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Tag Archives: mental health care

Mental Health Screenings Equally Important as Yearly Physicals

Mental Health 2Oftentimes mental health does not receive the same attention as physical heath. Patients regularly visit physicians for wellness checks such as annual physicals, but mental health screenings tend to be overlooked.

According to British research from the University of Cambridge, regular mental health evaluations are just as important as tending to one’s bodily aches and pains. According to a report presented by PsychCentral, mental health disorders are the primary reason for disability in the U.S., UK, and Canada. Every year a quarter of the adult population is diagnosed with some type of mental health issue, with depression and anxiety among the top concerns.

Barbara Sahakian, well-known UK neuroscientist and professor, presented study findings which uncovered that currently only two in five patients with dementia are even aware they have the disease. Early detection has also been shown to significantly save on healthcare expense. For instance, patients with Alzheimer’s disease who received early treatment and intervention reduced healthcare costs by an average of $12,000.

Devoting attention to one’s emotional health early on is important for the development of healthy coping mechanisms needed later in life. Another ignored fact is that mental health conditions can impact physical health and vice versa. Exercise, for instance, has lifelong benefits that boost physical as well as psychological wellbeing; studies even show that exercise can improve brain functioning.

Frequent mental health screenings can play a significant role in prevention and treatment. People who put off seeking help increase the chance of their disorder being harder to treat. The results of the study emphasize the importance of making mental health a focus of public health.

Family Guidance Center has a team of mental health professionals who can help with assessment, diagnosis and treatment strategies for conditions affecting mental health. With proper intervention, most mental health conditions are highly manageable. In addition to annual check-ups, regular mental health screenings offer the best prognosis for a long and healthy life.

Tantrums More Likely in Children With OCD and Depression

Children Mental Illness 1Any parent of a small child is probably familiar with temper tantrums. Most all children throw a tantrum at some point in their lives, but for children with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), these outbursts are likely more frequent. A new study originating out of the United Kingdom also says that tantrums in children with OCD may be tied to depression.

According to a News Medical report online, British researchers reviewed data for over 380 patients receiving treatment from a pediatric clinic specializing in OCD between the years 2005 and 2011. They also examined information collected in the British Child and Adolescent Mental Health Surveys from 1999 and 2004, which included health information for over 18,000 children, 40 of whom had OCD.

Both the clinical and community data supported the fact that children with OCD were more likely to have temper outbursts than children without the disorder. Considering reports of tantrums logged by both children and their parents, 28.6 percent of kids with OCD admitted to outbursts as opposed to only 11.7 percent of their non-OCD peers.

Meanwhile, numbers were also higher from the parental viewpoint with 38.5 percent of parents reporting outbursts for their kids with OCD as compared to only 11.3 percent of parents whose children did not have OCD.

Interestingly, severity of disorder was not a factor in determining outbursts. However, depression symptoms were found to be a predictor of tantrums. Children diagnosed with clinical depression did experience more outbursts than children without the diagnosis. This was true for both reports made by parents and children.

Perhaps the most significant finding was that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) was able to reduce the likelihood of outbursts in children with OCD. Treatment also minimized the symptoms of OCD and depression in affected children.

Family Guidance Center is an excellent community resource for addressing concerns with childhood mental health. If you are a parent concerned about outbursts or think your child might have OCD or depression, it’s never too early to look into a professional assessment. The team of mental health professionals at Family Guidance Center can assist in identifying symptoms and developing a plan that addresses both emotional and social aspects of mental health. For more information, contact Family Guidance Center.

Teens with ADHD Have Higher Likelihood of Substance Abuse

ADHD is a mental disorder that is common in children.  It is estimated that up to five percent of children throughout the globe are affected by it, and as many as half of these youths will have symptoms that persist into adulthood. In one of the largest studies to date on adolescent ADHD, researchers have also uncovered a strong link between the condition and use of alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco.

The study involved researchers from six health centers across the country in conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Over the course of eight years, investigators analyzed close to 600 children as they transitioned into adulthood. The study is the first to uncover the higher prevalence of tobacco use amongst ADHD-teens. And, as a PsychCentral article on the subject points out, cigarette use is often tied to use of alcohol and marijuana.

Lead study author, Dr. Brook Molina says that findings highlight the fact that both girls and boys with ADHD are at higher risk for substance abuse than other children without ADHD. Researchers uncovered that when affected teens reached about 15 years of age, over a third admittedly were engaging in some form of substance use as opposed to only 20 percent of their non-ADHD peers.

Not surprisingly, high rates of alcohol use were common in teens of both groups. However, marijuana and tobacco consumption was significantly higher in those with ADHD. Marijuana use was nearly twice as prevalent in ADHD participants with an average age of 17 as it was in other teens, with usage rates at 13 and 7 percent respectively. Additionally, daily cigarette intake for the ADHD group was 17 percent, whereas the non-ADHD group only had 8 percent that smoked every day by comparison.

Results of the study suggest that children with ADHD are likely to develop unhealthy coping mechanisms to compensate for problems caused by the disease. Early diagnosis is key, and mental health professionals at the Family Guidance Center offer screenings daily.

Experts agree that there are many ways to minimize negative outcomes from the disorder. If you have a child with ADHD, contact the Family Guidance Center to learn more about managing the symptoms for a healthy, quality life.

Adolescent Mental Illness and Substance Abuse Intertwined, Study Says

Mental Illness 2Unresolved mental health issues can affect other areas of a person’s life such as relationships, ability to work and performance at school. Substance abuse, particularly in youth, can compound these issues and also cause problems later in life.

Research shows a connection between adolescent substance abuse and the development of problematic mental health. Likewise, teens with mental health problems have a higher association with alcohol and drug use. A new Australian study found that as many as one in ten adolescents with mental health diagnoses consume alcohol, smoke tobacco and use marijuana.

The study originating in Sydney analyzed the mental health records of more than 2000 individuals ranging in age from 12 to 30 years old. Many of those seeking treatment for mental health issues also provided data for weekly drug and alcohol use. According to an article presented by Medical News Today, 12 percent of youth aged 12 to 17 admitted to drinking alcohol a minimum of once a week.

Other study findings showed that drinking percentages increased with age among those with mental illness. For instance, 39 percent of teens aged 18 and 19 drank weekly but that number jumped to near 50 percent amongst the 20 to 30 year-old population. Young adolescents with mental diagnoses were at twice the risk of weekly drinking as their peers. Results for weekly marijuana use followed a similar trend as did reported daily use of tobacco, with older teens citing higher usage rates than younger teens.

Researchers uncovered that older males diagnosed as bipolar or who had other psychotic disorders were at greatest risk of substance abuse, and that mental illness was associated with a higher probability of other health issues as well as premature death.

Because of their comorbidity, study findings highlight the importance of examining mental health in conjunction with substance abuse. Family Guidance Center has mental health professionals to assist families in managing the symptoms and treatment for mental health disorders. Experts say addressing issues of mental health early provides the best prognosis for treatment and recovery. Talk to your Family Guidance Center to find out about area programs addressing both substance abuse and mental health.

Royce White: Mental Health Issues are not Unlike Physical Injuries in Sports

Mental Health 1Mental health problems don’t receive the same consideration as injuries related to physical health. At least that’s the argument of Royce White, who was the 16th player added to the Houston Rockets’ roster in the 2012 NBA draft pick.

White has general anxiety disorder and OCD, conditions he attributes to a childhood trauma. As a child during basketball practice, 10 year-old White watched as his best friend dropped to the floor and was rushed to the hospital for heart problems. Ever since, White has experienced severe panic attacks and anxiety when faced with certain situations such as flying in an airplane. A GoodTherapy.org article highlights White’s determination to get the NBA to view his ailment as any other that might impede an athlete’s ability to play.

In White’s contract, he asked that the Rockets make reasonable accommodations for his condition under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This included the ability to travel by bus instead of air to away games. On January 6, however, the player was suspended from the team for failing to fulfill his contractual obligations. Later that month, he and his team reached an agreement, allowing White to play despite his mental health issues.

By law, employers must permit adjustments within reason so those with disabilities can perform their jobs. For instance, in his reinstatement, instead of a team-employed doctor defining his capacity to play, White requested an independent psychiatrist make that call.

It’s important for people to know their rights surrounding mental health conditions and other disabilities. Reasonable accommodations as defined by law may permit affected individuals to work with employers regarding scheduling, leave work for approved medical conditions and treatment, make adjustments to the work environment, furniture and equipment, work from home, and even restructure functions of the job.

Your local Family Guidance Center offers excellent resources for assessing and treating mental health disorders and learning more about how to manage mental health problems while remaining successful at work.  These conditions do not have to impair an individual’s ability to work, seek treatment or to receive housing. For a mental health screening or to learn more about mental health, contact the Family Guidance Center.