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Monthly Archives: May 2015

Many Veterans With PTSD Also Experience Severe Depression

PTSD Alongside Major Depression Ups Soldier’s Risks for Anger Problems

Combined symptoms from comorbid conditions can intensify those symptoms and the individual’s health risks. When the individual is a soldierPTSD experiencing PTSD and depression, it can create anger issues. The American Psychiatric Association has recently released findings from a study which finds that veterans who have PTSD plus serious depression show more signs of anger and themselves feel they may be at greater risk for acting out in dangerous ways.

The University of California, Irvine study examined health information on 254 female and 1,823 male soldiers who had served in Afghanistan and/or Iraq and then looked for support on base. Intake histories categorized the soldiers as experiencing either: major depression alone, PTSD alone, both PTSD and major depression or neither. In addition, healthcare professionals made note of any anger symptoms of verbalizations regarding harmful intent. Looking through the data, researchers found that a comorbid diagnosis of major depression and PTSD held the greatest risk for heightened anger and potential violent outbursts.

Since over 70 percent of those who met diagnostic criteria for PTSD also met the criteria for major depression, this is not at all a rare combination. Other studies confirm that anger is a common problem under these circumstances. Finding a way to address this issue is important.

Even if you are not a veteran, you may still be living with symptoms that leave you feeling at the mercy of intense emotions. If you have PTSD or major depression, anger can be a chronic concern. At Family Guidance Center we can help you to confront all of these symptoms and we can give you tools to manage them rather than having them control you. Call us or stop by soon.

Unemployed Young Adults Face Significantly Higher Risk for Depression

How and Why Unemployment and Depression Are Linked

depressionFor many, perhaps even most, 18-25 year olds life is full of fun and promise. But for some, these are years that can bring enormous challenges including trouble gaining steady employment and the darkness of depression. Investigation into national data on this population at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia found that lack of employment posed a triple risk for depression in young adults.

A Link is Not a Cause
Although the researchers found connection between being unemployed and being depressed, that is not the same thing as saying that one circumstance caused the other. Which came first – is it unemployment that triggers depression or does depression make it more difficult to become employed? All that researchers can say definitively is that there is a connection between the two for young people.

A Threefold Risk
The investigators used information collected in the 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System – an assessment tool for identifying and quantifying behaviors which act as health risks. The study focused on collected data for 18-25 year olds specifically their work status and depression scores. They found that nearly a quarter of surveyed young people (23 percent) were unemployed and 12 percent were depressed. Therefore, the chances of depression appeared to be threefold greater when young people were without work.

Treatment Can Turn Things Around
The good news is that depression is treatable. Treating depression could make an impact on employment opportunities and reverse a downward trajectory. At Family Guidance Center young people can learn skills for overcoming depression, skills that will enhance their job prospects and perhaps, even, job performance. If this is you, please call us or stop by today. Life can take a dramatic turn when you choose to address your depression.

Substance Abuse in the Workplace

Substance Abuse Will Eventually Impact Your Employee’s Performance

substance abuseAs the boss or owner in your office or place of work, you have the right to set expectations for that environment. You can’t, however, control what employees do in their off time. But what happens when someone’s off-time behaviors start to impact their work-time performance? With substance abuse, it is a scenario that can happen.

This might sound like a rare problem, but statistics show it happens more than you might think. Data collected between 2008-2012 shows that nearly 10 percent of workers are misusing substances. The facts indicate that 8.7 percent of 18-65 year olds employed full-time had abused alcohol during the month prior. Another 8.6 percent took illicit drugs during the previous month and 9.5 percent had developed a substance dependency over the past 12 months. It’s a problem that is probably affecting someone in your workplace right now.

Here are some things you can do as you become aware of substance abuse within your company:
Understand the risks in your industry – some careers are more susceptible to substance misuse or abuse. Low risk industries include hard sciences and accounting. High-risk industries include professional medicine, food services, lawyers and law enforcement. Find out how at-risk your industry may be.

Know the signs of abuse. When you notice red eyes, drastic weight change, nosebleeds, increased absence or tardiness, poor personal hygiene or increased moodiness – take note. These could be warning signs.

Talk with an attorney before confronting an employee, but when you do, be prepared to suggest help. It’s also a good idea to document any discussions or interactions you have with the employee on the subject. Here in St Joseph, Family Guidance Center is a resource available to provide help. We can safeguard confidentiality while helping a once-valuable employee return to a healthy and productive work life.

Prescription Drug Abuse on the Rise in the Workplace

Professionals Look for the Competitive Edge With Prescription Drug Abuse

In a culture where the population is encouraged to combat the appearance of aging, to not accept the effects of aging or to be anything less thanpill addiction their full potential it’s hard to miss the message. Everyone should look young, feel young and perform above average.

However, the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) prescription drug abuse phenomenon taking place in America is not a problem primarily among older generations but among professionals still in their 20s and 30s.

They are taking the stimulant medications to help them appear sharp during job interviews, to fuel long work hours and to find a competitive edge. Many of these professionals may have started taking ADHD medication when they were children.

It is estimated that 60 percent of those diagnosed with the condition during childhood are now adults with ADHD. However, with the attention given to ADHD, more and more adults are seeking an ADHD diagnosis from their physician.

It’s been reported that from 2008-2012 the number of U.S. adults being prescribed ADHD medication increased by over 50 percent in some places. By comparison, the number of U.S. kids being prescribed these drugs went up just under 19 percent. The question is, are more adults with the condition being discovered and treated or are adults engaging in prescription drug abuse?
Adult ADHD can be real, but if you are caught in a trap of stimulant prescription drug abuse, it’s possible to break free. At Family Guidance Center we help adults every day to find the strength to live drug-free. Call us. You don’t have to be perfect in order to be happy. Let us show you how to break free from the cycle of prescription drug abuse.

Adolescent Mental Health

Top Concern for Parents is Teen Mental Health

A Connecticut psychiatric hospital teamed up with Yahoo Parenting to find out what issues were most on the minds of parents. Their survey ofmental health over 3,000 moms and dads found that adolescent mental health was a leading concern for parents of teens. The study further revealed that while 65 percent of parents expressed concern on the topic, just 18 percent of teens had actually received mental health attention.

One problem seems to be a reticence on the part of parents to admit that their teen may actually be in distress or confront teens on mental health issues. On the other hand, young people appear to pay undue attention to the message of social media which tends to perpetuate the stigma long attached to mental illness. The combination means that too few teens are addressing and treating very real physical conditions such as anxiety and depression.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, over 20 percent of nine to 17 year olds are living with either an addiction problem or a mental health disorder. Frequently, the two go hand in hand. Ignoring these problems does not make them go away.
It’s important to begin discussing mental health as a component of overall health with children as they grow. Mental health is connected to physical health and wellness. It’s also a good idea to talk with the teen’s physician about any concerns you may have concerning your child’s mental health.

Early diagnosis and treatment can make an enormous difference, not just in quality of life during the teen years, but for a lifetime. At Family Guidance Center we are here to help parents and adolescents. We know all too well that mental illness affects a large number of young people. We also know that these are treatable conditions which can be followed by happy, healthy future lives. If teen mental health concerns you, please contact us today.