Psych Central

Archive for January, 2013

Bipolar Disorder in Children: Misunderstood and Misdiagnosed

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

Improving the Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder in Children

Approximately 1.5% of the population, worldwide, bipolar disorder is not uncommon. However, bipolar disorder in children presents differently than it does in adults, an important difference which is not addressed in our current diagnostic manual (DSM-IV-TR). As a result, it is frequently misdiagnosed.

Let’s look at the facts:


Winter Blues Got You Down?

Sunday, January 20th, 2013
For many of us in the northern hemisphere, with winter, comes cold weather and less daylight. These changes in environment can affect our psychological functioning and may contribute to an exacerbation of anxiety, while others may notice depressed mood, irritability, weight gain, hypersomnia, and an increase in interpersonal conflicts.Women are twice as likely to experience these climate-related psychological changes. Symptoms tend to peak during the month of February.
Whether your mood changes are within the “normal” range, or whether you have the “winter blues” or seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is thought to affect up to 5% of the population, it is not uncommon to notice changes in how you feel consistent with the changing of the seasons. In fact, the first documented reference to these changes was in 1918 when the term “cabin fever” was coined as characterized by irritability, paranoia, memory problems, and excessive sleep. Now, this term is commonly used to refer to the boredom which results from being indoors for an extended period of time.

Panic Disorder: Therapy That DOESN’T Work

Monday, January 14th, 2013

Approximately 6 million individuals experience panic disorder each year. Panic disorder is characterized by recurrent, intense periods of anxiety/panic, which are often unprovoked, or, “out-of-the blue,” and are accompanied by anticipatory anxiety regarding the possibility of future attacks. Panic disorder can be quite debilitating, sometimes accompanied by agoraphobia, or avoidance of pubic places due to fear of being in a setting or situation from which escape or finding help may be difficult.

Before we get to what DOES NOT work, let’s discuss what DOES work. Evidence for effective treatment of panic disorder is very well documented. The data show with great robust that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is effective and is superior to a number of other treatment strategies.

Cognitive behavioral therapy for panic disorder often includes:


A Parent’s Guide to Child & Adolescent Anxiety

Monday, January 7th, 2013

One of the most difficult parenting moments we may experience is seeing our child in distress and feeling powerless in our ability to help him or her feel better. There will be a time in the life of every parent in which his or her child is struggling and the path to understanding and overcoming this struggle is unclear.

In order to help a child overcome distress, it is first important to identify the problem. Anxiety disorders are among the most common psychological difficulties in children and adolescents, affecting approximately 13% of youth in the United States.

Anxiety disorders in childhood are the greatest predictors of anxiety, mood, and substance abuse difficulties in adulthood; thus, it is important to identify and treat anxiety difficulties as early as is feasible.

Early identification and intervention is associated with positive long-term outcome.

A Parent’s Guide to Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety is a healthy, normal, and adaptive response to stress. It is our body’s way of alerting us to danger. It can be motivating and helpful to us in meeting our goals. However, in excess, it can cause us to feel overwhelmed and leave us unable to carry out our daily activities.

There are a number of anxiety disorders common to children of which parents should be aware:


A New Year…A New You…A New Psychology?

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

I am very excited to welcome Dr. Donna Marino to Therapy That Works as a guest blogger. I find her area of expertise, Positive Psychology, to be an exciting, evidence-based approach to wellness, as I’m sure you will as well.

Dr. Marino:

While Positive Psychology is not exactly new (it’s been around for almost 15 years now, started by Martin Seligman, in 1998, during his APA presidency), it is still considered new to the field of psychology.  It is a new perspective on mental health that research is demonstrating, can lead to “a new you.”

Now, will you wake up singing like Beyoncé or swimming like Michael Phelps?  Well, no, but research shows that it will make you happier.  In fact, Positive Psychology has been referred to as the “Science of Happiness.”  The key difference between Positive Psychology and Self-help or Pop Psychology is its grounding in research. It is considered an evidence-based treatment.

So, what is Positive Psychology?


 

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