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Attention-deficit disorder (ADD) and Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are two of the most commonly diagnosed childhood disorders and are interchangeably similar.
ADD/ADHD can present itself with persistent patterns of impulsivity, hyperactivity, inattention, or can conclude with a combination of all three. Depending on a person’s neurobiology, interest in certain activities and physical environment, cases of ADD and ADHD can range from mild to severe.
Though a common misconception children are not the only ones being diagnosed with these disorders. Adults who have been diagnosed may have had the disorder with present symptoms in earlier stages of life only to be diagnosed and made aware in later stages.
Adults or children with present ADD/ADHD symptoms may experience five or more of the following:
- A hard time following instructions or sustaining attention
- Frequent change in activities
- Fidgeting ( especially with hands or feet)
- Talking too much
- Inability to get organized at home or at school
- Constantly hyper, overactive or seemingly restless
- Easily distracted by rather unnoticeable sounds or happenings
- Failure to finish projects or procrastination – including smaller tasks like chores or homework
- Very little attention to details or failure to respond to details
- Receiving poor grades in school/college or producing messy work
- Secondary depression or isolating oneself from peers
Be sure to discuss all of you or your child’s symptoms with your Doctor so you can gain the most accurate diagnosis.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that one develops after experiencing physical harm or the threat of physical harm to a person. A person with PTSD may have been harmed or have witnessed a harmful ordeal happen to a loved one or a stranger. A person with PTSD may still fell scared or stressed long after the incident or at times when they are not in danger.
Survivors or witnesses of sexual/physical abuse or assault, war veterans, witnesses to accidents and various other life-altering events can acquire PTSD at any age. Although PTSD is common in those who have experienced events first hand not everyone who has been diagnosed with PTSD has been through or witnessed a harmful event firsthand. Some people may get PTSD after learning of a family member or friend who has experienced danger or after dealing with the unexpected death of someone close.
PTSD can trigger many symptoms from three categories:
- Staying away from places, objects or events that reminds one of the traumatic event
- Feeling emotionally disconnected
- Becoming worried, depressed or having a feeling of guilt
- Sudden loss of remembrance in regards to the traumatic event
- No longer interested in activities
- Forgetting how or declining to talk – common in children
- R-1 Experience
- Having flashback of the event – this may even arouse physical flashbacks such as sweating and increased heart rate
- Frequent or reoccurring nightmares
- Frightful thought
- Drawing or acting out the traumatic event – common in children
- Hyper Arousal
- Tense or always on edge
- Difficulty sleeping
- Angry outbursts
- Easily scared or startled
- Bedwetting – common in children
PTSD can also trigger various other symptoms that are seemingly unusual or unlikely of the person’s character or personality. If you or your child has been experiencing any of the symptoms in connection to PTSD or you are concerned please contact an experienced doctor who can properly diagnose PTSD. Remember, there are effective techniques and treatments that can be used to treat PTSD don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor.
Anxiety is a stress, panic, or social disorder that can significantly interfere with ones performance at work, school and even home. Anxiety disorders typically put the body under constant stress ranging from mild to severe cases. The nervous system reacts by releasing a large amount of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol to brace the body for emergency action.
Anxiety attacks and constant anxiety can take place even when there is no evidently stressful situation. Many doctors and psychiatrists may diagnose a patient with having an anxiety disorder if symptoms occur for six months or more frequently. When symptoms begin to interfere with one’s performance this may be cause for alarm.
Some of the symptoms of anxiety disorders include:
- Constant worrying or depression
- Memory problems or inability to concentrate
- Anxious or racing thoughts
- Moodiness, irritability and short tempered
- Constantly overwhelmed
- Feeling of loneliness or wanting to isolate oneself
- Physical aches and pains
- Constipation or diarrhea with no other known cause
- Chest pains or rapid heart beat
- Eating more or less
- Sleeping more or less than usual
- Putting off or neglecting responsibilities
- Using alcohol or drugs to “relax”
- Gaining nervous habits (nail biting, pacing, tapping on things)
Children and teens may display added symptoms like frequent crying withdrawal from school or fun activities, supranational anxiety, or being constantly surprised or scared.
Anxiety disorders can be also known as Social Phobias, PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder), Panic Disorder, OCD (Obsessive-compulsive Disorder) or more commonly Generalized Anxiety Disorder. With more than 6 million Americans being diagnosed with a General Anxiety Disorder this is a common and conquerable disorder. If you or a family member has been dealing with any form or symptoms of anxiety disorders please contact a mental health care professional to discuss treatment and coping.
Children’s mental health is a vital and key factor in growth and development. Recognizing problems and seeking treatment early on for mental disorders in children can make for a healthy and full life. Each mental health disorder in children has specific diagnostic criteria, evaluation and treatments needing complete care and determination from a qualified mental health provider. Though common disorders seen in children are ADD/ADHD, Depression and Anxiety it is not unusual for children to experience many other mental health issues.
Dedicated to assessing and managing disorders dealing with effects on child and adolescent emotion, thinking, and behavior taking an interdisciplinary approach to combatting childhood mental disorders can be key. It is very important to obtain psychiatric history and history of events, abuse, neglect, physical health concerns, current emotional and behavioral concerns and more when assessing child and adolescent disorders. Many childhood disorders such as ADHD can be overlooked due to age, development and lack of knowledge on mental health disorders, so it is very important to consider contacting a professional.
Some types of mental and psychiatric disorders children may face like Childhood Onset Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder can arouse harmful and dangerous symptoms. We recommend seeking help from a professional opinion at the first signs of any mental health issue or recommendations from your children’s caretakers such as school teachers, daycare providers or close relatives who may notice abnormal behavior or changes.
Depression is a mental health disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness, unhappiness, or loss of interest. Though we all may feel “down” or sad some days, constant, reoccurring or seemingly never ending feelings of sadness and miserableness may be cause for concern. Clinical depression affects ones thoughts, feelings and behavior and can lead to emotional and physical stress or harm. If you are having trouble conquering day to day activities or feeling that life is not worth living this may be more than just a battle of the blues.
Most depression disorders require long-term treatments and therapy ranging from medications to psychological counseling, if you or a loved one are experiencing any of the symptoms of depression on an ongoing basis it may be time for a talk with your Doctor or mental health care provider.
Symptoms of Depression include:
- Feeling sad, unhappy or miserable
- Loss of interest in normal or pleasurable activities
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Tiredness and lack of energy
- Outbursts of anger or frustration
- Lack of appetite – many times leading to weight loss and in some cases increased appetite leading to weight gain
- Anxiety; constant worry or fear
- Trouble remembering things or concentrating
- Unexplained physical problems such as headaches, muscle pain, chills, sweats or chest pains
- Frequent thoughts of death, suicide or attempts of suicide
Depression in younger children and adolescents may include clinginess, worry, constant aches and pain, refusal from school or play or refusal to eat. In teens you may notice feelings of worthlessness, anger or rage, feeling misunderstood, use of drugs/alcohol, self-harm, social withdrawal, negative or sad journaling, poor school attendance/performance and more.
If you are feeling depressed or notice your child is showing symptoms of depression contact a mental health professional immediately. Depression left untreated can get worse and lead to other mental r physical health issues and even suicide. If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800)-273-8255.
PMS (Pre-Menstrual Syndrome) is a mental health disorder commonly related to women who are emotionally, mentally and behaviorally affected by menstruation. Cyclic changes in hormonal fluctuations, chemical changes in the brain and undiagnosed depression can cause and on-set PMS.
Women experiencing PMS may experience the following symptoms
- Crying Spells
- Mood Swings or Irritability
- Social withdrawal
- Loss of concentration
Though many physical signs like bloating and headache accompany PMS you should talk to your Doctor about any constant mental and emotional symptoms in relation to your menstrual cycle. A small number of women with PMS experience PMDD (Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder) which is a more severe case of PMS.
Many people feel irritable, sad, or uninterested in normal activities from time to time or may seem to be “in a bad mood”; if one’s mood is affecting their everyday well-being and emotional state this may be cause for concern. Depression, Manic Depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder and Bipolar Disorder are common disorders that can increase a person’s risk of other physical and emotional diseases.
Intense or overbearing moods or constantly bad moods should spark a visit to your Doctor. “Bad moods” lasting weeks or longer are usually not normal especially in persons with a history of mental health or health issues. Many people with mood disorders are able to find treatment and therapy that works for them. Mood disorders can be found among many ages and background and should not be overlooked.
If you or a loved one is experiencing an ongoing change in mood of an ongoing negative mood contact a health care professional. With the proper diagnosis and treatment each person affected can live a fuller, happier and more productive life.
Drug abuse can take form in many ways dealing with substances such as cocaine, heroin, inhalants, marijuana, ecstasy and even bath salts. Even prescription medications are often used out of compliance and deemed abused drugs in many cases. New drugs emerge in trends very often creating patterns that have harmed the health, relationships, and quality of life for many over the years. Commonly used drugs such as cigarettes are often overlooked as being considered drugs, it has been seen in many cases where the after math of even the most common and socially accepted drugs have caused death, long-term health problems, addiction/withdrawal symptoms and broken human ties.
Here are some common signs of drug abuse and addiction stated below:
- Neglecting ones responsibilities for the sake of drugs or its after effects.
- Committing dangerous acts or engaging in unsafe activities as the result of drug use (unprotected sex, driving while under the influence, etc.)
- Emerging negative relationships with others such as family, friends, spouse, and co-workers due to usage.
- Withdrawal symptoms from drug use or absence of drugs.
- Abandoning usually enjoyable activities because of drug usage.
- Continued use of drugs despite self-harm.
- Loss of control over drug usage and a built up tolerance causing higher dosages in order to feel effects.
Alcohol abuse is an ongoing reoccurrence of drinking that leads to damage in ones health, cognitive ability, motor skills and personal life/relationships. Alcoholism occurs when one becomes dependent on alcohol despite its negative effects. While drinking alcohol isn’t necessarily a problem for many, drinking in access and abusing alcohol can lead to a variety of consequences mentally, emotionally and physically. Problematic drinking whether low, moderate or severe is always a cause for concern. Drinking alcohol affects literally every organ in one’s body. Intoxication impairs brain function, mobility and can increase your chances of acquiring certain diseases from liver disease to many cancers.
One may have an AUD (Alcohol Use Disorder) if they fit one or many of these symptoms:
- Spends a lot of time drinking.
- Craves or has a strong urge to drink.
- Allows drinking or its after effects to interfere with self-care or the care of family (children, pets, etc.)
- Allows drinking to negatively affect relationships with others.
- Continues to drink in the midst of health problems or after dangerous occurrences related to drinking.
- Has alcohol withdrawals after drinking (anxiety, depression, nausea, sweating, shakiness, etc.)
- Has tried to quit Drinking but can’t.
When one becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol these substances tend to take on the significance as other natural survival behaviors such as drinking, eating and sleeping. Many drug and alcohol substances cause a surge in hormones, triggering feelings of pleasure causing your brain to have and urge to repeat. These uncontrollable cravings become more important than one’s own wellbeing or their care for others and the things that were usually pleasurable outside of the addiction.
If you or anyone you know has shown signs of drug or alcohol abuse please call one of our offices listed below.