Living with someone who has attention deficit disorder (ADD) is a complete struggle, especially if you have no idea or clue on how to handle this kind of mental condition. Take note that the symptoms of ADD can hurt your marriage and cause it to go down the drain. This is why you need to act fast if you want to stay in the relationship with your husband. It is essential for you to be aware of what ADHD means. Once you have a full understanding of this disorder, the next thing to do is to work hard in encouraging your partner to change.
Discovering that your child needs therapy can be terrifying. For sure, you will have lots of questions and negative thoughts in your mind. Of course, you will think of the amount that you need to spend for the sessions with a professional therapist. At the same time, you will also feel hesitation in allowing your beloved kid to open up during the therapy meetings. What you are thinking and feeling right now is only typical of a parent whose kid has a mental condition. Remember to avoid freaking out because the more you do it, the more difficult it will be for your child.
Below are some of the essential things that you need to keep in mind when it comes to getting professional help in dealing with your kid’s mental health:
Go To The Right Person
Unfortunately, a lot of parents are unaware of the difference between a therapist and a psychiatrist. There are some who mix up the terms, which is why they encounter difficulty in seeking the assistance of the right professional. A psychiatrist is a medical practitioner or doctor who has completed a specialization in diagnosing and treating mental health problems. “A Psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in mental health issues and has specific training in medication for depression.” Dr. Chantal Gagnon PhD LMHC adds. On the other hand, a therapist is someone who studies and deals with the behavior or attitude of a person to help the latter deal with a mental condition. A physiatrist can prescribe medicines while a therapist does not have such authority. The initial step in solving a mental health issue is to approach the right person. Hence, it is vital for you to know the distinctions.
Get A Diagnosis First
The standard practice is to approach a psychiatrist first before going to a therapist. It is highly recommended that parents must see a health practitioner beforehand who could provide for the proper diagnosis of the kid’s condition. An excellent medical doctor will not only provide for the determination of the illness but also propose an ideal treatment plan to address the issues. At the same time, he will also be the one to determine whether a referral to a counselor or therapist is necessary. As a parent, you must meet this professional first for a consultation.
Let Your Kid Participate
Therapy sessions are effective only if the patient is actively participating in the sessions. Because of this, you must encourage your child to show up at all the meetings or appointments with a therapist. You must remind him of the significance of his participation in fast recovery. Take note that you must not insist on accompanying your child during the sessions with a therapist. You can bring him to the office of the professional but do not try to interfere during the encounter. As a suggestion, you could simply wait outside until the sessions are over. Feel free to ask questions to your child after he has completed the meeting with a therapist.
“Therapy can remind you how to take care of yourself and develop a plan so you know your sources of support.” says Carmen Gehrke, LMHC. Searching for the right psychiatrist or therapist to help you is not an easy thing to do. You need to be patient in researching the best professional in town.
There are several kinds of mental disorders or illnesses that affect children all over the world, one of which is ADHD or attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder. While this may be common in young individuals, there have been reported cases of adults having the same mental condition. In this write-up, we are going to discuss the different symptoms and diagnoses of ADHD. At the same time, we will also look into the importance of psychiatry concerning handling this disorder.
In the previous article, Somatization Disorders: Understanding Psychosomatic Illness, we examined the four types of somatization illnesses. In this article, the etiologic factors and overview of the management will be tackled.
“Somatization disorder, characterized by a history of at least eight unexplained symptoms in four or more bodily systems, represents the extreme end of a continuum of somatoform severity.” –Richard J. Brown, Ph.D., Clin.Psy.D
Genetics and heredity play a crucial role in most mental illnesses. Research presented that ten to 20% of somatization disorders are common in families with a first-degree family member exhibiting the same condition. Also, children who are having complaints of functional abdominal discomfort, and changes in mood such as anxiety and depression, their mothers may have a history of chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome and somatoform disorder in their lifetime.
The role of neurotransmitters was also attributed to the causation process stating that its sustained release in conjunction with the neuroendocrine hormones, when faced with extremely stressful situations, can deplete some areas in the brain that enable adaptations and coping behaviors.
“Your environment, both your social and natural surroundings, can greatly impact how you feel.” Marjie L. Roddick, MA, NCC, LMHC said. Therefore, A violent family environment resulting in abusive behaviors, be it physical, verbal, or sexual, can lead to somatization symptoms in children. Traumatic experiences can shatter the mind’s capacity to cope effectively, and the only thing that it can do is to transfer the mental anguish into physical complaints.
This can be very frustrating as the condition tends to be more psychological rather than medical. Sometimes, the caregiver resounds annoyance and weariness on the constant complaints of bodily pain, concern for well-being, and even verbalizing imminent death.
In the beginning, the medical doctor will explore and investigate the source of the physical complaints. Remember that these symptoms are real to the persons no matter what explanations you give them that “it’s all in mind.” For a person with pain disorder, a referral to a specialty pain clinic is the best alternative. Introduction to non-pharmacologic and alternative treatments may contribute to the alleviation of pain symptoms.
Insight-oriented psychotherapy is recommended for persons with illness anxiety disorder. The aim of this therapy to help the person understand the cause and relationship of their feelings to the physical symptoms that they have every time they encounter stress. The person is encouraged not to undergo several medical tests that will only result in more tests if they are not satisfied with a reasonable result. They will also be instructed with positive coping mechanisms to divert attention away from their body functioning to some more constructive activities. Anxiolytic medications like Xanax and Valium are prescribed to control and manage the severe effects of stress, but should not be taken in the long run because of its addictive tendencies.
“Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act.” says Catherine Cleveland M.S., LMHC-P. These persons need emotional support but never say that their symptoms are unreal and controllable. This is a futile attempt to take knowing that for them their symptoms are real as a result of their emotional distress. Acknowledge the manifestation only to the point that you are aware of their difficulties. If the person continues to present a new complaint, this should be corrected instantly. Encourage to keep a journal of situations, events of stresses and the occurrence of symptoms and utilize this information to identify the relationship between anxiety and physical complaints. Introduce the person to several activities that will divert his/her attention from the stressful situation.
As intelligent human beings, we are in control of our lives. Having the capacity and ability to decide for ourselves, we have our way of catharsis in dealing with the demands of life. When we feel like life is already consuming us, diversion activities become our go-to hideaway. Giving oneself a break is not bad at all. It helps in maintaining a balanced life. In modern times, this can be achieved by taking a vacation, buying new clothes, a car or an expensive phone, and going out with your friends occasionally can give you a pleasurable feeling and these can even inspire you more to go on with life.
“Addiction is a non-medical term that refers to a wide range of mental disorders called Substance Use Disorders. There are a variety of different types of Substance Use Disorders, including Alcohol Use Disorder, Stimulant Use Disorder, and Cannabis Use Disorder, just to name a few.” –Hailey Shafir, LPCS, LCAS, CCS-I
It worries every parent knowing that his or her child might be suffering from a mental health condition called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or better known as ADHD. It is a chronic disorder that can impact a lot of aspects of a person’s life.
Despite numerous research and studies were done to understand the etiology and cure of mental health further, there are still unanswered questions about how the mind functions. Mental illnesses are their all-time high. The increase in statistics may be attributed to the decreasing level of stigma associated with having a psychological disorder rather than the actual numbers. More and more people are seeking help and submitting themselves to the therapy session to manage their emotions or handle the stresses of everyday life which can further aggravate the person’s problem. People are familiar with the pharmacological approach and the importance of behavioral and talk therapy, but beyond this traditional accepted Western psychiatric management, unconventional and controversial procedures are often dealt with caution and at times, apprehension. There are alternative therapies available with a somewhat strange way of dealing with psychiatric disorders, but research and studies support its effectivity.
James, 14 years old, was recently admitted for symptoms of sudden blindness. He was in the hospital for five days and underwent several diagnostic tests to determine the cause and extent of his loss of sight. On the third day, the doctors did not find any organic pathology from the tests wherein all returned with normal results. James was transferred to the adolescent psychiatric unit for further evaluation of conversion disorder. During the nursing assessment and interview, James demonstrated a matter-of-fact attitude when asked about his blindness experience. When the nurse interviewed the mother, she confided that James got reprimanded and hit by his father, told negative and other degrading words. This violent environment has been going on since James was five years old.
What is Somatization Disorder?
“Somatization disorder, characterized by a history of at least eight unexplained symptoms in four or more bodily systems, represents the extreme end of a continuum of somatoform severity.” Richard J. Brown, Ph.D., Clin.Psy.D explains. As early as the 1800s, the idea of mind-body connection was well accepted in the causation of physical symptoms secondary to psychological conflicts. Experts believe that the mind is capable of transferring unwarranted feelings into physical manifestations when confronted with distress, anxiety and other forms of mental disturbances. This is where the word psychosomatic illnesses began.
Accurate enough, certain medical diseases are linked to stress and fatigue like cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and some gastrointestinal conditions. However, if the person continues to experience severe and traumatic situations coupled with the maladaptive coping mechanism, these symptoms will prevail and can worsen in time. Some individuals would be reporting several pain symptoms all at once, unexplained pain in the different parts of the body, and appears to be anxious and restless to know every symptom there is. Sigmund Freud theorized that these persons are converting their psychological problems into physical symptoms, and is now called somatization.
Types of Somatization Disorders
Somatic illnesses are seen in persons that have the following manifestations:
Physical symptoms that appear to be a significant medical illness, yet no organic basis as seen in diagnostic and laboratory tests.
Any stressful situations can almost trigger, aggravate, intensify, and maintains the symptoms.
Persons having these symptoms do not willfully cause them to happen, i.e., it’s beyond their conscious control.
Somatic symptom disorders are categorized into the following terms:
Somatic Symptom Disorder. The condition is manifested as one or more physical complaints with no organic basis. Despite this assurance, the person is occupied with their current state and appears to be insignificant distress worrying about it.
Conversion Disorder. In the case study presented in this article, James has a conversion disorder, and it’s being manifested as blindness. For an average individual to experience sudden illness, this can be an alarming situation. Nonetheless, those who have conversion disorder would display la belle indifference or lack of concern on the functional loss. The most common symptoms fall under sensory or motor deficits like loss of hearing and paralysis.
Pain Disorder. For persons with this type of somatoform condition, their major presentation is a pain in several locations of the body. They are not quickly relieved by analgesics and are much affected by problems and stressful situations. “Just like our feelings give us information about our needs, so do our bodies through physiological feedback,” says Eliza Chamblin, LCSW.
Hypochondriasis, also known as illness anxiety disorder, is a combination of disease conviction and disease phobia. The person believes and would argue that he has a severe medical condition and will soon perish if not attended. These individuals would go into “doctor shopping” business and will get as many medical evaluations or professional opinions until they are satisfied with what they are hearing. The problem, nonetheless, is they seem not to be happy with any of the medical views and health assurances that are provided for them; thus, the condition persists. That is the reason why Sal Raichbach, PsyD states that “Sadly, only a small percentage of people actively seek professional help for their mental health problems.”
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, popularly known as ADHD, is one of the most complicated and hard-to-understand conditions in the world. In fact, up to this day, a lot of people are still skeptical about it. Thankfully, an extensive scientific study already proved that this mental disorder is real and that it’s extremely common for kids and adults. But as previously mentioned, ADHD is a very complicated condition; this is the main reason why it can be easily misunderstood and is quite hard to diagnose.
Mental illnesses are not easily observed in children. Amidst the modernized gadgets in the world, there are still no high-tech devices or ultrasounds that can detect if mental illness is positively looming on an unborn child’s mentality.
Parents sometimes overlook the mental well-being of their children. Mental disorders can hit anyone and children are no exception. Scientists are still working on finding the exact cause for early prevention of these disorders, an example is that of autism.
But even then, parents should at least be knowledgeable of these mental illnesses to cope with their child’s specific needs and treatment. This article enumerates the top five mental disorders that children are commonly diagnosed with.
Perhaps, you have witnessed your child throwing tantrums and finding comfort from you every time you ask him or her to socialize (or even go to school). It may be an indication of an underlying anxiety disorder. “It’s the classic dynamic of anxiety: When we avoid the things we’re afraid of, our symptoms tend to increase, and in turn this drives the anxiety up and makes the thing we’re afraid of scarier.” explains Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D., a licensed clinical psychologist.
Anxiety disorders comprise a range of illnesses such as phobia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorder and the generalized anxiety disorder. Typical symptoms are fearfulness and getting nervous a lot about the future.
Doctors usually prescribe antidepressant pills. They will also suggest a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as it is deemed the most effective treatment for anxiety disorders to date. “A common form of therapy for anxiety disorders is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which helps individuals identify their triggers to anxiety and the connected thought patterns all for the purpose of creating new ways to think and respond in anxiety-inducing situations.” Karin Draper, LMFT said.
This illness is characterized by unusual behavior and strange feelings accompanied by strange thoughts. A common symptom in usually-energetic children is their unusual withdrawn behavior and sudden shyness from other people even their peers. Other symptoms include severe fearfulness, hallucinations, and mood swings.
Researchers believe that environmental factors and genetics contribute to this disorder. Doctors may prescribe antipsychotic drugs to manage hallucinations. They may also suggest treatment programs and hospitalization for your child.
Disruptive Behavior Disorders
Symptoms of this disorder include antisocial behavior such as theft and lying. Having sudden anger issues, defying of authority, putting the blameon others and showing a lot of temper tantrums can also tell if your child is developing this disorder.
Treatment for this illness may be done at home or at school. Parent training and family therapy are some ways to cure disruptive behavior under home intervention. On the other hand, tutoring and classroom management comprise the ways a school can help in treatment.
“Bipolar disorder is probably the main psychiatric disorder where medication is absolutely essential.” explains John Preston, PsyD. This disorder is characterized by the sudden shifting of mood and energy that affects the daily activities of a child. Others may call these extreme mood swings and is characterized by hyperactivity, extreme sadness, and irritability that may all occur at any time of the day. This behavior can affect a child’s socializing skills.
Causes of bipolar in children range from genetic factors (if a first-degree relative has a history of bipolar) and extreme stress (that can be brought about by a loved one’s death or a traumatic/stressful event). Aside from mood-stabilizing and antipsychotic drugs, psychotherapy helps in treating bipolar disorder.
This type of disorder is not exclusive to adolescents and adults only. Children are also at risk of having this illness. Whether they are eating very small or very large amount of food compared to the acceptable level, this should not be disregarded by parents.
Doctors suspect that social and biological factors may affect the likelihood of having this disorder. Furthermore, they add that depression, low self-esteem, and fear of being overweight may contribute to this illness. Counseling such as individual, group, or family therapy will help in curing this disorder.
Early detection of this illnesses even through simple observation can help prevent serious complications. Never take even the slightest hint of a symptom. However, don’t lose hope if your child is diagnosed with a mental ailment as there are a range of treatments available nowadays. After all, clear communication between the parents and doctors will aid in your child’s healing.