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Parenting Blended Families

Parenting Blended Families




Parenting Blended Families

Forming a blended family, also known as a stepfamily, is not always Brady Bunch easy. And yet, this is an important family unit: according to the US Census Bureau, about 15 percent of children live in blended families. For starters, stepchildren are often confused and have conflicting emotions, according to Anne Brennan Malec, a clinical psychologist, a stepmother of six, and author of Marriage in Modern Life: Why It Works, When It Works. A stepchild may want their parent to be happy in a new relationship, yet they feel disloyal to the parent left behind. Without a doubt, children will find this transition to be more difficult than their newly-wedded parent will. Here are strategies that all family members can take to help a new unit flourish.

Blending two families into one takes effort. Stepparents may feel resented. Step-siblings may feel unheard and disregarded. Various family members may feel that there is inherent bias and that certain family members are favored over others. Building new relationships can be painful. It takes time, communication, a thick skin, among other qualities to form a functional and healthy blended family.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

  • GAD affects 6.8 million adults, or 3.1% of the U.S. population, yet only 43.2% are receiving treatment.

  • Women are twice as likely to be affected as men.

  • GAD often co-occurs with major depression.

Panic Disorder(PD)

  • PD affects 6 million adults, or 2.7% of the U.S. population.

  • Women are twice as likely to be affected as men.

Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)

  • SAD affects 15 million adults, or 6.8% of the U.S. population.

  • SAD is equally common among men and women and typically begins around age 13.

  • According to a 2007 ADAA survey, 36% of people with social anxiety disorder report experiencing symptoms for 10 or more years before seeking help.

Specific Phobias

  • Specific phobias affect 19 million adults, or 8.7% of the U.S. population.

  • Women are twice as likely to be affected as men.

  • Symptoms typically begin in childhood; the average age-of-onset is 7 years old.

Treatment For Anxiety

Psychotherapy or “talk therapy” can help people with anxiety disorders. To be effective, psychotherapy must be directed at the person’s specific anxieties and tailored to his or her needs.

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