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Monthly Archives: January 2014

How to Instill Confidence in Children With ADHD

Think of all of the times you’ve been proud of your child: When they receive an A on a test, when they score a basket during a game, when they earn a solo during a concert; and the list goes on.

Just one of the benefits of showing your children you are proud of them is the self confidence it builds. However, in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, self-confidence can be more difficult to build. It is common that children with ADHD have lower self confidence than children without. Because they often receive negative feedback, both from parents, teachers and peers about behavior that they do not intend to be disruptive, they may have a tougher time feeling good about themselves.

What can parents of children with ADHD do help build self confidence?ADHD 11

Encourage their strengths
Seek activities for your child to participate in that are among what they excel at. This not only gives them an outlet, but also gives them more opportunity to meet goals and receive positive feedback.

Give plenty of praise
Focus more on the effort your child puts into a task rather than the outcome. This lets your child know you are more concerned with how hard they work and not just a grade given by teacher.

Praise them to others
Showing that you are proud of your child to their family and peers is a great way to not only demonstrate how you feel, but it gives your child the opportunity to see those feelings are shared by the people around them. Hearing you share your praise with others will let them know you are not just saying it to make them feel better but that you really do feel that way and want others to hear it as well.

If you are a parent whose child has been diagnosed with ADHD, find tools and support to give them a strong foundation and a nurturing environment at St. Joseph’s  Family Guidance Center today.


Do You Know the Long-Term Effects of Untreated Depression?

Depression 3There is a good chance you know someone who has experienced depression. It’s an illness that affects millions of Americans. To fully understand why treating depression is so important, consider the following list of long-term effects of untreated depression.

Long Term Mental Illness
Most bouts of depression are caused by an event that triggers feelings of sadness, such as the loss of a loved one. Feelings tend to return to normal after a couple days or weeks. But for those whose sadness lasts longer than a few weeks that go untreated by therapy or medications, depression can worsen. Chronic mental illness could develop, which is found to be difficult to treat. In some cases, untreated depression can develop into more severe mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety or obsessive compulsive disorder.

Withdrawal From Social Settings
Depression is caused by low levels of serotonin which is a chemical in the brain that is responsible for feelings of happiness and being social. When that chemical is off balance, it is not uncommon for people with depression to stay at home, miss several days off work and avoid social interaction as much as possible. This has a negative effect on both their financial stability as well as their emotional relationships.

Decline of Physical Health and Increased Chance of Death
According to a study by the National Institute of Mental Health, individuals with depression are four times more likely to have a heart attack over individuals without depression. They are also at a higher risk to experience a second heart attack or death. Also, studies have shown that having a mental illness such as depression drastically increases a person’s chance of attempting suicide. According to a study by the White House Conference on Mental Health, over two-thirds of suicides in the United   States are caused by depression.

If you or a loved one experience depression, it is important to seek treatment in order to avoid the long term effects of the disease. You can find the answers and help you need at Family Guidance Center, so call today.


Why is Treating Mental Health Issues Just as Important as Your Physical Health?

It is common practice to treat cold or flu symptoms. The options for Vitamin C supplements, coughHappy 2 drops and preventative flu shots are widely available. What about mental illness, do people treat it like their physical health and seek out treatment? Approximately one in every four adults in the United States has symptoms of a mental illness yet many don’t seek the help they need.

There are many studies that prove taking care of your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Think of it this way: We go to annual checkups with our family physician, our dentist and our ophthalmologists, so why don’t we routinely check up on our mental health as well?

One reason to take care of your mental health is because it leads to better physical health. A study conducted in 2012 found that among those individuals who have a mental illness, most do less for their physical health then those who do not have a mental illness (i.e. not partaking in a healthy exercise routine or eating a balanced diet). Ultimately, their mental health has a direct, negative effect on their physical health.

Another reason? Your career. Studies have confirmed that over 70 percent of individuals with mental illness have an annual income of $20,000 or less. Many with mental illness are unable to work in certain environments or require multiple leaves of absence from their job.

Because research has found that over 40 million Americans live with mental health issues, there are currently more studies, and therefore, knowledge, about the disease. This means there are many resources available through your doctor, online health websites and family members. Family Guidance in St. Joseph is one of those resources for you. Contact us or visit our website today if you are someone you know has symptoms of a mental illness.

Three Signs of Addiction

Addiction 4Addiction is a term that is often overused in our culture, referring to specific moments of weakness instead of the ongoing destructive illness that it actually is. Addiction is a preoccupation with something such as drugs, alcohol or food that ends up negatively affecting and interfering with other important aspects of life including personal relationships, work, or overall wellbeing. So how can you spot addiction? Here are some signs to watch for:

  1. An inability to stop or limit the behavior despite a desire to do so. Maybe you’ve set a daily two drink maximum for yourself but continue to exceed it. If you feel frustrated or stressed by your lack of control, or if family or friends have approached you concerned about the issue, then it might be time to re-evaluate.
  2. Persisting regardless of negative outcomes. The effects of addiction will typically spill over into other areas of a person’s life. You might benefit from professional help if the compulsion results in declining health, problems at work, trouble with the law, strained relationships with loved ones or co-workers, or financial issues.
  3. When the behavior evolves into an obsession or is used as a coping mechanism. For a lot of individuals, dependency has a trigger such as divorce, the loss of a loved one, poor family relationships, stress, or a major life event which may seem insurmountable. Learning proper coping skills, engaging in alternative methods of stress relief, and talking things out with someone can often be deterrents for substance abuse and addiction.

Family Guidance Center wants you to start the New Year off with a fulfilling and healthy life. Anyone can find himself powerless to addiction in the right circumstances, but that doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. Contact Family Guidance Center  to learn more about available mental and behavioral health services for a better you.

For Parents of Children With Mental Illness, Finding Support is Key

As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” but in the case of a San Antonio, TX woman whose son is mentally ill, that picture was actually a video and the words in it turned out to be priceless.

Stephanie Escamilla shared the story of her son’s struggle with mental illness on CNN.com’s Digital series and the response was overwhelming. Parents of children with mental illness and adults who have dealt with the side effects of mental illness came out of the woodwork on social media sites, some even from across the globe, to show Stephanie and her family support.

In the video, Stephanie told a story that many who know firsthand about mental illness related to. HerNews 1 son, a teenager, whose bipolar illness causes him to struggle in school and in social settings, attempted suicide and has been hospitalized several times due to his illness. His mental illness causes him to experience hallucinations, depression and anxiety.

Watching her son struggle with feelings of low self esteem and guilt, as well as demonstrating self harm caused Stephanie to have feelings she was afraid to share with anyone.

“For a while, I thought I hated my son, I thought I resented him because of everything I had gone through,” admits Stephanie in the video.

It is common for parents of children with mental illness to have feelings of resentment or being overwhelmed. For some, they are weary or too embarrassed to talk about it, even though many others in similar situations have the same feelings and they are very common, natural reactions.

After sharing her most private thoughts about her son’s mental illness and being inspired and comforted by the many messages of the video’s thousands of viewers, Stephanie decided she wanted to help make a difference and help educate the nation about mental illness. Sharing her story has also helped her son, who, after reading the messages, told his mother that he feels as though he can finally accept himself as he is, saying “I am not my mental illness; I am me.”

To make a difference for others, Stephanie and her family started a story on a website for people to share their own stories and find outreach. Mental illness in children: Where to turn.

If someone you care about is struggling with mental illness, finding support is very important. To find assistance, treatment options and resources, contact the St. Joseph Family Guidance Center today.