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Dr. Judy comments on WCBS TV News Story: Experts Say Weekends Away From The Kids Can Be Beneficial For A Couple And The Family


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A celebrity couple recently admitted that they hand their kids off to someone else on Fridays so they can have the weekend to themselves.

As CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock reported, the revelation sparked a firestorm on the web.

Australian model Rachael Finch and Michael Miziner have a beautiful daughter named Violet. Finch recently revealed that the 2-year-old spends every weekend at her grandmother’s.

“We get our weekend to ourselves. I think that’s incredibly healthy for the relationship, and on Sunday when we pick her up we have 100 percent energy back,” she told Australia’s ‘Sunday Style.’

New Yorkers seemed to think the tactic was a bit extreme.

“It’s a little extreme. I don’t think I’d do it every weekend,” Lauren said.

But she added that it’s important that her family be involved with raising her children.

“I’d be very happy to take care of my grandkids at any given time, but I think every week is too much,” her mother-in-law Debby said.

Amber Chess said after having kids she’s learned not to judge.

“Part of me deep down inside thought it was kind of a good idea. I felt a little guilty,” she said, “It’s really really difficult, and everyone handles it differently.”

Her 3-year-old Gemma made it clear; she does not want to be sent to grandma’s every weekend.

Jane Blumberg said she would embrace spending more time with her 2-year-old granddaughter Sylvia.

“I would love it actually,” she said.

The arrangement didn’t sit as well with some of Finch’s followers on instagram who accused her of “part time parenting,” being “irresponsible, selfish, and stupid,” and using her child “as an accessory.”

Finch defended the couple’s decision and emphasized the relationship between Violet and her grandmother.

“One of the most important and influential relationships growing up,” she called it.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Judy Kuriansky said there are positive advantages for the child and grandparents.

“I think it’s a great idea for their sex life. If you want to keep your sex life alive it’s a very good idea to take those mini vacations from the kids,” she said, “You have to take into account; how much does my child really need me?”

Dr. Kuriansky said the relationship between the child and grandparent can be wonderful.

In the end it’s a personal, family decision.



Dr. Judy comments on Online Harassment

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A new campaign has been launched to fight Internet harassment which has got a lot of people talking.

CBS2’s Cindy Hsu reported a new video called “More Than Mean” shows men reading actual comments posted online directed at two female sportscasters – Julie DiCaro and Sarah Spain.


Some of the comments included calling them a “c***” and saying “I hope your dog gets hit by a car, you b****.”

The goal of the video is to show people what it’s like to actually say these things to someone’s face, instead of hiding behind an anonymous name.

“I think it’s great to release a video like that to show the reality of what’s actually going on behind the scenes,” Julia Tepel said. “It brings front the real problems that people face when they’re harassed on the Internet, and how it can affect people’s lives.”

Dr. Judy Kuriansky, a psychologist, said Internet harassment is no joke.

“Those adults who don’t think it’s a problem really need some psychological help, this is a serious problem. It is abuse,” Kuriansky said.

Kuriansky said the abuse can turn deadly.

“It creates shame. It creates embarrassment. It creates depression and at worst, in some cases, it can even lead to suicide,” Kuriansky said.

Mesgana Asmelash said parents need to teach kids how to tune out the garbage and recognize their self-worth.

“Self-esteem should be based on the relationships you have with people, your school and your social life and not really based on someone says on your photo, or what someone says on Twitter,” Asmelash said.

The men – who did not write the comments – apologized to the female sportscasters for what was said to them on social media.

“I’m sorry on behalf of people everywhere that you’ve had to deal with this,” one man said.

Kuriansky said it’s important for parents to stay on top of their children when it comes to what’s appropriate and safe to post on the Internet, and to know what to do if they become a target of cyberbullying.


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Buy a fake boyfriend or girlfriend? OMG!




Are you still looking for love and tired of waiting? How about just faking it? Turns out there's an app for that. It's called Invisible Boyfriend and Invisible Girlfriend. So I thought I would give it a try. 

First find a name for my fake man. Let's see, how about John Doe? His age. And where does he live? Not around here -- that would be suspect. Let's see: how about Philadelphia. Next I pick his picture.

Pay $25 and you are entitled to 100 text messages, a few voice mails, and even a handwritten letter.

The founder says as the company grows it will add the ability to send gifts or flowers to yourself via the fake relationship.

Founder Matt Homann says he came up with idea after going through a divorce and being hounded by people wondering if he had a girlfriend yet.

But Dr. Judy Kuriansky, a relationship expert, tells Fox 5 that inventing either a boyfriend or a girlfriend is a tremendous betrayal of honesty. She says this app sends the wrong message. She says people should be honest about who they are and whether they are in a relationship or not.

"To set up someone who is not real and pretend is a way that is really deceiving not only to others but also yourself," Dr. Judy says.

But if you are single and still looking, maybe a virtual relationship is better than no relationship at all.


Voices should have sounded alarm about Navy Yard shooter

The tragic massacre in the Navy Yard shooting could have been averted, if the shooter’s mental illness and violent tendencies had been noticed and treated, says noted clinical psychologist Judy Kuriansky.  

The 34 year-old ex-Navy reservist, Aaron Alexis, told police five weeks before his killing spree that he feared that three people could harm him, heard voices coming from the ceiling, walls and floor of the Navy base where he was working, and that a microwave machine was sending vibrations through the ceiling of his hotel room to keep him from falling asleep. 

Such auditory hallucinations are hallmark symptoms of a condition called paranoid schizophrenia.  The voices and sounds are imaginary, but seem real and can lead to violence if they warn of danger from people ”out to get him” or worse, instruct the person to kill the threats.  

I have treated people with such conditions in mental hospitals, who are convinced voices are coming out of lamps or radiators, giving them ominous warnings and instructing them to commit violent acts against themselves or others. 

Not every person with a paranoid schizophrenia condition or who hears voices gets violent, but there are warning signs and glaring red flags, like: 

  • A history of behavior misconduct and prior irresponsible gun use.  Alexis had many run-ins with the law and the Navy, but basically got away with it.  He had been thrown out of an Atlanta nightclub in 2008 for disorderly conduct and was arrested several times, in Fort Worth Texas and Seattle, as early as 2004 and then in 2010.  He claimed a fireman he discharged was an accident while he was cleaning it-- a typical excuse.  The Navy discharged him after many disciplinary infractions, misconduct, insubordination and going AWOL (absent without official leave), but he wasn’t put into treatment and the discharge was honorable  - an inappropriate distinction on the Navy’s part in retrospect and a sad reflection on armed forces’ judgment in my view as an Army brat. 
  • Intense anger. The shooter’s father said his son had ‘anger management issues.”  Friends said he was angry about inadequate salary and Navy benefits, and felt like a victim of discrimination.  
  • Playing violent video games, in itself not a sure sign of acting out violence, but in this case, friends said he have talked about shooting people while playing the games, and missed work because of playing. 
  • Rejection. Reportedly, the shooter was rejected by a Thai love interest (he had spent time in Thailand whose culture he supposedly liked).  Of course not all people who get dumped go out and shoot people, but some harbor such impulses, that can be triggered especially in the context of other factors outlined above; certainly love rejection has motivated many a murder/suicide.    

Many systems failed Alexis.  He should have been the subject of better screening, background checks, training, and attention to his condition. 

  • Failed by the VA. He had reportedly been in treatment with the Veterans Affairs since August. Was he getting medication? Anti-psychotic medications can calm auditory hallucinations.    
  • Failed by the Navy. The Navy discharged him from his reservist duty, after all the behavior misconduct, but how egregious that they gave him an honorable discharge and did not insist on treatment. 
  • Failed by the state of Virginia, the legal system, and the firearms store that sold him a gun required to be more restrictive with customers with mental disorder.  Stricter background checks and enforcement need to happen. Surely this case adds fuel to those who argue for gun control. 
  • Failed by the police.  Five weeks before the shooting, when he told the police in Rhode Island he heard voices in his head and feared three people were going to harm him, he was reportedly told to stay away from whoever was following him.  After that, he bought a gun. Police need more training in recognizing mental disorder and bringing someone to the attention of treatment services. 
  • Failed by friends and family, who noticed trouble but passed it off. As in so many other cases of this nature, neighbors, friends, schoolmates and coworkers are shocked – they have called Alexis “friendly,” “caring” and “a nice guy.” Understandably, close friends and loved ones do not want to believe the worst, and see normal behavior:  a smiling guy who sings karaoke with them and helps others and meditates at a Buddhist center (traditionally associated with  compassion and peacefulness). 
  • Failed by the mental health system to get him adequate treatment. 

Schizophrenia, contrary to popular belief, is not technically a “split personality,” but the Jekyll/Hyde appearance is real.  The smiling Alexis in photographs can feel so mentally tortured that he becomes a killer.  Time and again, people can seem normal yet erupt into a violent rage, especially when haunted by hallucination or delusions.  Chemical reactions in the brain take control; rationality disappears and personality changes dramatically.   

Signs can be missed.  With paranoid schizophrenia -- while a serious psychotic disorder whereby a person loses touch with reality, compared to other psychoses -- the person may still exhibit emotions and function in society. 

A paranoid schizophrenic condition can emerge seemingly out of nowhere, from teenagehood into the 30s (Alexis was 34).   Or there can be stressful triggering events. 

It has been reported that the shooter was suffering from PTSD, possibly from 9/11. Indeed, post traumatic stress disorder including symptoms of hallucinations in severe cases, can emerge from exposure to events like terrorism, natural disasters or other personal traumas, but one would have to know much more about the shooter’s involvement in that event and subsequent behavior to make that association. 

Let’s not stigmatize mental disorder. Killers are not always schizophrenic, but can have other disorders, like a psychopathic or sociopathic personality, another psychotic condition, an organic brain syndrome, or drug abuse.  Murderers can also be just plain evil. 

Since Alexis was killed in the police shootout, we can never get a full psychiatric evaluation based on an interview with him, and have to rely on more information emerging from the VA who treated him, and retrospective recollections from others. 

How many more shootings on armed forces bases, in public places, shopping malls, and schools like Sandy Hook and Virginia Tech, do we need before all social systems do better to notice, screen and treat, mental illness?  


Dr. Judy Kuriansky On Dealing With Tragedy


Fear or No Fear after Boston Bombing

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