Chris Aman
Dream theorist Calvin S. Hall Jr. felt that by paying attention to the dreams we were having, we could discover our personal thoughts and explain our behaviors.

My son just started second grade, and his teacher insists he should be tested for ADHD and put on medication. He has always had a lot of energy, and if he gets bored he doesn't always pay attention -- but medication for a second grader?! What should I do?

First of all, I would talk with the teacher and find out what it is he is doing and work with her on providing information regarding how you handle similar situations at home. Secondly, what is going on in the home and at school? Depression and anxiety often will manifest in a very similar manner.

(Yes! A second grader can be depressed and anxious.) I would take a very thorough look at what is going on with your child. Thirdly (this should actually be first), what is his diet like? Often food sensitivities can lead to an increase in erratic behaviors. Finally, what does he do in his free time? Does he get out and exercise, play with others, watch TV or play video games? Even a slight change in his free time activities can improve some of this.

The best thing to do is to find a practitioner who is not just going to give your son some meds but will work with him and you to find the best manner in which to help him. This is not about making the day easier for the teacher or anyone else -- this is about your son and his overall health. Working with him to find the underlying issues, and teaching him ways in which to work through them, is the best thing to do. There are many dietary supplements that have shown incredible benefit in children who are seemingly having troubles. I have seen this response in my own clinic and find that the children are much happier and healthier and often no medication is necessary.

A guy from my past, who I'm no longer in touch with, has been showing up in my dreams lately. This makes me worry something might be wrong, so I am considering reaching out to him, even though I'm now with someone else. Could my dream be a sign I should reconnect, or is it better not to reopen old relationships?

Calvin S. Hall Jr., one dream theorist, believed that dreams were the map to the unconscious. He felt that by paying attention to the dreams we were having, we could discover our personal thoughts and explain our behaviors. He believed that when analyzing our dreams we should evaluate the role we played, what roles others played, what the surrounding was like and whether there were conflicts, penalties or rewards. Through this process, his belief was that we could learn how our unconscious works. (Other dream theorists have varied impressions, and to go through all of them would take an entire book.)

Fact of the matter is this, do you believe your dreams mean something? If so, then break it down, compare it to what you are currently experiencing in life and see if it fits your current emotions, situation or thoughts and feelings. Is your relationship with your new partner reminiscent of the old relationship? Are you seeing a pattern in this relationship that could lead to whatever it was that caused the old relationship to end? I could go on and on with questions here, and I think you get the point. This is not very likely a dream foretelling the future, but for some reason, in your current life, you are having some emotional thoughts or feelings that are causing the old flame to spark in your subconscious and show up in your dreams.

Take a deep look at your thoughts and feelings surrounding your current relationship. How do they compare? Is the loss of the old relationship something you regret, and is this new-found flame an ill-fitting replacement?

Ultimately, if you believe that it means something, take some time to do some inner reflection and see what it means to you. If your current relationship is something you don't want to lose, make certain you weigh the consequences before making that connection.

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Chris Aman, MBA, MSN, APRN, NP-C, is the co-owner of Inspired Life Wellness Clinic, where she is a psychiatric provider for teens and adults. She and her husband, Jason, have six children and live in Bismarck. They enjoy outdoor activities in the summer and hibernating in the winter.