Health Topics

Social family issues

Domestic Violence
National Library of Medicine
Abuse
Partner Abuse
Spouse Abuse
Violence
Battery
Spousal abuse

Domestic violence is a type of abuse. It usually involves a spouse or partner, but it can also be a child, elderly relative, or other family member.

Domestic violence may include

  • Physical violence that can lead to injuries such as bruises or broken bones
  • Sexual violence
  • Threats of physical or sexual violence
  • Emotional abuse that may lead to depression, anxiety, or social isolation
  • Economic abuse, which involves controlling access to money
  • Stalking, which causes fear for your own safety

The first step in getting help is to tell someone you trust, such as a friend, family member, or co-worker. You can also contact your doctor or another health care professional, an emergency shelter, or a domestic violence helpline.

The first step in getting help is to tell someone you trust.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Domestic Violence
Women
Injuries and Wounds
Social/Family Issues
Domestic violence is a type of abuse. It usually involves a spouse or partner, but it can also be a child, elderly relative, or other family member. Domestic ...
Family Issues
National Library of Medicine
Stepfamilies

There are many kinds of families. Some have two parents, while others have a single parent. Sometimes there is no parent and grandparents raise grandchildren. Some children live in foster families, adoptive families, or in stepfamilies.

Families are much more than groups of people who share the same genes or the same address. They should be a source of love and support. This does not mean that everyone gets along all the time. Conflicts are a part of family life. Many things can lead to conflict, such as illness, disability, addiction, job loss, school problems, and marital issues. Listening to each other and working to resolve conflicts are important in strengthening the family.


Family
Interpersonal Relations
Social/Family Issues
There are many kinds of families. Some have two parents, while others have a single parent. Sometimes there is no parent and grandparents raise grandchildren. ...
Adoption
National Library of Medicine
Foster Care

Adoption brings a child born to other parents into a new family. Birth parents have a number of reasons for placing children for adoption. Overall, they want better lives for their children than they think they can give them.

Children who are eligible for adoption come from many different settings. Some are in foster care, a temporary home setting. Other children live in orphanages or with birth relatives until they can be adopted.

There are different kinds of adoption. Children may be adopted by a relative or a new family. Some parents adopt children from the U.S, and some adopt from abroad.


Child, Adopted
Adoption
Child, Foster
Children and Teenagers
Pregnancy and Reproduction
Social/Family Issues
Adoption brings a child born to other parents into a new family. Birth parents have a number of reasons for placing children for adoption. Overall, they want ...
Advance Directives
National Library of Medicine
Do-Not-Resuscitate Orders
Living Wills
Resuscitation Orders

What kind of medical care would you want if you were too ill or hurt to express your wishes? Advance directives are legal documents that allow you to spell out your decisions about end-of-life care ahead of time. They give you a way to tell your wishes to family, friends, and health care professionals and to avoid confusion later on.

A living will tells which treatments you want if you are dying or permanently unconscious. You can accept or refuse medical care. You might want to include instructions on

  • The use of dialysis and breathing machines
  • If you want to be resuscitated if your breathing or heartbeat stops
  • Tube feeding
  • Organ or tissue donation

A durable power of attorney for health care is a document that names your health care proxy. Your proxy is someone you trust to make health decisions for you if you are unable to do so.

NIH: National Cancer Institute


Advance Directives
Social/Family Issues
Personal Health Issues
What kind of medical care would you want if you were too ill or hurt to express your wishes? Advance directives are legal documents that allow you to spell ...
Alzheimer's Caregivers
National Library of Medicine
Caregivers for Alzheimer's Disease

Caring for someone who has Alzheimer's disease (AD) can be stressful and overwhelming. It's important to take care of yourself. Ask for and accept help.

Talk to the doctor. Find out what treatments might help control symptoms or address behavior problems. Find a support group. Others who have "been there" may be able to help and will understand.

If there are times of day that the person is less confused or more cooperative, take advantage of that in daily routines. Consider using adult day care or respite services. These offer a break with the peace of mind that the patient is being taken care of. Begin to plan for the future. This may include

  • Getting financial and legal documents in order
  • Looking into assisted living or nursing homes
  • Finding out what your health insurance and Medicare will cover

NIH: National Institute on Aging


Alzheimer Disease
Caregivers
Seniors
Brain and Nerves
Social/Family Issues
Caring for someone who has Alzheimer's disease (AD) can be stressful and overwhelming. It's important to take care of yourself. Ask for and accept help. Talk ...
Bereavement
National Library of Medicine
Grief

Bereavement is the period of grief and mourning after a death. When you grieve, it's part of the normal process of reacting to a loss. You may experience grief as a mental, physical, social or emotional reaction. Mental reactions can include anger, guilt, anxiety, sadness and despair. Physical reactions can include sleeping problems, changes in appetite, physical problems or illness.

How long bereavement lasts can depend on how close you were to the person who died, if the person's death was expected and other factors. Friends, family and faith may be sources of support. Grief counseling or grief therapy is also helpful to some people.

NIH: National Cancer Institute


Bereavement
Mental Health and Behavior
Social/Family Issues
Bereavement is the period of grief and mourning after a death. When you grieve, it's part of the normal process of reacting to a loss. You may experience grief as ...
Bullying and Cyberbullying
National Library of Medicine
What is bullying?

Bullying is when a person or group repeatedly harms someone on purpose. It can be physical, social, and/or verbal. It is harmful to both the victims and the bullies, and it always involves

  • Aggressive behavior.
  • A difference in power, meaning that the victim is weaker or is seen as weaker. For example, bullies may try to use physical strength, embarrassing information, or popularity to harm others.
  • Repetition, meaning it happens more than once or that it probably will happen again
What are the types of bullying?

There are three types of bullying:

  • Physical bullying involves hurting a person's body or belongings. Examples include hitting, kicking, and stealing or breaking someone's stuff.
  • Social bullying (also called relational bullying) hurts someone's reputation or relationships. Some examples are spreading rumors, embarrassing someone in public, and making someone feel left out.
  • Verbal bullying is saying or writing mean things, including name-calling, taunting, and threatening
What is cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is bullying that happens through text messages or online. It could be through emails, social media, forums, or gaming. Some examples are

  • Posting rumors on social media
  • Sharing embarrassing pictures or videos online
  • Sharing someone else's private information online (doxing)
  • Making threats against someone online
  • Creating fake accounts and posting information to embarrass someone

Certain types of cyberbullying can be illegal. The laws on cyberbullying are different from state to state.

How is cyberbullying different from bullying?

Cyberbullying is a type of bullying, but there are some differences between the two. Cyberbullying can be

  • Anonymous - people can hide their identities when they are online or using a cell phone
  • Persistent - people can send messages instantly, at any time of the day or night
  • Permanent - a lot of electronic communication is permanent and public, unless it's reported and removed. A bad online reputation can affect getting into college, getting a job, and other areas of life. This applies to the bully as well.
  • Hard to notice - teachers and parents may not overhear or see cyberbullying taking place
Who is at risk of being bullied?

Kids are at a higher risk of being bullied if they

  • Are seen as different from their peers, such as being overweight or underweight, dressing differently, or being of a different race/ethnicity
  • Are seen as weak
  • Have depression, anxiety, or low self-esteem
  • Don't have many friends or are less popular
  • Don't socialize well with others
  • Have an intellectual or developmental disability
Who is at risk of being a bully?

There are two types of kids who are more likely to bully others:

  • Kids who are well-connected to peers, have social power, are overly worried about popularity, and like to be in charge of others
  • Kids who are more isolated from peers, may be depressed or anxious, have low self-esteem, are easily pressured by peers, and have trouble understanding other people's feelings

There are certain factors that make someone more likely to be a bully. They include

  • Being aggressive or easily frustrated
  • Having trouble at home, such as violence or bullying in the home or having uninvolved parents
  • Having trouble following rules
  • Seeing violence positively
  • Having friends who bully others
What are the effects of bullying?

Bullying is a serious problem that causes harm. And it doesn't just hurt the person who is being bullied; it can also be harmful for the bullies and for any kids who witness the bullying.

Kids who are bullied can have problems at school and with their mental and physical health. They are at risk for

  • Depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. These problems sometimes last into adulthood.
  • Health complaints, including headaches and stomachaches
  • Lower grades and test scores
  • Missing and dropping out of school

Kids who bully others have a higher risk for substance use, problems in school, and violence later in life.

Kids who witness bullying are more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol and have mental health problems. They may also miss or skip school.

What are the signs of being bullied?

Often, kids who are being bullied don't report it. They may fear a backlash from the bully, or they may think that no one cares. Sometimes they feel too ashamed to talk about it. So it is important to know the signs of a bullying problem:

  • Depression, loneliness, or anxiety
  • Low self-esteem
  • Headaches, stomachaches, or poor eating habits
  • Disliking school, not wanting to go to school, or getting worse grades than before
  • Self-destructive behaviors, such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry
  • Trouble sleeping or frequent nightmares
  • Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations
How do you help someone who is being bullied?

To help a child who is being bullied, support the child and address the bullying behavior:

  • Listen and focus on the child. Learn what's been going on and show you want to help.
  • Assure the child that bullying is not his/her fault
  • Know that kids who are bullied may struggle with talking about it. Consider referring them to a school counselor, psychologist, or other mental health service.
  • Give advice about what to do. This may involve role-playing and thinking through how the child might react if the bullying occurs again.
  • Work together to resolve the situation and protect the bullied child. The child, parents, and school or organization should be part of the solution.
  • Follow up. Bullying may not end overnight. Make sure that the child knows that you are committed to making it stop.
  • Make sure that the bully knows that his or her behavior is wrong and harms others
  • Show kids that bullying is taken seriously. Make it clear to everyone that the bullying will not be tolerated.

Department of Health and Human Services


Bullying
Cyberbullying
Children and Teenagers
Social/Family Issues
What is bullying? Bullying is when a person or group repeatedly harms someone on purpose. It can be physical, social, and/or verbal. It is harmful to ...
Caregivers
National Library of Medicine

Caregivers provide help to another person in need. The person receiving care may be an adult - often a parent or a spouse - or a child with special medical needs. Some caregivers are family members. Others are paid. They do many things:

  • Shop for food and cook
  • Clean the house
  • Pay bills
  • Give medicine
  • Help the person go to the toilet, bathe and dress
  • Help the person eat
  • Provide company and emotional support

Caregiving is hard, and caregivers of chronically ill people often feel stress. They are "on call" 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you're caring for someone with mental problems like Alzheimer's disease it can be especially difficult. Support groups can help.

Dept. of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health


Caregivers
Social/Family Issues
Health System
Caregivers provide help to another person in need. The person receiving care may be an adult - often a parent or a spouse - or a child with special medical needs. Some ...
Child Abuse
National Library of Medicine
Abuse
Shaken Baby Syndrome
Violence

Child abuse is doing something or failing to do something that results in harm to a child or puts a child at risk of harm. Child abuse can be physical, sexual or emotional. Neglect, or not providing for a child's needs, is also a form of abuse.

Most abused children suffer greater emotional than physical damage. An abused child may become depressed. He or she may withdraw, think of suicide or become violent. An older child may use drugs or alcohol, try to run away or abuse others.

Child abuse is a serious problem. If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, call the police or your local child welfare agency.


Child Abuse
Children and Teenagers
Injuries and Wounds
Social/Family Issues
Child abuse is doing something or failing to do something that results in harm to a child or puts a child at risk of harm. Child abuse can be physical, sexual ...
Disabilities
National Library of Medicine

Disabilities make it harder to do normal daily activities. They may limit what you can do physically or mentally, or they can affect your senses. Disability doesn't mean unable, and it isn't a sickness. Most people with disabilities can - and do - work, play, learn, and enjoy full, healthy lives. Mobility aids and assistive devices can make daily tasks easier.

About one in every five people in the United States has a disability. Some people are born with one. Others have them as a result of an illness or injury. Some people develop them as they age. Almost all of us will have a disability at some point in our lives.

Department of Health and Human Services


Disabled Persons
Health Services for Persons with Disabilities
Social/Family Issues
Disabilities make it harder to do normal daily activities. They may limit what you can do physically or mentally, or they can affect your senses. Disability doesn' ...