Mental Health in Teenagers by Dr. Debbie Bauer, Pediatrician

Adolescence is a very difficult time for everybody, kids and parents alike. Teenagers are going through all kinds of changes such as: physical, emotional, intellectual and social. It can be hard to keep up with the way their feeling and finding ways to communicate with them. It’s a big challenge to try and not feel overwhelmed during these transitions. It’s very normal for a teen to feel moody, sad, or anxious, but when these feelings take over their life and start to affect how they think and act, it can become a serious problem. Mental health issues are much more common than you may think, about 1 out of every 5 adolescents has had a serious mental health disorder at some point in their life.

What parents need to know:

  • A mental health issue isn’t anybody’s fault. Just like with any other health complication, this is not a choice, it’s an actual problem with how the brain functions. The reason these issues develop is incredibly complicated and involves both genetic and environmental factors.
  • Mental health problems are common and treatable. There are many people and resources that are available to help your teenager. From pediatricians, to school guidance counselors, to mental health professionals – we’re all here to help. The sooner a concern is raised, the more time we have to address the issue, and get your teen the assistance they need. If you have any doubts, reach out!
  • It’s important to stay involved. Try to build a trusting relationship between yourself and your teenager. They should feel comfortable sharing information with you without fear of always being punished for bad choices. It can be helpful to share decisions that you have made or lessons you have learned from the past. Remember, they are still learning.

Signs of mental illness to look out for:

  • Loss of interest in past favorite activities
  • Sudden personality shifts that seem out of character
  • A sudden and/or dramatic change in grades
  • Isolation from friends and family
  • Big changes in sleep habits (more or less sleep then usual)
  • Dramatic changes in eating habits
  • Anything else that you think is concerning about their behavior

If you have any concerns about your teen’s mental health, talk to them. From there, you can schedule an appointment with their pediatrician. At NOAH, we address all aspects of your child’s health including their initial medical assessment. Other services that are available to you and your child include counseling and nutrition.

For more information, please visit:

www.healthychildren.org

PTSD and Anxiety Disorders – We Can Help You Help Yourself

By: Todd Basta, LPC Counselor

Signs and Symptoms

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

People with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) display excessive anxiety or worry, most days for at least 6 months, about a number of things such as personal health, work, social interactions, and everyday routine life circumstances. The fear and anxiety can cause significant problems in areas of their life, such as social interactions, school, and work.

Generalized anxiety disorder symptoms include:

  • Feeling restless, wound-up, or on-edge
  • Being easily fatigued
  • Having difficulty concentrating; mind going blank
  • Being irritable
  • Having muscle tension
  • Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
  • Having sleep problems, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, restlessness, or unsatisfying sleep

Panic Disorder

People with panic disorder have recurrent unexpected panic attacks. Panic attacks are sudden periods of intense fear that come on quickly and reach their peak within minutes. Attacks can occur unexpectedly or can be brought on by a trigger, such as a feared object or situation.

During a panic attack, people may experience:

  • Heart palpitations, a pounding heartbeat, or an accelerated heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Sensations of shortness of breath, smothering, or choking
  • Feelings of impending doom
  • Feelings of being out of control

People with panic disorder often worry about when the next attack will happen and actively try to prevent future attacks by avoiding places, situations, or behaviors they associate with panic attacks. Worry about panic attacks, and the effort spent trying to avoid attacks, cause significant problems in various areas of the person’s life, including the development of agoraphobia (see below).

Phobia-related disorders

A phobia is an intense fear of—or aversion to—specific objects or situations. Although it can be realistic to be anxious in some circumstances, the fear people with phobias feel is out of proportion to the actual danger caused by the situation or object.

People with a phobia:

  • May have an irrational or excessive worry about encountering the feared object or situation
  • Take active steps to avoid the feared object or situation
  • Experience immediate intense anxiety upon encountering the feared object or situation
  • Endure unavoidable objects and situations with intense anxiety

There are several types of phobias and phobia-related disorders:

Social anxiety disorder (previously called social phobia): People with social anxiety disorder have a general intense fear of, or anxiety toward, social or performance situations. They worry that actions or behaviors associated with their anxiety will be negatively evaluated by others, leading them to feel embarrassed. This worry often causes people with social anxiety to avoid social situations. Social anxiety disorder can manifest in a range of situations, such as within the workplace or the school environment.

Separation anxiety disorder: Separation anxiety is often thought of as something that only children deal with; however, adults can also be diagnosed with separation anxiety disorder. People who have separation anxiety disorder have fears about being parted from people to whom they are attached. They often worry that some sort of harm or something untoward will happen to their attachment figures while they are separated. This fear leads them to avoid being separated from their attachment figures and to avoid being alone. People with separation anxiety may have nightmares about being separated from attachment figures or experience physical symptoms when separation occurs or is anticipated.

How to care for others:

  • Be physically present and available.
  • Look for signs that someone might be feeling unsafe in a space.
  • Learn symptoms and identify who to call in case of an emergency.
  • Ask what their needs are.
  • Educate yourself about healthy coping styles.

How to care for yourself:

  • Build trust with peers.
  • Have a trusted companion.
  • Imagine a safe space during stressful moments.
  • Monitor signs of stress or symptoms of PTSD.
  • Change the setup or design of a space if it cues a traumatic memory.

Resources

http://adaa.org/

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/

https://www.nih.gov/

https://onlinepsych.pepperdine.edu/blog/ptsd-trauma-physical-spaces/

PTSD Defined

#PTSD is a lingering reminder that turns every day into a potential minefield, with #flashbacks & #triggers potentially hidden around every corner. At NOAH, we’ll work with you & your #child to choose the best path for their overall #health & #wellness. To schedule an apt., please call 480-882-4545! #PTSDAwarenessMonth #PostTraumaticStressDisorderAwarenessMonth #counseling #familymedicine #pediatrics

Social Interaction and Recreation – Its Good for You

“Social interaction and #recreation can help your #physicalhealth and #mentalhealth,” says our friends at @MentalHealthAmerica. Our Care Team at NOAH will work with you and your child to choose the best path for their overall #health and #wellness. To schedule an apt., please call 480-882-4545!

The Company of Animals

“Pets are not only lovable friends but also beneficial to #mentalhealth. Learn more about how animal companionship is important for health #4Mind4Body,” says our friends at @MentalHealthAmerica. Our Care Team at NOAH will work with you and your child to choose the best path for their overall #health and #wellness. To schedule an apt., please call 480-882-4545! #MentalHealthMonth #MHM2019

7 Tips for Improving Work-Life Balance

“Finding balance between work & play, the ups & downs of life, physical #health & #mentalhealth, can be difficult,” says our friends at Mental Health America. Our Care Team at NOAH includes behavioral health #consulting & traditional outpatient #counseling providers that work alongside our medical team to assess, diagnose and effectively treat the core-symptoms of our #patients. To schedule an apt., please call 480-882-4545! #MentalHealthMonth #MHM2019 #4Mind4Body

Humor – 5 Tips for Incorporating Laughter in Your Life

“Finding a reason to #laugh, walking with a friend, #meditating, playing with a pet, or working from #home once a week can go a long way in making you both physically and mentally healthy” says our friends at Mental Health America. Our Care Team at NOAH includes behavioral health #consulting & traditional outpatient #counseling providers that work alongside our medical team to assess, diagnose and effectively treat the core-symptoms of our #patients. To schedule an apt., please call 480-882-4545! #4Mind4Body #MentalHealthMonth #MHM2019

May is Mental Health Month

May is #MentalHealthMonth and our friends at Mental Health America have put together an awesome calendar full of tips to help you lead a healthy lifestyle. Though this may not be easy, gradually making small changes each day will help you build on your successes! Click on the image below to download the calendar.


Read more

Keep You Mind Grounded – Video

Suffering from #MentalIllness can be extremely frustrating. At NOAH, we offer coping strategies to help you get off the #anxiety train. Learn how to calm down and train your body and mind to stay grounded in the moment. Our Care Team at NOAH offers behavioral health #consulting and traditional outpatient #counseling. Our Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners work alongside #medical and #behavioralhealth to assess, diagnose and effectively treat the core-symptoms of our #patients. To schedule an apt., please call 480-882-4545!


Preventing Suicide – Video

LIFE – it throws all of us curve balls that can be difficult to deal with. “For some, sometimes death seems like the only option,” says Mental Health America. Learn the warning signs of someone considering suicide. If you know someone that is at immediate risk of suicide, you need to ACT!

A is for ASK: Ask your friend if they are considering suicide or if they have a plan to end their life. It’s okay to be direct. Just try to be non-judgmental and show you care.

C is for CARE: If you think someone is in immediate danger, stay with them and offer to go with them to find help, even if it doesn’t make sense to you, try your best to sympathize and offer support. Try not to leave someone with suicidal thoughts alone.

T is for TELL: Tell a trusted adult what’s going on. Your friend might ask you not to tell anyone, but you should never keep talk of suicide a secret. It is worth breaking trust to save a life. You should never try to handle the situation by yourself. The most helpful think you can do is guide your friend to someone with training.

Our Care Team at NOAH offers behavioral health consulting and traditional outpatient counseling. Our Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners work alongside medical and behavioral health to assess, diagnose and effectively treat the core-symptoms of our patients. To schedule an apt., please call 480-882-4545!