Oct. 31 marks the annual celebration of Halloween, but for some the dressing up as anonymous and often scary characters has taken on a new meaning. The fall has brought dozens of reports across America of “creepy clowns” disturbing the public, and Loudoun is not immune. In October alone, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) reported two unsettling clown sightings. On Oct. 16 a juvenile reported that while running in a group along a trail at the intersection of Plymouth Pl. and Shellhorn Rd. in Ashburn, he observed a man leaning up against a tree who appeared to be sick. The report [...]
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A Parable and Some Thoughts for a Happy New Year. One day in late summer, an old farmer was working in his field with his old sick horse. The farmer felt compassion for the horse and desired to lift its burden. So he left his horse loose to go the mountains and live out the rest of its life. Soon after, neighbors from the nearby village visited, offering their condolences and said, “What a shame. Now your only horse is gone. How unfortunate you are!” You must be very sad. How will you live, work the land, and prosper?” The farmer [...]
“Did you hear about the three kids that were killed last week by clowns?” and “Clowns are capturing children and dragging them into the woods” and “The police are looking for two clowns that were in the woods by my school’s playground” are just a few of the many comments my young clients have reported to me these past few weeks. And with Halloween just around the corner, it seems that the anxieties and concerns for many children (and parents) about creepy clowns is only increasing. As a child psychologist in private practice, I’ve witnessed the negative impact of creepy clowns on [...]
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) takes a hard line position when it comes to psychiatrists asserting a public opinion about an individual’s mental health or mental illness. Since 1973, the APA has prohibited psychiatrists from offering professional public opinions or diagnoses of individuals they have not assessed. This position, known as the Goldwater Rule, came about due to an incident that occurred in 1964 where thousands of psychiatrists were asked by a magazine to weigh in on Senator Barry Goldwater’s mental fitness as a presidential candidate. Many psychiatrists responded that Goldwater was unfit to assume the presidency, and some even offered clinical diagnoses [...]
Dr. Michael Oberschneider counsels hundreds of local families about it every year. It’s not a new phenomenon, but understanding its dynamics is an evolving science – especially when trying to resolve problems children develop as they grow up. What is it? It’s technology, and its growing use – in some cases to the point of addiction to virtual reality – by children and their well-meaning parents as a substitute for family and social interaction, and what Oberschneider calls unstructured creative play. “Dr. Mike”, as he is affectionately known by many in Loudoun and throughout the Washington metropolitan area, is highly regarded for [...]
Dear Dr. Mike, We recently signed our 4-year-old daughter up for gymnastics. It wasn’t cheap, but her friends from the neighborhood do it, and she has been begging us to go. It turned out to be a horrible disaster. From the first lesson, she was frustrated, she couldn’t pick up the instructions, and it was a battle to get her to go every time. My husband took the hard line that our daughter had to continue because she made a commitment and because we couldn’t get our money back. I initially shared his position, but he never went to a single [...]
Dear Dr. Mike, I cheated on my husband about two years ago and I’ve gone back and forth with feeling very guilty about what I did and being okay with my plan to keep it a secret. It was a one time very very stupid moment that I regret and it happened with a coworker on a business trip. I still see my coworker but I put a stop to things right after that night. He’s also married and his wife doesn’t know either. My close friends have all told me to not saying anything (and most articles on the Internet [...]
I am pleased to announce that Ashburn Psychological and Psychiatric Services was voted the #1 mental health practice in the Loudoun Times Mirror. I would like to personally thank all of those who voted for our practice. It is an honor to be acknowledged by our community in this way. We remain dedicated to the care and treatment of our patients. To review the Reader's Choice 2014 recipients, we invite you to visit: http://northernvatimes.secondstreetapp.com/Loudoun-Readers-Choice/Ballot/HealthandMedical Dr. Michael Oberschneider, Founder and Director
Northern Virginia has recently experienced several teen suicides. Last month, two Langley High School students took their own lives just a day apart from one another, and this month it appears two students at Woodson High School also committed suicide. Fairfax County alone has had 15 suicides over the past 3 years, and the surrounding counties, including Loudoun County, have also had a number of teen suicides in recent years. Suicide is tragic, and it seems to be even more so when it involves our young. As the director of a private mental health practice, I can report first hand [...]
We invite you to enjoy Ashburn Psychological and Psychiatric Services, director, Dr. Michael Oberschneider's piece, which was published on the Ashburn Patch and Leesburg Patch on 03/17/2014 . Snow Day: Seven Survival Tips for Parents It’s easy to understand why so many are struck with a case of the winter blues each year. We leave for work before the sun comes up and head home in the dark barely glimpsing daylight. As the days get shorter and colder, many folks find themselves dealing with sadness, decreased motivation and energy, increased appetite and excessive sleeping, etc. But wait, this is March 17, and this [...]