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Tag Archives: Family Guidance Center

Binge Drinking an Early Problem in Many Young Adults’ College Careers

It is Important for Parents to Talk With College Freshman About Risks Associated With Binge Drinking

binge drinkingMost colleges around the country have been in session for over a month. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), the first month and a half of a students first year at college is the time when they are most likely to engage in binge drinking.

Binge drinking is defined as four or more consecutive drinks for a female and five or more consecutive drinks for a male. National surveys reveal that 60 percent of 18-22 year olds in college have consumed alcohol within the past month and 40 percent admit binging. The legal age for drinking remains 21. It’s important to note that these results are among college students since studies show that kids in post-secondary education are more likely to drink and drive and binge drink compared to non-college young adults of the same age.

Freshmen in their first six weeks of college face a great risk for binge drinking and many alcohol-related issues. When these young people abuse alcohol they are also more apt to be injured, assaulted and be the victim of sexual assault or rape. Each year 1,825 college kids (ages 18-24) die in an alcohol-related car crashes. Another 599,000 are injured due to drinking and 97,000 are sexually assaulted after drinking.

On the positive side, just because you’ve sent a son or daughter off to their freshman year of college, these risks don’t have to involve your child. Research shows that one of the greatest protections against alcohol abuse is parents who talk with their children about the risks of alcohol. If you would like some facts about young people, alcohol and binge drinking, we can help. Stop by Family Guidance Center and we can give you the information you need to help protect your child against binge drinking.

October is National Depression Awareness Month

Depression Awareness: Do You Recognize the Symptoms?

depressionDepression is the most common form of mental illness, affecting 19 million Americans every single year. The condition likely affects someone you know, but how much do you know about depression? Are you able to recognize the symptoms of depression in another person, or even yourself? October is designated as National Depression Awareness Month, so it is the perfect time to increase your own understanding of this disease.

Who Experiences Depression?

Depression is a condition that affects people of all races, genders and ages. The very young, the very old and everyone in between is susceptible to depression.

What Causes Depression?

There is no single cause for depression. Depression appears to be affected by a complex group of factors including genetics, environment and psychological stressors.

Is all Depression the Same?

Depression wears several faces. Major depression is a serious form of the condition which can be limiting to the person, keeping them from school or work and making it hard for them to meet everyday responsibilities. Dysthymia is a milder form of depression which affects an individual for weeks, months or years. Bipolar disorder is a severe form of depression, once referred to as manic depression.

What Does Depression Look Like?

There are degrees of depression and therefore not all depression looks exactly alike. However, in order to be diagnosed with depression, a person will exhibit at least two or three of the following for several consecutive weeks: too much or too little sleep, more or less appetite, withdrawal from people and formerly enjoyed activities, low self-esteem, lack of motivation, trouble focusing, listlessness.

Why is Recognizing Depression Important?

It’s important to recognize depression so that the person can begin treatment. With treatment, many of those with diagnosable depression experience a full recovery. Untreated depression can complicate other existing health conditions and, in the worst situations, can lead to suicide.

At Family Guidance Center we understand that many things can trigger depression. We’ve helped men, women, children and the elderly find relief from the weight of depression. If, through reading this article, you recognize symptoms in yourself or someone you love that have lasted at least two weeks, stop by and talk to one of our mental health professionals.

Alcohol Abuse Among Senior Adults

People Over Age 60 May Turn to Alcohol Abuse as Late Life Changes Occur

alcohol abuseAlcohol abuse is a real issue for a significant number of Americans over age 60. A National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2013) reported that more than 14 percent of people ages 60-64 engaged in binge drinking and close to five percent in that age range were regular heavy drinkers. Misuse of alcohol is an issue that can affect those of any age, even senior adults.

For many, alcohol abuse may start early in life and continue throughout adulthood. There are some, however, whose misuse begins much later and is referred to as late-onset alcoholism. This later-life alcohol abuse is often triggered by one or more of the many changes that come during these years. The empty nest and sudden change in family dynamics can prompt a change in drinking habits. So, too, can retirement and the loss of daily purpose and socialization, divorce or the death of a spouse, health issues and decline in income. Someone who never over-drank as a young person may find that they are turning to alcohol more in later life when confronted with one or more of these losses.

Maybe you never had a problem with alcohol abuse when you were younger, but recognize symptoms of alcohol abuse in your senior years. If you recognize these symptoms, if loved ones in your life or those you work with share concern about your drinking, if you drink more and sooner in the day than you plan or if you find yourself turning to alcohol on a regular basis to cope – please visit us at Family Guidance Center. Our mental health professionals are here to talk to you and help you with a treatment plan to start you on the road to recovery.

Childhood ADHD Continues to Climb

Early Intervention is Important When Your Child is Diagnosed With ADHD

ADHDThe number of U.S. children being diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) continues its upward climb. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that eight percent of four to 17 year olds were diagnosed with the condition in 2003. The number of American kids with a diagnosis rose to 11 percent by 2011 and continues to rise.

Children with undiagnosed and untreated ADHD experience problems across almost every spectrum of their young lives. These kids have greater difficulty keeping up with schoolwork and learning, they frequently struggle socially and are more prone to self-harming behaviors than children who are treated for their ADHD. These are compelling reasons to recognize and address ADHD sooner rather than later. Symptoms of ADHD typically show up in toddlerhood and just before entering school (3-6 years of age).

If you suspect that your child might be exhibiting signs of ADHD, the first thing to do is speak with your child’s pediatrician. They can help you with a diagnosis and also work with you to develop a plan for treatment that is best for your child. They can also refer you to the resources in the community that are available to you and your child.

If you would like to talk with a mental health professional about managing your child’s ADHD, we invite you to call or stop by Family Guidance Center. We work with children and whole families to find the most successful treatment that will help your child get the most out of their school years. Early intervention is important for your child so give us a call today so we can partner with you in taking the steps to help your child learn and grow.

Geriatric Mental Health Receiving Special Attention

Working to Better Address Mental Health Needs of Seniors

mental healthThe baby boomer generation is hitting retirement age. In fact, older adults now account for 13 percent of our entire U.S. population. The same demographic which has driven so much of American culture is continuing to be in the forefront of our culture – now in the field of mental health care. The issue of geriatric mental health was featured in the fall edition of the influential Harvard Review of Psychiatry. Here are some of the mental health challenges that were highlighted:


As older adults are confronted with debilitating and sometimes terminal health conditions, depression can be a common side effect. Rather than only working to help older patients with terminal illnesses overcome their depression, mental health professionals are also focusing on quality of life through more palliative treatments.


Dementia is a term that is very broad. Experts are seeking to replace it with several terms that will be more specific in terms of degree. Instead of dementia, health care workers will refer to major neurocognitive disorder, mild neurocognitive disorder or delirium. More attention will be paid to catching neurocognitive impairment early (mild) and treating it in its initial stages.


Older adults do experience anxiety and anxiety disorders, but they are frequently difficult to identify because symptoms change with age. Understanding what anxiety disorder looks like in later life is important and will be receiving more medical attention.

As a person’s physical health wavers, mental health can also be affected. The many changes and losses that come with later life can likewise trigger mental illness. At Family Guidance Center we welcome reports of new areas of geriatric study. All of life deserves the best in healthcare –whether in physical or mental health services. Don’t assume that getting older goes hand in hand with feeling sad, or anxious because it doesn’t have to be that way. Come talk with us and see how we can help.