Facing the Accidental Death of a Child

Dr. Neill Neill

small boy running in streetIt was with sadness that I heard the news of the death in our small community of a five-year-old boy, accidentally run over by a backing truck. And now I see from the local newspaper that his [tag-cat]grieving[/tag-cat] parents are struggling with an insurance company.

What distinguishes an accidental death from other deaths is the suddenness. Most of what I write below applies to other deaths, although the timing may be a bit different.

Last year I suffered the [tag-ice]death of a son[/tag-ice]. But the death of a child? My son was 41 and we saw it coming; this little boy was vibrant and healthy and only five. When a child of that age dies, it is as if a part of the parents dies. What horrific [tag-tec]trauma[/tag-tec] for the parents!

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What Did Your Last Vacation Do for Your Mental Health?

Dr. Neill Neill

Four Hotel FireIn the spring I said to my wife Eileen a number of times, "I need a break." Well, I got my break. I fell and broke a rib in May. The pain slowed me down a lot, but the pain is almost all gone now and I’ve got most of my energy back.

Vacations (I don’t ask for "breaks" anymore.) are important to mental health, and we self-employed types are especially bad at remembering to take them. Periodically I do manage to interrupt my busyness with a [tag-tec]vacation[/tag-tec].

I found myself in June to be in desperate need of such an interruption. I hadn’t taken so much as a full weekend off in months. I left my work behind and took off on a 5,400 km mental health motorcycle trip by myself. It would my first real trip on my new BMW R1200RT motorcycle from Island BMW.

On vacations, not only do I get to see and do things that aren’t part of my at-home experience, but also I usually learn something new about myself. This vacation would prove to be no exception.

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Seven Characteristics of Functioning Alcoholics Seeking Rehab

Alcoholic afraid of lifeIn the past I have worked as consulting psychologist to an alcohol and drug addiction treatment center for men. This is not my first experience in dealing with addiction; I had earlier worked five years in a coed treatment center. I have worked with a lot of functioning alcoholics and drug addicts in my private practice as well.

Although the reasons for substance abuse and subsequent seeking help for addiction are as varied as any human population can be, there is a pattern of sameness in among those men voluntarily going into rehab.

The seven characteristics presented below relate to what is going on at the point men seek help, not to the years when usage turned to habitual substance abuse and then to addiction. Some of the characteristics, but not all, apply to women as well as men. I have become aware that certain things emerge in a group of men that did not surface when men were in a coed group.

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