair...

  • Getting a person with Alzheimer's disease or another dementia to eat enough may be a challenge in some cases. Some of these tips may help you. If the person resists using a spoon or fork, don't force the issue. Some people may have vision or motor...

  • Communicating with a person who has Alzheimer's disease or another dementia can be very challenging. Changing your approach to the way you communicate may be helpful. First, make sure the person does not have a hearing or vision problem. Sometimes a...

  • Many people with Alzheimer's disease or another dementia can become agitated or upset easily. It may be helpful to: Keep distractions to a minimum. Keep noise levels low and voices quiet. Develop simple daily routines for bathing, dressing, eating,...

  • Loss of bladder and bowel control (incontinence) can sometimes result from Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. Several strategies may help you deal with this problem: Encourage the person to use the bathroom on a regular schedule, such as every...

  • Wandering can pose a major problem for the caregiver and can be dangerous for a person who has Alzheimer's disease or another dementia. Get a medical ID bracelet for the person so that you can be contacted if he or she wanders away. Try to figure...

  • Taking care of a loved one who has Alzheimer's disease or another dementia can be a difficult, stressful, and tiring job. It affects the caregiver's health and ability to rest and can be a source of stress and conflict for the entire household. The...

  • A diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease or another dementia often raises some important legal and financial issues for the future. The person with dementia should be involved in these decisions as long as he or she is able and willing to be involved....

  • One of the most difficult problems to deal with as a caregiver is the sometimes strange or disruptive behaviors that people with dementia develop. They may wander, do certain things repeatedly, or insist on unusual routines or activities. Some...

  • The decision to try medicine to treat behavior problems in Alzheimer's disease is different for each person. The decision weighs the risks and benefits of these medicines. Your doctor can help you decide. Medicines for behavior problems linked to dementia do not work very well for most people and may have serious risks...

  • Discusses a form of mental decline (also called dementia). Looks at possible causes. Covers symptoms like memory loss or changes in mood or behavior. Covers treatment with medicines to help with memory and thinking problems. Offers tips for caregivers.

  • What is grief? Grief is a natural response to the loss of someone or something very important to you. The loss may cause sadness and may cause you to think of very little else besides the loss. The words sorrow and heartache are often used to describe feelings of grief. Anticipatory grief is grief that strikes in...

  • Social skills training helps the child or adult who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) be less aggressive and impulsive, manage anger, and behave in a more socially acceptable way. Techniques include: Coaching. Role-playing....

  • Some of the misconceptions about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) include the following: Myths and facts about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) Myth Fact There is no such medical condition as ADHD. ADHD is a medical disorder, not a condition of the child's will. A child...

  • Discusses attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which in the past was called attention deficit disorder (ADD). Covers symptoms including inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Discusses treatment with medicines like Ritalin, and behavior therapy.

  • What is obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)? Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a type of mental illness that causes repeated unwanted thoughts. To get rid of the thoughts, a person with OCD may also do the same tasks over and over. For example, you may fear that everything you touch has germs on it. So to ease...

  • Covers causes and symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression. Includes info on bright light therapy and dawn simulation treatment. Discusses the use of melatonin, antidepressants, and counseling.

  • What is shaken baby syndrome? If you want to save this information but don't think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number. Be careful online too. Your online activity may be seen by others. Do not use your...

  • What are temper tantrums? If you have a young child, you probably know what temper tantrums are. Experts define them as sudden, unplanned displays of anger or other emotions. During a tantrum, children often whine, cry, or scream. They may also swing their arms and legs wildly or hold their breath. Anyone can have...

  • What is Tourette's disorder? Tourette's disorder is a brain condition that starts in childhood. Children with Tourette's make sounds or movements—such as coughing or twitching—that they can't control. These are called tics. Tics usually start at about age 2. They may be at their worst by age 12. Tics tend to decrease...

  • What is social anxiety disorder? People with social anxiety disorder (or social phobia) are extremely anxious about what they will say or do in front of other people. This includes public speaking and day-to-day social situations. But it is more than just being shy or nervous before public speaking. The fear can begin...

  • What is Munchausen syndrome by proxy? If you want to save this information but don't think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number. Be careful online too. Your online activity may be seen by others. Do not...

  • Covers causes and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Looks at how treatment can help and steps you can take. Discusses most effective treatments—counseling and antidepressant medicines. Includes stories from others in their own words.

  • It is important to think about the emotional well-being of the person with HIV you care for. Because every person's emotional needs are different, no single approach is best for everybody. Encourage the person to become involved in medical decisions...

  • Infertility is a major life crisis for many couples. It may affect self-esteem, body image, sexual identity, life goals, and sexual relations. When faced with the possibility or diagnosis of infertility, you may experience a broad range of emotions, including: Initial disbelief and denial followed by anger...

  • To help prevent or treat a temporomandibular disorder (TMD), you can try gentle jaw exercises. You can also try techniques that help you relax your jaw muscles. Try a gentle exercise to restore normal range of motion, improve flexibility, and...

  • You may be depressed if you have at least five of these symptoms for 2 weeks or longer, and one of the symptoms is either sadness or loss of interest. You feel sad or hopeless. You lose interest in or stop getting pleasure from most daily activities. You lose or gain a lot of weight because of changes in how hungry...

  • Suicide occurs almost twice as often as murder. Each year, about 36,000 people in the United States die by suicide. In the U.S.: Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for people ages 15 to 24 and the second leading cause for people ages 25 to 34. Suicide rates have...

  • Motivational therapy for bed-wetting uses praise, encouragement, and rewards to help a child gain bladder control. It's about telling children that they have control of their bodies and encouraging them to take steps that bring about more and more...

  • It is common for a person who has had a stroke to feel sad and become depressed about the disabilities caused by the stroke. Sometimes the injury to the brain from the stroke can cause depression. Depression is a serious condition that needs...

  • If you have a family member who has had a stroke, you may be concerned about how the stroke is going to affect your family's lifestyle. You may be concerned about finances and changes in family roles and responsibilities. Here are some ways to help...

  • Emotional reactions after a stroke may be different from normal emotional reactions. The reaction may have little or no clear connection with what is happening around the person. Often reactions can be easily interrupted by diverting the person's...

  • Children who are depressed may have the same symptoms as adults. But adults may believe that these symptoms are normal in children. Some signs that may alert adults that children are depressed include: Being irritable and crying for no reason you...

  • Briefly discusses St. John's wort, an herbal dietary supplement used to treat mild to moderate depression. Covers possible side effects and safety issues.

  • People who have eating disorders are often very self-critical. Learning to be easier on yourself is essential. Pace yourself if you are feeling weak. Everything you do may take more time and effort. Do not expect to do all the things you want to do...

  • People who have an eating disorder often become preoccupied with negative thoughts about themselves. It is often hard for them to think healthy or balanced thoughts. Although it is impossible to stop all negative thoughts, you can reduce these...

  • Sometimes people who have anorexia find it difficult to trust the family, friends, health professionals, and other caring people who are trying to help them. There are many reasons for this, ranging from anxiety about losing control and gaining...

  • People who have anorexia often have difficulty at mealtimes. If mealtime is a stressful time for you, try something different. During meals: Try to eat slowly and gradually. Do not allow yourself to get overwhelmed by the idea of eating a meal. Talk...

  • What is binge eating disorder? Binge eating means eating larger amounts of food than most people would in a similar situation, in a short period of time. A person with this eating disorder binge eats regularly for several months. When you binge eat, you may feel like you can't control your eating, and you may you feel...

  • Take any mention of suicide seriously. If someone you know is threatening suicide, get help right away. Health professionals should try to find out whether the person: Has the means (weapons or medicines) available to do self-harm or to harm another person. Has set a time and place to attempt suicide...

  • Discusses causes and symptoms like sadness and feelings of helplessness. Covers related illnesses like bipolar disorder and SAD. Looks at treatment with medicines, counseling, and lifestyle choices. Discusses suicidal thoughts and when to call a doctor.

  • People who have chronic health problems, such as myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), often benefit from support groups. These groups can be a good source of information and tips for managing your illness and a chance to share your frustrations and problems with others who are in a similar...

  • Looks at reasons babies and children might bite. Offers tips for changing biting behavior, including offering teething rings to teething babies.

  • What is anorexia nervosa? Anorexia nervosa (say "an-uh-RECK-see-uh nur-VOH-suh") is a type of eating disorder. People who have anorexia have an intense fear of gaining weight. They severely limit the amount of food they eat and can become dangerously thin. Anorexia affects both the body and the mind. It may start as...

  • As a part of the physical exam for eating disorders, a doctor may order certain tests to see whether your body is generally healthy. These may include blood or urine tests to check: Electrolyte levels. Electrolytes are minerals, such as potassium,...

  • Certain needs, fears, family dynamics, and ways of communicating, thinking, and feeling put a person at greater risk of developing an eating disorder such as anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating. Some of these include: A need for attention. A need to...

  • Eating disorders occur most often in industrialized cultures where there is an emphasis on thinness, especially if thinness is linked to success. Magazines, television, and other media have created an unrealistic image of the perfect, successful...

  • Stress is what you feel when you have too much to handle. You may have too much work to do, or you may be having trouble with children or a spouse. If stress happens too often or lasts too long, it can affect your health. Where do you hold your stress? We all "hold" stress in different ways. Some people hold stress in...

  • When a loved one has an eating disorder such as anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating and is in treatment, it is important that you show support. You can show personal support by: Showing and stating your love. Avoiding the temptation to control the...

  • Sleep patterns naturally change as you get older. Compared to younger people, older adults: Sleep fewer hours and take longer to fall asleep. Sleep less deeply and wake up more often during the night. Have more trouble adjusting to changes in...

  • What is bulimia nervosa? Bulimia (say "boo-LEE-mee-uh") is a type of eating disorder. People with bulimia will eat a larger amount of food than most people would in a similar situation, in a short period of time (binge). Then, in order to prevent weight gain, they will do something to get rid of the food (purge). They...

  • If someone you know has a panic attack, he or she may become very anxious and not think clearly. You can help the person by doing the following: Stay with the person and keep calm. Offer medicine if the person usually takes it during an attack. Move...

  • What are panic attacks and panic disorder? A panic attack is a sudden, intense fear or anxiety that may make you short of breath or dizzy or make your heart pound. You may feel out of control. Some people believe that they are having a heart attack or are about to die. An attack usually lasts from 5 to 20 minutes...

  • Quitting smoking is probably the most important step you can take to decrease your chance of coronary artery disease (CAD) and a heart attack. Smoking raises your risk of getting CAD and dying early from CAD. Carbon monoxide, nicotine, and other...

  • There is a link between depression and coronary artery disease. People with heart disease are more likely to get depression. And if a person has both depression and heart disease, they may not stay as healthy as possible. They are less likely to...

  • Covers how your thoughts can affect your mental and physical health. Offers tips on positive thinking, including having positive expectations.

  • Minor fingernail and toenail problems are common. At one time or another, almost everyone has caught a nail on something, causing it to rip, or has smashed a finger in a door, leaving blood under the nail. These kinds of injuries can be quite painful but are usually not serious. You can often relieve pain and prevent...

  • Depression is different from normal sadness. Depression is not simply feeling sad. Depression is a disorder with specific symptoms that can be diagnosed and treated. For every 10 patients diagnosed with cancer, about 2 patients become depressed. The numbers of men and women affected are about the same. A person...

  • Getting enough sleep is needed for both physical and mental health. Sleep is an important part of physical and mental health. While we sleep, the brain and body do a number of important jobs that help us stay in good health and function at our best. Getting the sleep we need: Improves our ability to learn, remember, and...

  • Delirium is a confused mental state that can occur in patients who have cancer. Delirium is a confused mental state that can occur in patients who have cancer, especially advanced cancer. Patients with delirium have problems with the following: Attention. Thinking. Awareness. Behavior. Emotions. Judgement. Memory...

  • People cope with the loss of a loved one in different ways. Most people who experience grief will cope well. Others will have severe grief and may need treatment. There are many things that can affect the grief process of someone who has lost a loved one to cancer. They include: The personality of the person who is...

  • Cancer-related post-traumatic stress (PTS) is a lot like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) but not as severe. Patients have a range of normal reactions when they hear they have cancer. These include: Repeated frightening thoughts. Being distracted or overexcited. Trouble sleeping. Feeling detached from oneself or...

  • Cancer prevention is action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer. By preventing cancer, the number of new cases of cancer in a group or population is lowered. Hopefully, this will lower the number of deaths caused by cancer. To prevent new cancers from starting, scientists look at risk factors and protective...

  • Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is a plant grown in many parts of the world. It makes a resin (thick substance) that contains compounds called cannabinoids (see Question 1). By federal law, possessing Cannabis is illegal in the United States outside of approved research settings. However, a growing number of states...

  • Use one of the following resources if you are or know of a parent or caregiver having trouble controlling angry feelings. Actions done in moments of anger can be harmful and abusive. Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator. This service from the national Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services...

  • Each body piercing site has its own normal healing time. Common sites usually heal within the time frames listed below. Healing depends on many things. It can depend on how big the piercing is and how thick the tissue is at the site. Your own...

  • Signs of sexual abuse may not be apparent without an examination of the genital area. These signs include: Bruises, scars, chafing, or bite marks in the genital area. Discharge or bleeding from the vagina. Rectal or genital bleeding. Anal tears or dilation. Symptoms of a sexually transmitted...

  • If the suicide threat seems real, with a specific plan and the means at hand, follow these steps: Call 911, or the police if 911 is not available. Consider your own safety. If you are in a safe environment and the person will not harm you: Stay...

  • What are the most important things you need to know about your medicines? Make sure you know about each of the medicines you take. This includes why you take it, how to take it, what you can expect while you're taking it, and any warnings about the medicine. The information provided here is general. So be sure...

  • What are the most important things you need to know about your medicines? Make sure you know about each of the medicines you take. This includes why you take it, how to take it, what you can expect while you're taking it, and any warnings about the medicine. The information provided here is general. So be sure...

  • What are the most important things you need to know about your medicines? Make sure you know about each of the medicines you take. This includes why you take it, how to take it, what you can expect while you're taking it, and any warnings about the medicine. The information provided here is general. So be sure...

  • What are the most important things you need to know about your medicines? Make sure you know about each of the medicines you take. This includes why you take it, how to take it, what you can expect while you're taking it, and any warnings about the medicine. The information provided here is general. So be sure...

  • Provides questions to help you learn why you use tobacco. Discusses the benefits of quitting and offers strategies for quitting. Explains nicotine dependence and offers link to info on nicotine replacement therapy.

  • What happens when you are stressed? Stress is what you feel when you have to handle more than you are used to. When you are stressed, your body responds as though you are in danger. It makes hormones that speed up your heart, make you breathe faster, and give you a burst of energy. This is called the fight-or-flight...

  • Sexual abuse or assault (rape) can happen to anyone. If this has happened to you, you are not to blame. Sexual abuse is any type of sexual activity that is done against your will. It can be nonviolent sexual abuse, such as nontouching sexual exposure (like being forced to look at sexual pictures) or unwanted or forced...

  • The signs of drug use depend on the drug and the person using the drug. Behaviors that may be signs of drug use include: Changes in sleeping or eating habits, less attention to dressing and grooming, or less interest in sex. Up and down moods, a...

  • A blackout means not being able to remember what happened when you were drinking or using drugs. Blackouts are not the same as passing out. Passing out occurs when you lose consciousness. You don't pass out when you have a drug or alcohol blackout. In a blackout, you lose short-term memories. A blackout is a type of...

  • If you want to save this information but don't think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number. Be careful online too. Your online activity may be seen by others. Do not use your personal computer or device to...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription drugs can cause weakness and fatigue. A few examples are: Antianxiety medicines. Antidepressants. High blood pressure medicines. Statin medicines for high cholesterol. If you think a prescription or nonprescription medicine may be causing your weakness or fatigue, call your...

  • Most injuries are not caused by abuse. But bruises are often the first sign of possible abuse. Suspect physical abuse of a child or vulnerable adult when: Any injury cannot be explained or does not match the explanation. Repeated injuries occur. Explanations change for how the injury happened. You may be able to...

  • Discusses various sleep problems of those 12 and older. Covers insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and restless leg syndrome. Offers tips to improve sleep. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • The body responds to stress with muscle tension, which can cause pain or discomfort. In turn, tense muscles relay to the body that it's stressed, which keeps the stress–muscle-tension cycle going. Progressive muscle relaxation helps break this cycle by reducing muscle tension and general mental anxiety. Progressive...

  • You can handle stress better when you are as healthy as possible, so eating nutritiously is a good defense against stress. The tips below focus on using nutrition to reduce the symptoms of stress. For more information about eating right, see the topic Healthy Eating. Avoid or limit caffeine. Coffee, tea...

  • You may not know what is causing your stress , exactly how your body responds to stress, or how you cope with stress. To find out, keep a record to track the times you feel stressed. Write down: What may have triggered the stress. Guess, if you aren't sure. How you felt and behaved in response to the stressful...

  • The signs of stress can be physical or mental. Some people call this "storing" stress in the body (physical) or in the mind (mental). Common physical symptoms of stress include: Rapid heartbeat. Headache. Stiff neck and/or tight shoulders. Backache. Rapid breathing. Sweating and sweaty palms. Upset stomach...

  • When your beliefs conflict with the way you are living your life, stress may result. It may be helpful to examine your belief systems so you can better manage your stress. World view Your world view is your basic beliefs about human nature, how the world works, and what life is about. Your views about religion make...

  • We all find ways of coping with stress. Some coping strategies are not as helpful as others. For example, negative coping responses often make your stress worse, because they wear you down over time or are temporary distractions. On the other hand, positive coping responses keep you in the present moment and give you...

  • The methods described here help you relax, relieve stress, and feel better. Imagery for releasing muscle tension Close your eyes and imagine one of the following: Wax softening and melting. A tight, twisted rope slowly unwinding. Tension swirling out of your body and down the drain. You holding a remote control...

  • Covers major sources of job stress that can lead to burnout. Includes stressors such as lack of control or job insecurity. Looks at reducing stress by talking with your supervisor, managing time, unplugging from the office, and knowing when to quit.

  • Provides guidelines to reduce problems and get the most benefit from taking antidepressants. Covers what you need to know about antidepressants, side effects, and risks. Covers how to take medicine wisely.

  • Discusses dealing with side effects of antidepressants. Links to more info on medicines, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants. Explains reasons to take medicine. Includes a warning to watch for serious side effects.

  • Whether a person with Alzheimer's disease or another dementia should still be allowed to drive is a common dilemma faced by people who have the disease and by their caregivers. Taking away driving privileges may reduce the person's sense of independence and increase dependence on family and friends. But it is extremely...

  • Most school-age children feel driven to "make it" in the world away from home. Making friends and being accepted become top priorities. School is a testing ground where children evaluate, accept, and reject each other daily. At times, parents cringe at the degree to which children try to fit in and are often saddened...

  • As a parent, you are the ideal teacher to help your child learn about sex. Open communication about sexuality helps your child understand his or her feelings and encourages a positive attitude toward a natural process. Your explanations should be honest and simple. Because children's cognitive growth is ongoing, a...

  • Separation protest (also called separation anxiety) usually starts around 9 months of age, peaks near 15 months of age, and starts to fade sometime before the third birthday. The intensity and duration of separation protest is affected by your...

  • Toddlers may throw fits, act selfishly, and rarely mind. This behavior often develops out of frustration from not being able to communicate, master skills, and be as independent as they want to be. Assertiveness and irritability are normal behaviors for toddlers. Toddlers are actively absorbing and exploring the world...

  • What is dyslexia? Dyslexia is a learning disability that makes it hard to read, write, and spell. It occurs because the brain jumbles or mixes up letters and words. Children with dyslexia often have a poor memory of spoken and written words. Having dyslexia does not mean that your or your child's ability to learn is...

  • Dyslexia may occur with other learning or emotional problems. Some of the conditions associated with dyslexia may be the result of the way the child's brain was formed or how it functions. Some of the emotional problems that a child with dyslexia can have are due to frustrations and failures at school and home. But keep...

  • Teens want an answer to the eternal question, "Who am I?" Part of the answer lies in their sexual self. The teen years can be a confusing time. Hormones, cultural and peer pressures, and fear of being different can cause many teens to question themselves in many areas, including their sexual orientation and gender...

  • What is domestic violence? If you want to save this information but don't think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number. Be careful online too. Your online activity may be seen by others. Do not use your personal...

  • If you want to save this information but don't think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number. Be careful online too. Your online activity may...

  • If you want to save this information but don't think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number. Be careful online too. Your online activity may...

  • Nonverbal learning disorder is a learning disorder that has many traits commonly associated with autism spectrum disorder. Like those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), children with nonverbal learning disorder usually start to talk around 2 years...

  • Interactive tool measures your readiness to quit smoking. Helps you identify the stage of change that you're in. Offers questions to help you think about what to do next. Includes link to more extensive info on quitting tobacco use.

  • Family therapy is based on the belief that the family is a unique social system with its own structure and patterns of communication. These patterns are determined by many things, including the parents' beliefs and values, the personalities of all...

  • Use this form to record information about your child's treatment plan for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Review the plan with your doctor often. Together you can keep the plan up to date. My child's main symptom of ADHD is...

  • You can take steps today to stop drinking. Your first step might be to see your doctor, contact a support group, or set a date in the near future to stop. While some people can stop drinking on their own, others need medical help to manage the physical process of withdrawal. If you think you have alcohol use disorder...

  • My plan to stop drinking alcohol I will stop drinking any alcohol on (date): _______________. I have written down my reasons for not drinking and placed the list: _______________________________________________________. I have discussed my plan with my family and asked for their support. They will support me by...

  • Discusses teen use of alcohol and other harmful or illegal substances. Covers the effects and consequences substance use has on a teen's life, including physical and emotional health. Includes info on how to recognize and deal with teen substance use.

  • Below are some of the most common and helpful strategies people use to get through the tough period of nicotine withdrawal. Make a list of your smoking triggers. It is wiser to avoid triggers after you have quit smoking than to tempt yourself too soon. If you cannot avoid them early on, be cautious when they are...

  • The best way to cope with a strong temptation to smoke is to quickly remove yourself from the situation that is causing the temptation. Don't worry about "how it will look" if you leave a party, wedding reception, or public function to avoid the temptation to smoke. You have an important reason for leaving. When you...

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in an adult is often not noticed because the person may maintain relationships and hold a steady job. It is not unusual for a parent to discover he or she has ADHD when his or her child is diagnosed with the disorder. The key to the diagnosis of ADHD for an adult is...

  • Covers helping a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder succeed in school. Discusses working with teachers and other school personnel. Also covers helping your child control symptoms. Includes interactive test to measure what you've learned.

  • One of the most difficult things about parenting a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is getting your child to do what you ask. Daily routines, such as getting ready for school or bed and getting homework done, can become...

  • Putting a plan for avoiding alcohol and substance use in writing will help your teen make good decisions in the future. Using the example below, have your teen help you write the contract. Teens feel more responsible for their actions when they are...

  • Helping a person to stop drinking can: Reduce possible health problems and injuries caused by alcohol use. Ease family conflicts or other relationship problems. Reduce legal problems caused by alcohol use.

  • Use this list to help you plan how to help someone you care about get treatment for an alcohol use disorder. A health professional who has special training in conducting interventions (intervention specialist) with people who have alcohol use...

  • Fill out this sleep journal every morning for 1 to 2 weeks. It can help you see what gets in the way of a good night's sleep. It could also help your doctor know more about what affects your sleep. Day 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 What time did you go to...

  • The following suggestions may help you develop a plan to help a family member who has an ongoing problem with memory, problem solving, judgment, or the ability to handle daily tasks. These suggestions are basic and do not include all the information you will need to care for your family member. Your doctor may have...

  • What is child abuse and neglect? If you want to save this information but don't think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number. Be careful online too. Your online activity may be seen by others. Do not use...

  • If you want to save this information but don't think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number. Be careful online too. Your online activity may...

  • Swallowing air may cause bloating, burping, gas, and abdominal pain. Swallowed air that is not released by burping passes through the digestive tract and is released as gas (flatus). Babies often swallow air during feeding. It is important to burp your baby during and after feeding. Swallowed air may cause a baby to be...

  • Signs that an intoxicated person might need medical evaluation include: An injury. An intoxicated person may not feel pain normally, so he or she may not be aware of an injury or realize how serious it may be. It is not uncommon for an intoxicated person to vomit once. But an intoxicated person who is confused or not...

  • Anyone can become a victim of domestic violence. Certain factors can increase your risk of being abused. Your risk for abuse increases if your partner: Uses alcohol or drugs. Had a job loss or job change or had a change in the level of income. Has a...

  • If you want to save this information but don't think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number. Be careful online too. Your online activity may be seen by others. Do not use your personal computer or device to read...

  • When you're pregnant, everything you put in your body can affect your baby. If you smoke, your baby is exposed to chemicals such as nicotine and carbon monoxide. If you're a smoker and get pregnant, now is the time to quit. If you're not a smoker, avoid secondhand smoke. If you smoke and aren't pregnant but are...

  • Many women get postpartum blues, also called the "baby blues," during the first few days after childbirth. They may lose sleep, feel irritable, cry easily, and feel happy one minute and sad the next. Hormone changes are one cause of these emotional...

  • Sleep problems are common during pregnancy. Sleep studies tell us that hormonal changes, plus the discomforts of later pregnancy, can break up a pregnant woman's sleep cycle. The first trimester can bring insomnia and night waking. Most women feel the need to take naps to battle daytime sleepiness and fatigue. The...

  • Looks at postpartum depression. Discusses causes and symptoms. Covers treatment with cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal counseling, and medicines. Offers home treatment tips. Links to more in-depth info on postpartum depression.

  • Covers causes and symptoms of postpartum depression that can occur in the first months after childbirth. Includes treatment with counseling and antidepressant medicines. Covers thoughts of suicide.

  • What is teen substance use? Many teens try alcohol, tobacco, or drugs. Some teens try these substances only a few times and stop. Others can't control their urges or cravings for them. This is substance use disorder. Moderate to severe substance use disorder is sometimes called addiction. Teens may try a number of...

  • Whether you want to think about kicking your tobacco habit or not, you might find it interesting to take a look at the ways tobacco has worked its way into your everyday life. Check your response: Rarely Sometimes Often Smoking or chewing tobacco is something I do when I'm out having a good time with...

  • There are many ways to deal with stress. The table below (reprinted from Wellness: Concepts and Applications*) lists positive ways to cope. See how many you use to deal with stress. If you have trouble filling out this chart, you may want to track your stress for a few days and then try again. Positive ways to...

  • What would motivate you to quit smoking? Take a moment to fill out the smoker's self-test. Be honest when you answer the questions. You may discover that you have more good reasons to quit than to continue using tobacco. Decide if you agree with any of these statements. _____It makes me uncomfortable to know that I am...

  • If you want to save this information but don't think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number. Be careful online too. Your online activity may...

  • Looks at problems you may have in the days and weeks after the delivery of your baby (postpartum period). Covers emergency symptoms like signs of shock, fainting, or severe belly pain. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Covers using cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to learn ways to relax, reduce stress, and help you cope with pain. Looks at why it is done and what to expect after treatment. Includes info on how well it works.

  • Discusses sleep problems caused by cancer or side effects of chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Offers tips like get daily exercise and use a sleep mask and earplugs to improve sleep. Warns to check with your doctor before taking sleep medicine.

  • Violence causes more injury and death in children, teenagers, and young adults than infectious disease, cancer, or birth defects. There is no single explanation for the violence caused by youth. Many different things cause violent behavior in children. The more these things are present in a child's life, the more...

  • Signs of abuse may not be apparent without an examination of the genital area. These signs include: Bruises, scars, chafing, or bite marks in the genital area. Discharge from the vagina or penis. Rectal or genital bleeding. Anal tears or dilation. Symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection (STI), such as...

  • Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an inherited disease caused by a change (mutation) in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR) gene. It is a chronic, progressive disease that causes mucus to become thick and sticky. The mucus builds up and clogs passages in many of the body's organs, but mostly in the lungs and the...

  • Crying is a normal part of your child's life. Stay as calm as possible during crying episodes. There are many different ways to approach your child's crying, and over time you will understand your child's needs and know how to care for him or her. A child's crying can be very upsetting, especially when you are...

  • Nail-biting (onychophagia) is a common stress-relieving habit. You may bite your nails in times of stress or excitement, or in times of boredom or inactivity. It can also be a learned behavior from family members. Nail-biting is the most common of the typical "nervous habits," which include thumb-sucking, nose-picking...

  • Interactive tool measures your ability to bounce back from stressful situations. Discusses what your score means from being very resilient to not very resilient. Includes next steps and a link to more information on stress management.

  • Helps you assess whether you have depression. Tool calculates how many common symptoms you have. Based on your answers, shows where you fall on a depression scale. Helps you find out if you might need treatment. Offers link to extensive info on depression.

  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a procedure used to treat severe depression. It may be used in people who have symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations, or suicidal thoughts or when other treatments such as psychotherapy and antidepressant medicines have not worked. It is also used for other psychiatric and...

  • SAM-e is short for S-adenosylmethionine, a substance that occurs naturally in the cells of plants, animals, and humans. SAM-e is not an herb. Because the body produces less SAM-e with age, some people think that SAM-e may be a helpful supplement for...

  • Omega-3 fatty acids are found in marine or plant sources, such as fish oil and flaxseed oil. A few studies suggest that adding omega-3 fatty acids to medicine (such as lithium) can help reduce the depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder in some people. Omega-3 fatty acids don't seem to have an effect on the manic...

  • Looks at depression in children and teens. Covers symptoms like anxiety, headaches, sleep problems, and lack of energy. Discusses treatment with therapy and medicines. Covers warning signs of suicide.

  • Certain medical or mental disorders can produce symptoms similar to depression. Before depression is diagnosed, it may be necessary to rule out other causes of the symptoms that your child or teen may be experiencing. These other disorders may be...

  • Common warning signs for suicide include: Making suicidal statements. Being preoccupied with death in conversation, writing, or drawing. Giving away belongings. Withdrawing from friends and family. Having aggressive or hostile behavior. It is extremely important that you take all...

  • Sometimes depression in children and teens may be triggered by or result in conflict within the family. Family conflict can trigger depression symptoms or make them worse. And family therapy aimed at correcting these issues can improve the outcome. But this type of counseling used alone has not been proved effective for...

  • Recovering from a heart problem means not only getting back your physical strength but also getting back your emotional and mental well-being. Having a positive outlook during your recovery and rehabilitation is necessary to help you recover physically, emotionally, and mentally. Remember that you are going to start...

  • The more you know about bipolar disorder, the better you will be able to cope with this lifelong illness. There are many steps that you can take—or help a loved one take—to recognize and better manage manic episodes. Learn the warning signs of a manic episode, and get early treatment to avoid disruption in your life...

  • Guides through decision to take medicine to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Explains symptoms of OCD. Describes most common types of medicines used and other treatments. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Bright light therapy is an effective treatment for seasonal affective disorder (SAD). The most common light therapy uses a special type of light, called a light box. This is much brighter than a lamp or other light fixture in your home. Light therapy is easy and safe. It has few side effects and can be done at home...

  • Guides through decision to take antidepressants for depression. Covers symptoms of depression. Lists reasons for and against antidepressants. Covers side effects. Looks at other treatments to try. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Read the following information to help you decide whether you might have depression. It does not take the place of a doctor's diagnosis. Depression causes you to feel sad or hopeless much of the time. It's different from normal feelings of sadness,...

  • What is borderline personality disorder? Borderline personality disorder is a mental illness that causes intense mood swings, impulsive behaviors, and severe problems with self-worth. It can lead to troubled relationships in every area of a person's life. Most of the time, signs of the disorder first appear in...

  • It is normal for your growing child to be moody or somewhat irritable as he or she moves through adolescence. But symptoms of prolonged sadness or irritability and a loss of pleasure in activities the child enjoyed before can point to depression....

  • Guides you through deciding whether your child should take medicines for depression. Offers reasons for and against. Covers side effects, including possible increase in suicidal thoughts. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Discusses symptoms of bipolar disorder in children and teens. Covers frequent and extreme mood swings ranging from being overly energetic to depression. Covers treatment with counseling and medicines.

  • Several conditions regularly occur along with bipolar disorder that at first may share some of the same features. Conditions that might be present along with bipolar disorder in children and adolescents include: Attention deficit hyperactivity...

  • Bipolar disorder in children and teens and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are similar. It is possible for a child to have both conditions. But certain symptoms help distinguish one from the other: Comparing symptoms of bipolar disorder and ADHD Symptoms of bipolar disorder Symptoms of ADHD...

  • Even with treatment, symptoms of bipolar disorder can be difficult to manage and can make school challenging. Regular and honest communication with your child and his or her teachers, guidance counselors, coaches, and school administrators can be the most important way to help your child succeed. Education...

  • Guides you through the decision to take drugs for migraines. Covers treatment with antidepressants, anticonvulsants, beta-blockers, and calcium channel blockers. Lists side effects. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides through the decision to take prescription drugs for tension headaches. Covers treatment with antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and antianxiety medicines. Lists side effects. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides you through decision to take medicines for Alzheimer's disease. Covers medicine choices and their side effects. Lists reasons for and against taking medicines. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Why is it important to manage stress? Stress is the way we all react to change. It includes our mental, emotional, and physical responses to the pressures of everyday life. Because change is a natural and normal part of life, everyone has some stress. But stress can be bad for your heart. If you have heart...

  • If you are an adult who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you will most likely see an improvement in your symptoms when you take medicine for the condition. Behavioral interventions are not meant to treat inattention, overactivity, or impulsivity. But they can help you be more organized and have...

  • Being a parent of a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is full of challenges and frustrations. This can lead to exhaustion. Taking good physical and emotional care of yourself will help provide you with needed energy....

  • It is important to learn about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and the specific ways your child is affected. Knowledge about the condition will help you feel more confident in being able to help your child reach his or her potential....

  • There has been ongoing controversy surrounding certain vaccines and their relationship to autism. Some parents have been concerned that vaccines, specifically the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and preservatives used in other childhood vaccines, play a role in children developing autism. There have been a lot of...

  • Behavioral training teaches people of all ages who have autism how to communicate appropriately. This type of training can reduce behavior problems and improve adaptation skills. Both behavioral training and behavioral management use positive reinforcement to improve behavior. They also use social skills training to...

  • Having a family member with autism presents many challenges. Support and training for parents and siblings are important components of treatment. Training family members about autism and how to effectively manage the symptoms can reduce family stress and improve the functioning of the child with autism. Some families...

  • The safety and effectiveness of some therapies used to treat autism is not known. Many unproven treatments circulate through websites, word of mouth, or the media. Most have not been subjected to thorough, sound research and are considered...

  • Although symptoms may change and even improve, autism is a lifelong condition that presents many challenges through adulthood. Whether an adult with autism lives in a group home, independently, or with family, he or she still requires parental or...

  • Lists common products that could be poisonous, including household cleaners, medicines, alcohol, cosmetics, garden products, and houseplants. Also covers chemicals and fumes. Offers tips on keeping children safe. Offers poisoning hotline telephone number.

  • Developing and nurturing your personal relationships can help you lower your stress level. The following suggestions can benefit both your relationships and your mental health: Visit with friends and family. Take time to make a phone call, send an email, or write a quick note. Make "date" time with your spouse, even...

  • Being a parent of a child with physical, emotional, or behavioral problems can be exhausting. Try to take good care of your physical and emotional health. Doing so will help provide you with needed energy to care for your child with special needs....

  • Joan figured she would need months to recover physically from the heart attack 2 years ago that led to her heart failure. She didn't realize she would need just as much time to recover emotionally. "I was only 52 when I had the heart attack," she says. "Heart disease runs in my family, but I thought I'd been taking...

  • What is bullying? Bullying is acting in ways that scare or harm another person. Kids who bully usually pick on someone who is weaker or more alone, and they repeat the actions over and over. Bullying starts in elementary school and becomes most common in middle school. By high school, it is less common but still...

  • Children who are being bullied may be embarrassed and not want to talk about it. Be aware of the signs that your child is being bullied so you can help resolve the problem. If your child is being bullied, he or she may: Have physical injuries. Bruises, cuts, scrapes, and scratches are common. "Lose" items frequently...

  • Children who are socially withdrawn, shy, and appear to lack self-esteem are more likely than other children to be targets for bullying. Children who appear confident and strong are better able to discourage children from harassing them. Parents and other important adults in a child's life can use these suggestions to...

  • It can be hard to accept that your child may be bullying other children. But once you recognize the problem, you can help solve it by helping your child learn how his or her actions affect others. Being sensitive to others' feelings (empathy) is largely a learned skill that you can teach your child. Take your child's...

  • Discusses causes of dementia, which include strokes, tumors, or Alzheimer's disease. Covers symptoms like memory loss and forgetfulness. Covers how dementia is diagnosed. Looks at treatment options. Covers issues for caregivers.

  • Some people have memory loss but do not have dementia. They have what is known as mild cognitive impairment, a middle ground between normal aging and dementia. People with this condition are at risk for developing dementia. But not all people with mild cognitive impairment will progress to dementia. People with mild...

  • Discusses accurate, rational thinking to stay well or cope with a health problem. Covers cognitive-behavioral therapy, also called CBT. Provides links to info on healthy thinking and weight, stress management, anxiety, and depression.

  • Discusses how to encourage yourself with accurate, rational thoughts so that you can raise your odds of staying at a healthy weight. Covers how it can also help you handle stress better. Provides steps to practice. Includes keeping a thought diary.

  • Anxiety is having too much fear and worry. Some people have what's called generalized anxiety disorder. They feel worried and stressed about many things. Often they worry about even small things. Some people also may have panic attacks. A panic attack is a sudden feeling of extreme anxiety. People who have social...

  • Depression is an illness that makes a person feel sad or hopeless much of the time. It's different from feeling a little sad or down. Depression can be treated with counseling or medicine, or both. Healthy thinking also can help prevent or control depression. If you have thoughts of harming yourself or others, you...

  • Unwanted thoughts can make you feel anxious or depressed. They may keep you from enjoying your life. A technique called thought-stopping can help you stop unwanted thoughts. What you think can affect how you feel. Thought-stopping helps you change how you think so that you feel better. Changing your thinking will...

  • Your child's tics related to Tourette's disorder may seem worse in certain situations or during times when he or she experiences strong emotions. Common triggers include: Stressful events, such as a family fight or poor performance at school....

  • The way you breathe affects your whole body. Full, deep breathing is a good way to reduce tension, feel relaxed, and reduce stress. Roll breathing (also called abdominal breathing) The object of roll breathing is to develop full use of your lungs and get in touch with the rhythm of your breathing. It can be...

  • Psychological counselors and therapists The terms counselor and therapist cover a variety of trained professionals. The differences between therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and counselors may not be as important to you as finding someone with whom you are comfortable. Professionals who might provide...

  • Children and teens notice and react to stress in their family and also experience their own stress. It is important to recognize stress in children and teens and help them with healthy coping strategies. The strategies they learn often stay with them into adulthood. Generally, anything that may cause children fear and...

  • The hurricane still haunts Marvin. He and his wife, daughter, and four grandkids huddled on a neighbor's roof as floodwaters from the storm surges swirled around them. Lashed by wind and debris, they survived by hooking themselves to a rooftop...

  • There are many types of hair loss. It is often categorized according to when it takes place during the hair growth cycle: anagen, catagen, and telogen. The anagen phase is when your hair grows—your hair follicle forms a new hair shaft. Most (90%) of the hair on your scalp is in a growing phase that lasts from 2 to 6...

  • Many people worry about going to the dentist. You may be very nervous and may actually feel sick to your stomach. Some people become so nervous that they just don't go to the dentist. But this can lead to serious problems, including infected gums and teeth, difficulty chewing, and lack of self-confidence because of bad...

  • The following questions are about your use of alcohol and other drugs. Count the number of "yes" answers you have. How you figure your results is provided at the end of the questions. During the past 6 months: 1. Have you used alcohol or other drugs (such as wine, beer, hard liquor, pot, coke, heroin or...

  • The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) defines military sexual trauma (MST) as experiences of sexual assault or repeated, threatening acts of sexual harassment. These traumas occur when a person is in the military. The...

  • Health problems like cancer or heart disease and mental health problems like substance use disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have an emotional side. And the same is true for certain life events, like being a parent or caring for...

  • Covers some reasons people don't seek treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Looks at common objections to seeking treatment, such as the cost and the fear of what others think. Includes what you can do about overcoming objections.

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health disorder. Many people believe things about mental health disorders that aren't true. Here are some myths about PTSD. PTSD does exist. It is a recognized mental health problem that has been...

  • There is no medical test that can tell whether you have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Your doctor will ask you questions to find out whether you have it, what traumatic event may have caused it, and how severe your symptoms are. Your doctor...

  • Recovery means finding your path to a meaningful life. It puts you in control of your life and helps you gain self-confidence and respect for yourself. You can use recovery for substance use and mental health problems such as post-traumatic stress...

  • For 38 years, Ron kept his Vietnam memories to himself. When stress brought on flashbacks, he dealt with them by drinking them away. "I didn't realize I had a problem," he said. "I run a very successful program with a great staff. I considered it...

  • As a medic in Iraq, Tim was always in the midst of suffering. He treated soldiers with horrible wounds. He saw some die. Within one day of returning home, he faced another trauma. His father died of cancer. "He was my best friend for my whole life....

  • Many people think substance use disorder happen only to teens and younger adults. But all ages can have problems with drugs and alcohol, including older adults. Older adults may use illegal drugs, misuse prescription or over-the-counter medicines,...

  • Some people have an alcohol or drug use problem and a mental health problem. Doctors call this a dual diagnosis. You need to treat both problems to fully recover. Mental health problems that can happen with alcohol or drug use include depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress...

  • Alcohol is part of many traditions and is often served at parties and other functions. And although many drugs are illegal or legal only with a prescription, people may offer them to you. If you're in a situation where someone is offering you alcohol or drugs, try this: Look the person in the eye. In a firm voice...

  • If someone you care about has been diagnosed with depression, you may feel helpless. Maybe you're watching a once-vibrant person slide into inactivity or seeing a good friend lose interest in activities that he or she used to enjoy. The change in your loved one's or friend's behavior may be so great that you feel you no...

  • Is this topic for you? This topic is about substance use disorder in adults. For information about drug use in teens or children, see the topic Teen Alcohol and Drug Use. What is substance use disorder? Substance use disorder is using drugs in a way that harms you or that leads you to harm others. It...

  • People's ideas about depression have changed over the years. New technology and new research show that depression is a disease, just like asthma or heart failure. Here are some myths and facts about depression. Myth Fact "Depression isn't real." "It's something in your head." "It's being lazy." Depression is...

  • Your loved one or friend doesn't seem the same. You thought it was the blues, but it's been going on for weeks. And it seems much worse than that. Is your friend grieving over something? Or could it be depression? If you want to learn more about grieving, see the topic Grief and Grieving. If you think someone close...

  • Stopping substance use, whether it's alcohol or drugs you are using, is very hard. Very few people succeed the first time they try. A lapse or relapse is likely. A lapse is the first time you use a drug or alcohol again after you have quit, or brief episodes of use at later points. A relapse is not being...

  • If you have a family member or friend with a drug problem, you probably want to help. This can be hard. You can't force a person into treatment. One thing you can do is to stop making excuses for the person. For example, if the person is late to work, refuse to make an excuse. The person has to deal with the problems...

  • You can complete this form and print it for easy reference. When you exit the form, the information will be deleted. Answer these questions based on your use of drugs—not alcohol— in the past 12 months. Choose the answer that is mostly right for you. These questions are asking about risky drug use, including: Using...

  • So you've decided to change your eating habits. Great! Have you thought about getting support in making this change? Having the support of people close to you is an important part of change. It doesn't matter if you're changing a job, a routine, or...

  • You've made a big decision. You're going to quit smoking. Quitting is hard, and you probably know this. Maybe you've quit before. If so, that's normal. Most people quit many times. What can you do to make it more likely that you'll kick the habit for good? One important part of quitting smoking is getting help from...

  • Your partner or friend has decided it's time to quit smoking. This is great news. You're excited, and you want to help. But you don't want your partner or friend to feel that you're coming on too strong or that you're "checking up" on him or her. This Actionset will give you tips on helping someone who is trying to...

  • It's not unusual for mental health problems, especially depression and anxiety, to occur with long-term (chronic) diseases. For example, you may: Have diabetes and also feel very sad. Be depressed and notice that your physical health is getting worse. Perhaps your blood pressure is going up. Have...

  • People who have schizophrenia sometimes have to spend time in the hospital. This can be because of severe symptoms or for other reasons. You may have to go to the hospital if you: Are having a psychotic episode. This means you can't tell the difference between what is real and what is not real. Talk about suicide or...

  • As a family member or close friend, you may help take care of your loved one who has schizophrenia. You can help your loved one stay in treatment, take his or her medicines, and prevent symptoms from coming back ( relapse). Along the way, be sure to take care of yourself too. It can be hard to watch a family...

  • People with schizophrenia have goals and desires just like people who do not have the illness. These may include starting a family. You can have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby if you have schizophrenia. But there are some things to know. You will want people to help you during your pregnancy and when you are...

  • Some symptoms of schizophrenia can be hard to treat, such as finding little or no pleasure in life and feeling no emotions. Medicines don't always work well for these symptoms. You may find these symptoms hard to deal with, because they often are long-lasting and may make your loved one appear to be concerned only about...

  • Depression is a medical problem, and you have the right to keep it private. But if it harms your relationships, it may help to talk to your partner, friends, or children about it. Talking to your partner or friends Explain depression to your partner or friends. Be honest about it. Tell them it's a health problem...

  • When you're depressed, holidays can be hard. They may bring up bad memories, or you may feel as if you're outside looking in at people who are having a good time. But try to take part in some holiday events. It may make you feel better. Here are some tips for dealing with the holidays. Try to: Spend time with...

  • What is depression in older adults? Depression is an illness that causes you to feel sad or hopeless much of the time. It is different from normal feelings of sadness, grief, or low energy. Some people think that depression is normal with age. But it's not. Older adults may go through major life changes or challenges...

  • Depression is a disease. It's caused by changes in chemicals in the brain that are called neurotransmitters. Depression isn't a character flaw, and it doesn't mean you are bad or weak. It doesn't mean you are going crazy. People who are very depressed can feel so bad that they think about suicide. They may feel...

  • Over coffee, Martha explains how severe depression left her wanting to end her life and unable to have normal conversations with people. "I woke up every day with suicide on my mind, and I went to bed with suicide on my mind," Martha says. Nearly broke, and without health insurance, her life became a "dark maze of...

  • For close to 40 years, Stan woke up each day feeling as if he were going to die. "Mornings were like doomsday," he recalls, describing his depression, alcohol use disorder, and prescription drug misuse. "It was like everything was just dead … that...

  • Debbie was raising four children, working 12-hour days, and doing all the cooking and housekeeping. "I was unhappy, crying, and my house was dirty. I'd try to cope by doing just a little bit more," Debbie says. "Needless to say, it unraveled." She healed through months of therapy. "I felt guilty for feeling bad," she...

  • In raising three teenagers, Sherri juggles the usual whirlwind of school, sports, friends, and family commitments. She also has duties most parents don't face. She shuttles all the kids to counseling and psychiatrist appointments and makes sure they take daily antidepressant medicines. For a long time, Sherri was so...

  • Cheryl is a self-employed single mom. She juggles work, four kids, and depression. "Some days, depression really pulls me down, and I'm totally exhausted mentally, physically, and emotionally," Cheryl says. "Other days, I feel great." Cheryl thinks her first bouts of depression came when she was in middle...

  • Susan's depression started in college. "I was a kid, and I had really bad self-esteem issues. I was making dumb choices," she says. Now Susan is 43, married, and a mother of four. Over the years, her depression has changed. Sometimes, it's felt as if hard times have brought it on. At other points in her life, the...

  • Discusses problems falling asleep or staying asleep. Covers causes such as stress, depression, lack of exercise. Discusses other sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. Covers treatment and includes alternative medicines like melatonin.

  • Nicotine is only one of the thousands of chemicals in tobacco, but it is the major component that acts on the brain. The lungs readily absorb nicotine from the smoke of cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. The tissues of the mouth can also absorb nicotine when a person smokes cigars or pipes or chews tobacco. Nicotine reaches...

  • Inhalants are substances that produce chemical vapors that, when inhaled, result in mind-altering effects. The term inhalant is used because these substances are rarely, if ever, used by any other means. These substances are common household, industrial, or medical products. But most people do not think of them as...

  • Ecstasy (MDMA) is both a stimulant (amphetamine-like) and mild calming (tranquilizing) substance. Ecstasy is also called Adam, XTC, X, hug, beans, and the love drug. Ecstasy pills often have a logo, such as cartoon characters, stamped on them. This drug is most often taken as a pill, but the powder form is sometimes...

  • Drugs that have been used in date rapes include flunitrazepam (Rohypnol) and gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB). These drugs inhibit a person's ability to resist sexual assault. Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a central nervous system depressant. GHB is a...

  • LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is the most widely used hallucinogenic drug. Hallucinogenic drugs cause a person to see vivid images, hear sounds, and feel sensations that seem real but are not. LSD is also called acid, blotter, or dots. It is...

  • Cocaine is a powerful stimulant that is used legally as a local anesthetic for some eye, ear, and throat surgeries. Cocaine is also called coke, C, snow, flake, or blow. It may contain other substances, such as cornstarch, talcum powder, or sugar....

  • Methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant. It's like amphetamine, which doctors use to treat sleep problems (narcolepsy), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and severe overweight problems. The illegal form of methamphetamine is a white,...

  • Heroin is an illegal drug. It is a white or brown powder or a black, sticky substance (black tar heroin). It can be sniffed, snorted, smoked, or injected into a muscle or vein. It is often mixed (cut) with other drugs or substances, such as sugar or...

  • The program you choose for your teen needs to view substance use as a primary disease and not as a symptom. Your teen needs to have a comprehensive evaluation to determine the level of substance use and the presence of psychiatric or medical conditions. If you need to place your teen in a treatment program, look for...

  • Symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can be painful and, if allowed to continue, can lead to complications including esophagitis. Esophagitis is irritation or inflammation of the esophagus. You can make changes to your lifestyle to help relieve your symptoms of GERD. Here are some things to try...

  • A slip is when a smoker who has quit smokes one or two cigarettes. A relapse is when a smoker who has quit returns to regular smoking. It is hard to quit smoking. The temptation can be very strong. Here you will find strategies to help you avoid slips as well as a relapse. You will also find tips for deciding how soon...

  • Looks at how relaxing your mind and body can relieve stress, anxiety, or depression. Offers how-to tips, including practicing mindful meditation, using guided imagery, yoga, or massage. Includes interactive tool to test what you've learned.

  • Explains what progressive muscle relaxation is and how it can help reduce stress and anxiety. Walks you through doing relaxation exercises on various muscle groups. Links to info on other relaxation methods, including meditation, guided imagery, and yoga.

  • Discusses the use of mindful meditation to manage stress. Explains what mindful meditation is and reasons people meditate. Offers tips for successful meditation. Includes step-by-step instructions for meditation.

  • Looks at how breathing exercises can help with stress relief. Includes step-by-step instructions for exercises like belly breathing, 4-7-8 breathing, and morning breathing. Offers links to more info on managing stress with guided imagery and meditation.

  • Looks at how guided imagery can help to manage stress. Explains what guided imagery is and its uses in healing, creativity, and reducing stress. Lists step-by-step instructions for guided imagery.

  • Yoga is a mind and body practice that involves movement, breathing exercises, and a focus on thoughts and feelings as they happen (mindfulness). It began in ancient India as a spiritual practice, based on the idea that the mind and body are one. But today, more people practice yoga for overall health, including...

  • The cravings for nicotine can be intense for the first few days when you stop smoking, but they will get better with time. Here are some tips on how to cope: Use nicotine gum, lozenges, or an inhaler. Distract yourself. Stop what you are doing, and do something else. Try to stay away from other smokers, at least in...

  • Violence can happen to anyone—males or females, children, teens, adults, older adults, or people with disabilities. You are not to blame. No matter what happened, violence is not okay. Violent people usually have many problems that they find hard to deal with, which can cause them to act out with violence. Physical...

  • Weakness and fatigue are terms that are often used as if they mean the same thing. But in fact they describe two different sensations. It is important to know exactly what you mean when you say "I feel weak" or "I am fatigued" because it can help you and your doctor narrow down the possible causes of your symptoms...

  • Take sleeping pills for a short time, along with making lifestyle changes. Treat your sleep problems with only lifestyle changes. Insomnia can be caused by menopause or problems such as depression, anxiety, and sleep apnea. Treating these conditions may get rid of your sleep problem. This topic is for people...

  • Antidepressant medicines often work well, but they do have some risks and side effects. Their use may increase the risk of suicide, especially in the first few weeks of use. If your child starts antidepressants, be sure to be aware of this risk and get help if you see any of the warning signs. Before prescribing...

  • Anabolic steroids are synthetic substances similar to the male hormone testosterone. Doctors prescribe them to treat problems such as delayed puberty and other medical problems that cause the body to make very low amounts of testosterone. Steroids...

  • Covers causes and symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. Treatment includes medicine or therapy or both. Discusses working with your doctor to find the medicine that works best for you. Covers applied relaxation therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

  • Having a phobia means you are extremely afraid of a specific object, situation, or activity. Having a phobia about something is very different from everyday worry or stress. For example, most people feel worry and stress at some time, such as when...

  • The goal in treating cholesterol is to lower your chance of having a heart attack or a stroke. The goal is not to lower your cholesterol numbers alone. The following guidelines are from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart...

  • It's not easy to quit smoking. The nicotine in cigarettes is addicting. Your body craves it because it makes you feel good. So when you try to stop smoking, you go through nicotine withdrawal. You feel awful, and you may worry about gaining weight. You get cranky and anxious. It can be hard to sleep. You're not the...

  • Offers tips on improving sleep. Covers sleep disorders like insomnia. Discusses things that affect sleep. Covers habits like drinking alcohol or caffeine before bed. Suggests exercising daily and no napping. Discusses sleep diaries.

  • "Fibro fog" is the name commonly given to the cognitive problems that can go along with fibromyalgia syndrome. These problems with concentration and memory can lead to confusion, losing your train of thought, or forgetting or mixing up words or details. You can take steps to manage fibro fog. Try some of the...

  • Take medicines, along with counseling or not. Get counseling for treatment of panic disorder. Two types of medicines work well for treating panic disorder. Benzodiazepines can help you feel better right away. You can take antidepressants for long-term treatment. Counseling works at least as well as...

  • Interactive tool that helps you estimate the impact smoking will have on your lifespan. Provides links to info on quitting tobacco use and a decision tool to determine whether you're ready to quit smoking.

  • Interactive tool helps you calculate how much money you have spent on cigarettes in the past and how much you will spend on them in the future if you keep smoking. Offers link to more extensive info on quitting tobacco use.

  • Interactive tool gauges your stress level based on the number of life changes you have had recently. Discusses what your score means from low to high stress. Includes next steps and links to more information on managing stress.

  • FDA advisories. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued advisories to patients, families, and health professionals to closely monitor for warning signs of suicidal behavior in children and adults younger than 25 who take antidepressants. This is especially important at the beginning of treatment or when...

  • Offers interactive tool to help you find out if you may have an alcohol problem. Calculates how many signs of a drinking problem you have. Suggests if you are at low, medium, or high risk for an alcohol problem. Links to info on alcohol abuse.

  • Guides through decision to take antidepressants while pregnant. Covers SSRIs (Zoloft and Prozac) and tricyclic antidepressants. Lists reasons for and against medicines. Covers benefits and risks. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides you through the decision to take or not take medicine to treat high blood pressure. Explains what high blood pressure is and risks of not lowering it. Covers treatment choices and lifestyle changes.

  • Guides through the decision to stop or keep taking depression medicine. Looks at benefits and risks of stopping antidepressants. Covers cognitive-behavioral therapy. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • To make a change, use goals to chart your path to success. Two types of goals can help you do this: long-term and short-term. Long-term goals A long-term goal is not something you can do all at once. It's the goal that inspires you and that will show how far you've come when you complete it. It's usually a goal you...

  • If you have decided to start a healthy eating plan, congratulations! Making that decision is an important step in becoming a healthier person. Keep these key points in mind: When you're trying to develop new habits—whether it's healthy eating, getting more exercise, or quitting smoking—you have a better...

  • Replacing a bad habit with a good habit takes time and patience. It requires several steps, from setting your goals to getting support. One of the important steps is figuring out what your barriers are. What has stopped you from changing your eating...

  • Whatever you do, don't tell Jaci that you can tell she's been on a diet. The 30-year-old mother of two feels strongly that losing 65 pounds over 4 years was the result of permanent lifestyle changes—not dieting. "I actually get mad at people when they say, 'You've been on a diet.' I'm not on a diet. I've never been on a...

  • Maggie lost some weight a few years ago. But like many people who go on diets, she couldn't keep the pounds off. She didn't eat enough food, so she was hungry. And she denied herself the food she really loved, like pizza. Then she changed the way she looked at food and what it meant to be healthier. She lost 50 pounds...

  • The neighbors can set their clocks by Arturo and his wife, Rosa. Every morning at 6:30 a.m. and every evening at 6:30 p.m., they walk out their front door for their 30-minute walk. "It's kind of a neighborhood joke," Arturo, 58, says. "People literally look at their watch and laugh when we go by." But the walks...

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