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Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatry

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The Importance of Drug Addiction Support

Unlike many of us may think, succeeding to quit drugs and alcohol does not mean full
recovery from drug addiction. In fact, it is only the first step in the recovery process.
Having a wide drug addiction support network makes all the difference. Without it, drug
addiction recovery cannot be maintained.
There can be many sources of drug addiction supports. It can be found through
professional services, family and the community.

Professional Drug Addiction Support
Drug abuse and drug dependence are mental illnesses to be managed in order to
combat drug addiction. This therefore makes drug addicts able to seek help from
medical and mental health resources. There are psychotherapists that can provide
drug addiction support.
Who can be expected in a professional support group?
 Psychologists or Therapists: They are the ones who conduct psychotherapy
and other therapies necessary for recovery.
 Psychiatrists: They are the ones who treat the mental illnesses linked with
drug addiction.
 Doctors: They are needed for medical issues generally caused by drug use or
drug abuse treatment
 Social Workers: They help in coping with life issues that came from drug
addiction.
Community Drug Addiction Support
A recovering addict can also get support from anyone outside the clinic. Drug
addiction support involves putting up a list of people, places and hobbies to go to
in times of distress over addiction issues.
The ideal support group comes from a sober living home. These homes are
capable to provide support during and after drug addiction treatment. It is also rest
assured that they will get all the support they need because everyone around are
also recovering from drug addiction. No one would feel judged in these homes
while recovering.
Aside from these homes, community drug addiction support can also come from
family and close friends, other sober addicts, and spiritual advisors.
Drug addiction support groups are needed to officially complete the drug addiction
treatment. The treatment continuous as long as needed so a support group should be
present all the way.

July 17th, 2018

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Teenagers and Drug Abuse

It is alarming that many drug addicts begin using drugs as early as their teenage years.
How does that happen and what should the elders do to reduce teenage drug abuse? It
can be assumed that reducing number of teenage drug abusers will decrease the
overall prevalence of addiction.

In order to get to the root of this, we need to understand first why teenagers turn
to drugs.
Adolescents are believed to be prone to addiction because of their natural curiosity.
There also seems to be a constant urge among many teens to ‘rebel’ and to sense
belongingness in a peer of group.
The reasons why teenagers are into drugs are almost the same to the reasons of the
adults. Drug addiction among teens occur because of reasons such as:
 Conflicts at home
 Desires to reduce emotional pain
 Low self-esteem
 Desire to get attention
 Idleness or boredom
 Parents with drug abuse problems
 Easily accessible drugs
Early detection is key in attempting to reduce the number of teenage drug
abusers.
Since adolescence is very complicated and teenagers are very unpredictable, detecting
drug addiction can be quite a challenge. Parents need to know which are normal are
which should be watched for.
What are the signs that a teenager might be into drug abuse?
 A sudden lifestyle change including disconnection from loved ones, a new group
of friends, disinterest with hobbies and failing grades.
 Use of deodorants or perfumes to conceal the smell of drugs.
 Frequent use of eye drops
 Suddenly needs more money than usual
 Talks differently with friends
 Wear clothes that indicate drug abuse
 Mood changes
 Unexpected rages, depression or hyperactivity and paranoia
Once a teen is spotted with these signs, parents or guardians should call in
professional help.
While it is normal for parents to panic when their teens show signs of drug abuse, it is
not recommended to solve it on their own. It is best if they consult a professional and let
the professionals recommend treatments or rehab programs for these teens. Rehab
programs usually consist of individual and group therapy, family involvement
workshops, and proper lecture.

July 13th, 2018

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What to Look for in a Dissociative Identity Disorder Therapist

Dissociative identity disorder treatment is highly challenging and complicated. There are
many things to consider in choosing the best therapy for DID. Knowing the qualities to
look for in a therapist is significant in managing and treating DID.
When looking for a therapist for DID, there can be many things to think of. There might
be countless questions when getting a therapist. Is he capable enough to treat my DID
symptoms? Do I need a specialist? What treatment methods will he or she give me?
Here is a list of qualities to look for in therapist.
 He can develop a trusting relationship with his patients.
 He is dedicated to continuously research on the condition of his patients.
 He acknowledges DID and makes no judgment of the patient.
 He does not assume that his patients are lying of his symptoms even if the
statements made are inconsistent.
 He is able to adjust to the needs of his patients. A good therapist sees to it at all
times that the needs of his patients are properly addressed.
 He would give his patients advice regularly on his availability. Since he considers
his patients’ welfare, he makes sure that in case he is unavailable, he could
provide someone to temporarily attend to his patients especially in emergency
situations.
 He evaluates his patients case by case. He can initiate to provide additional
sessions if necessary. He is able to assess whether or not you will be needing
more support.
 He actively checks on his patients. He is more than willing to accommodate all
his patients’ phone calls or messages.
 He is committed to the long journey of treatment with his patients. DID is a
lifelong disorder so he should be open in going through this with his patients. He
will be there even in tough times.
 He has all the patience in the world. A good therapist’s best trait is being patient.
A highly patient therapist is a highly capable therapist.
Above all, the kind of relationship a patient and a therapist have is the one that
makes the most difference. A patient and a therapist should work hand in hand with
each other.

July 8th, 2018

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Dissociative Identity Disorder Myths

Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), sometimes called Multiple Identity Disorder, is a
mental disorder characterized by two at minimum, distinct personality states. DID is one
of the most talked about illnesses.
Most would describe what DID is but it is seldom to define what DID is not. Getting
informed about what DID is not is as equally important as getting to know what DID is.
The following are some of the most common misconceptions and stigma out there
about DID.
1. Dissociative identity disorder is NOT mentally invented.
Many people, even including professionals, still believe that DID is all made up
and those who have it are just faking their symptoms.
Dissociative identity disorder is a real disorder along with anxiety or bipolar
disorder. It is a widely recognized disorder.
2. Dissociative identity disorder is NOT dangerous.
People may have this misconception that those who have dissociative identity
disorder turn to be aggressive or violent. Those who suffer from DID are often
portrayed in movies and other media as murderers, serial killers and ultimately,
people to avoided at all times.
But it is not the case. Those with DID are not inherently dangerous or aggressive.
The likelihood to turn to be violent of people who don’t have DID is in fact the
same with those who have DID.
3. Dissociative identity disorder is NOT a form of psychosis.
Over the past decades, there has been a big misconception that DID is linked
with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a disorder that have symptoms of auditory
and visual hallucinations.
Although those who suffer from DID do experience auditory hallucinations as
well, these are not the same as those experienced in psychotic disorders like
schizophrenia. These auditory hallucinations that DID patients are experiencing
are from their alters’ voices inside.
Moreover, DID is caused by trauma and is treated with therapy while psychotic
disorders like schizophrenia with a genetic component is treated with medication.
4. Dissociative identity disorder is NOT an advantage.
This might be the most ridiculous misconception of DID. Some might even say
that those who have DID are lucky. It won’t make things easier but it complicates
how a patient interacts with others that negatively affects almost every aspect in
life.

Dissociative identity disorder is clearly not a benefit nor a curse. It is a lifelong
disorder that can be managed with the right support and wider understanding of
what DID is and is not.

July 2nd, 2018

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OCD in Children: Causes and Treatments

Up to this day, experts still don’t have a complete understanding of what really causes the development of OCD. It is understandable for parents to be curious of what elements might have caused their child to suffer from OCD.

Related studies suggest that biological, behavioral and environmental factors have involvement in this.

What biological factors can develop OCD?

Research shows that the insufficient levels of serotonin, a type of neurotransmitter is linked with the development of OCD in children. This shows that OCD can likely be genetic. Parents can pass serotonin insufficiency to their children.

Let’s name a few environmental factors or stressors that can trigger OCD.

Certain situations in a child’s environment can trigger OCD. It is important to be aware of these environmental factors to avoid the symptoms to appear or worsen. Here are some of the instances that causes OCD:

  • Physical or emotional abuse
  • Death of a love one
  • School-related issues
  • Changes in their environment
  • Traumatic brain injury or traumatic events

There are also behavioral causes associated with OCD. OCD patients link certain situations or objects with fear. They appease that fear by performing compulsions. These fear and compulsive behavior cycle can occur during stressful events.

Doctors diagnose children of OCD from comprehensive psychiatric evaluation, provided that they ruled out physical diseases that may cause OCD symptoms. Some physical diseases may cause OCD symptoms such as compulsive skin picking and hair pulling.

Compulsive skin pulling can root from other illnesses such as liver disease, skin conditions and anemia. Compulsive hair pulling on the other hand may come from psoriasis and other scalp diseases.

What are the treatments for children with OCD?

Before identifying the individual treatment for OCD in children, the doctors will have to perform physical assessments such as:

  • General Physical exam
  • Level of Severity of Symptoms
  • Checking for the presence of other diseases
  • Levels of tolerance to certain medications and therapy strategies

If diagnosed early, OCD in children can be effectively treated. Professionals will have to test for the right set of therapy and medication. They may use a cognitive behavioral therapy. For the medications, they may suggest selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors to balance the levels of serotonins in patients. At the end of the day, the family of the child suffering from OCD play the most critical part in his treatment and recovery.

June 18th, 2018

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The Early Signs of OCD in Children

Over the years, obsessive-compulsive disorder has become common among children. On average, one in every 100 children in the US suffers from OCD. It is ideal if parents and guardians recognize the early signs that their children are suffering from OCD to help in the treatment.

What is OCD?

OCD or obsessive compulsive disorder has neurobiological basis. This condition affects how the patient thinks. A patient may have obsessions and compulsions that may last up to hours every day.

Obsessions are those thoughts that cause the patient to feel intolerable levels of fear, worry and discomfort. In order to cope with these obsessions, patients resort to compulsions or rituals. Those rituals can be noticeable through the patient’s actions like excessively washing their hands. Sometimes, however they complete their compulsions mentally.

While there is still no cure for OCD, there are methods to enable the patients to manage his condition. Early detection is key to its proper treatment.

What are the early signs and symptoms of OCD in children?

You might not know it but your child may already be suffering from obsessions and compulsions. Here are some examples.

Obsessions may include:

  • Overthinking about germs getting on them.
  • Repeatedly expressing doubts such as forgetting to lock the doors.
  • Excessively thinking that their parents or friends may get hurt.
  • Extreme attention to detail.
  • Being highly preoccupied with order, perfection and symmetry in everything

Compulsive Behaviors:

  • Having a distinct way of organizing all his personal items.
  • Excessively washing hands in fear of germs
  • Asking the same questions over and over again
  • Counting and recounting excessively
  • Checking if everything is in order
  • Inspecting if the doors are locked or the stove is turned off.

Those children who suffer from OCD may have a hard time interacting with other children in the same age group. They can regularly feel uneasiness in the outside world. Parents who suspect that their child might have OCD should understand it and its impact to his child’s life. Seeking for professional help is recommended.

June 14th, 2018

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Easy Parenting Tips to Help Children with ADHD

Parenting a child with ADHD can be overwhelming. As parents, you can do a lot of things to make it easier for the child to cope with his daily life and bring orderliness in your household at the same time.

There are ways to channel his hyperactivity to develop his abilities. You can control the symptoms of ADHD by doing these simple tips we have here.

  1. Establish a daily routine for your child.

Regardless of your child’s condition, you have to make sure that there is a structure in your household. You have to create a pattern of tasks and rituals to be done on a daily basis. There should be time for playtime and homework, meals and sleeping time. This is a simple tip but it could make a big difference.

  1. Set simple rules for your child to follow.

Because your child tends to be all over the place, it will be difficult for him to understand instructions given to them. Explain the importance of rules and the consequences of not following them. Make sure to easily demonstrate those rules. You can think of creative ways to explain it to your child. Do whatever technique that works for you.

  1. Encourage them to have a regular exercise.

Children with ADHD are extremely active. It is ideal if you can divert this hyperactivity to more useful activities such as exercise. Exercise can help your child to focus and reduce his impulsiveness. Be inspired with athletes who have ADHD. They are able to channel their energy and attention to a constructive way.

  1. Avoid having too much distractions around.

Distractions can trigger your child’s impulsive behavior. To help your child, you can minimize their time with electronics and give them exciting physical outdoor activities.

  1. See to it that they are voicing out their thoughts.

This is a useful tip to correct your child’s lack of self-control. Listen to what he has to say for you to understand his way of thinking.

  1. Always keep your cool.

To help an impulsive child, you should always remain calm. Children tend to copy the behaviors of the people around them. So you should never display an aggravated behavior around your child.

  1. Take care of yourself, as well.

You need to take a break from everything every once in a while. Go for a walk or make time for your hobbies. Pay a visit to your favorite pampering salon and spa. Reward yourself for all your efforts as a parent. Consider this as a charging time. You can’t be the best version of yourself if you are too drained.

June 8th, 2018

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How to Recognize ADHD in Toddlers

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common disorders among children. It affects 1 in every 10 children and teenagers. Studies suggest that this disorder is more prevalent in boys than girls.

It is challenging to notice the symptoms of ADHD in toddlers. Children younger than 4 years of age change behaviors quickly so it will be difficult to assess them using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-V) for ADHD.

So how do we know if a child has ADHD?

Children who have ADHD can have difficulty to focus when necessary. They find it hard to stay still even in the simplest activities like looking through photo books. They have a lot of energy like the other children but they are incapable to focus on tasks.

Since early detection is equally important to giving treatment, you must at least be able to spot right on some hints in your child. To guide you in recognizing the early signs and symptoms we have here a list of things to watch out for:

  1. Hyperactivity

They tend to be restless. They would jump around, climb on everything, and play as if they can’t get tired. They would talk to you nonstop. They may babble things that makes no sense but they still won’t stop talking.

  1. Inattentiveness

They are unable to focus and listen for long. Making them stay still is nearly impossible. Even taking naps is a challenge for them.

  1. Impulsivity

They also have a tendency to act on a whim. You’ll notice them to be displaying a behavior or actions that are not based on forethoughts. They just do whatever they do regardless of the consequences.

If you find your child displaying these symptoms frequently and excessively, calling your child’s doctor is necessary. However, a child can only be diagnosed with ADHD if symptoms continue to show for more than six months. So, for the mean time, you should closely monitor your child and the changes in his behavior.

June 2nd, 2018

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Panic Disorder among Children and Adolescents

One of the most common and treatable mental health illnesses is panic disorder. Children and adolescents suffering from panic disorder can have sudden and repeated episodes of extreme fear or uneasiness. They are also unable to breathe with their heartbeats racing and pounding. These symptoms happen during panic attacks. These panic attacks can last up to minutes or sometimes hours. Most of the time, panic attacks just occur suddenly.

What are the symptoms of panic attack?

Panic attack symptoms include intense worrying or fearfulness, racing heartbeats, shortness of breath, shaking, dizziness and sometimes derealization.

Panic disorder usually begins during adolescence, but it may also start during childhood. It sometimes runs in families. It is important for it to be recognized and treated because its complications can be distressing. If not treated, it can affect a child’s or an adolescent’s daily life and overall development.
Even when they are not having panic attacks, children and adolescents who suffer from panic disorder may always have anxiety. Some of them begin to avoid those situations that trigger their panic attacks. In extremely serious cases, some of them are even scared to leave their homes.
What’s more frightening is that children and adolescents with panic disorders can develop depression and would be at risk to have suicidal thoughts. Some will resort to alcohol or drugs to lower anxiety levels.

How is panic disorder diagnosed?

It can be difficult to diagnose panic disorder among children and adolescents. It is ideal to have them visit a physician and undergo different tests. If diagnosed and evaluated accurately, panic disorder usually responds well to treatment.

How can panic disorder be treated?

There are various ways to treat panic disorder including specific medications and psychotherapy. Through this, they may develop ways to control their panic attacks. Also, there are home management strategies that can be implemented. Parents should be hands-on to their children suffering from panic disorder.

Panic disorder should be treated as early as possible. If not, it may lead to distressing complications such as agoraphobia, depression and addiction to substance.

May 19th, 2018

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Bipolar Disorder in Children and Teenagers

Have you ever noticed your child go through extreme mood and behavior changes? Do you hear people saying your child is much more excited and active compared to others? Maybe your child becomes either too excited or moody. When these mood swings get too intense that they disrupt how your child acts at school or at home, it is advisable to consider calling a psychiatrist. Some children or teens having these issues may have a serious mental illness called bipolar disorder.

Formerly known as manic-depressive illness, bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that causes strange and dramatic mood swings, shift in energy, sleep habits, activity levels and in general, the ability to perform daily tasks. The mood swings can be slow or abrupt, mild or extreme, and they can last from hours to days, sometimes weeks.

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder in Children and Teens
Identifying bipolar disorder in children and teens can be a challenge. It is difficult to classify whether these are normal ups and downs or signs of a serious mental health concern.

The most common sign of bipolar disorder among children and teenagers is the extreme mood instability that are incomparable with their usual mood swings.

To name a few, here are common symptoms to watch out for:

  • Feeling very optimistic followed by despair or extreme sadness
  • Unrealistic thinking, can get delusional.
  • Fatigue
  • Intense angry outbursts
  • Abnormal sleeping patterns
  • Forget things often.
  • Unable to focus.
  • Eating too much or too little
  • Getting preoccupied with suicidal thoughts.

An individual experiencing bipolar disorder may have episodes that can worsen over time. These episodes may come along with the difficulty in sleeping, changes in moods, thoughts and behavior.

Moreover, those who suffer from these episodes have increased risk of suicide and addiction to drugs and alcohol. It is highly recommended for these individuals to have regular professional consultation and treatment.

May 15th, 2018

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