Friday, April 18, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Psychology

POSTED: Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 5:15 AM
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A significant part of my work as a cognitive-behavioral therapist specializing in anxiety and related disorders is providing families with recommendations for good resources. “Good resources,” in these cases, are usually books and websites that offer general, up-to-date information on the disorder for which I am treating the child, as well as sound suggestions for at-home interventions (i.e., parent manuals).  Of course, I provide such psychoeducation in session, but I like parents to be able to hear the information more than once, from more than one source, and for it to be accessible to them outside of the therapy hour.

What I do not want is for families to garner information or recommendations for treatments from “unsafe” sources – that is, sources that provide information that is not scientifically supported or has been directly contradicted by science.  In fact, I explicitly warn families about this, because there is so much misinformation on the web.

During initial sessions, when giving my families handouts printed with what I think are the best and safest sources of information on their child’s disorder and treatment for that disorder, I typically say: “Please DO NOT put the name of your child’s diagnosis into Google search and hit ‘return.’ You will receive millions of hits, many of them from untrustworthy sources having something to sell, and you will feel even more overwhelmed than you already do.  Instead, start with these I am recommending – you can always read more later.”

POSTED: Tuesday, July 2, 2013, 9:28 AM
(iStockphoto)

A significant part of my work as a cognitive-behavioral therapist specializing in anxiety and related disorders is providing families with recommendations for good resources. “Good resources,” in these cases, are usually books and websites that offer general, up-to-date information on the disorder for which I am treating the child, as well as sound suggestions for at-home interventions (i.e., parent manuals).

Of course, I provide such psychoeducation in session, but I like parents to be able to hear the information more than once, from more than one source, and for it to be accessible to them outside of the therapy hour.

What I do not want is for families to garner information or recommendations for treatments from “unsafe” sources – that is, sources that provide information that is not scientifically supported or has been directly contradicted by science.  In fact, I explicitly warn families about this, because there is so much misinformation on the web.

POSTED: Monday, July 1, 2013, 9:14 AM
Filed Under: Mental Health | Psychology
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Today’s guest blogger is R. Rao Gogineni,M.D., head of the division of child & adolescent psychiatry, at Cooper University Hospital and associate professor of psychiatry at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University.

Occasional temper tantrums and bad moods are a normal part of growing up.  Many children are irritable, upset or moody from time to time. However, there may be a problem for children with severe and frequent temper tantrums that interfere with their ability to function at home, in school, or with their friends.

To address this condition, the American Psychiatric Association proposed a new diagnostic classification called Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder in its new manual (DSM-5) released in May. A child must have rages that are "grossly out of proportion" three or more times per week on average to receive a DMDD diagnosis.

POSTED: Monday, June 24, 2013, 9:43 AM
Filed Under: Anna Nguyen | Psychology
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Minority children were less likely than their white counterparts to be diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, found a study in the July 2013 issue of Pediatrics published online today.

From a nationally representative group of 15,100 children who entered kindergarten in the fall of 1998, the odds were 46 percent lower for children of other ethnicities, 50 percent lower for Hispanic children, and 69 percent lower for black children. Of this group, 780 children were diagnosed with ADHD by eighth grade.

Factors increasing children’s risk of an ADHD diagnosis included being a boy, children who had mothers age 38 or older at the child’s birth, being raised in an English-speaking household, and engaging in behaviors such as fighting, arguing with a teacher, and acting impulsively.

POSTED: Friday, May 31, 2013, 6:00 AM
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Today’s guest blogger is R. Rao Gogineni,M.D,, head of the division of child & adolescent psychiatry, at Cooper University Hospital and associate professor of psychiatry at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University.

Depression in adolescents has gotten needed attention from the scientific community only in the last two decades. The chance of being afflicted with depression is about 10 percent in a lifetime. Twice as many girls as boys struggle with depression. 

What we’ve also found is that other mental illnesses often times accompany teen depression, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic, social phobia, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) ,eating disorders, substance use disorders and conduct disorders.

POSTED: Monday, April 29, 2013, 10:37 AM
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It’s difficult to hide: multiple slash marks on the forearm. Many try to cover-up the painful reminders of a very bad day while some tell me openly all of the details. Either way these are the patients that are amongst the most distressing to me as a doctor and as a mother.  And at the same time they are the most intriguing. They almost all say the same thing: they were not trying to kill themselves…but they cut themselves for other reasons.

Cutting is one type of “non-suicidal self-injury” (NSSI). In teens, NSSI most often involves cutting, but also can be burning themselves or banging their heads. Cutting is usually done on the arms, stomach, or thighs with a sharp object like a razor blade, knife, or scissors. To parents it may be out of the expected, but it’s usually not out of the blue. 

NSSI is an outward sign of an inward pain. Teens often cut themselves in response to emotional pain or distress. When they cut, they feel a rapid physical release of emotional pain that is otherwise too difficult to tolerate. Surprisingly, studies have shown that people who self-injure have little or no physical pain even when tissue damage is severe.  After cutting, they still feel badly, but they feel calmer and better able to manage their feelings.  It often begins as an impulse, but cutting can quickly become a habit that is difficult to stop.   

POSTED: Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 5:55 AM
Filed Under: Mental Health | Psychology
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Today’s guest blogger Carol Caruso is a member on the National Alliance on Mental Illness board of directors and the executive director of NAMI PA Montgomery County. She talks more today how they help families who contact NAMI for help.

Parents faced with a sudden change in their child’s behavior are often at a loss -- what to do or where to turn for help. Their once bright, active and well-adjusted youngster may suddenly become moody, lose interest in friends and activities, and start to fail in school.  In other cases, their child may have just received a mental health diagnosis and parents do not know what it means when it comes to the course of treatment and prognosis.

At NAMI, we receive many calls from parents asking for resources, support and guidance. We’ve helped parents deal with some of the most common mental illnesses experienced by children and adolescents, which include attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and conduct disorder (CD), major depression and early onset bipolar disorder.  

POSTED: Monday, March 4, 2013, 12:00 PM
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A third of children diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder still have ADHD in adulthood, and more than half had another psychiatric disorder, found a study released online today in Pediatrics.

The study looked at 232 adults from Rochester, Minn., who were diagnosed with ADHD as children in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and compared them to adults who did not have a childhood ADHD diagnosis. Of the children with ADHD, almost 30 percent met the criteria for adult ADHD at age 27.

Nearly 57 percent of adults with childhood ADHD had another psychiatric disorder as adults, these included alcohol dependence or abuse, antisocial personality disorder, other substance abuse or dependence, generalized anxiety disorder, and current major depressive episode. Suicide was nearly 5 times higher among childhood ADHD cases compared to those children without ADHD.

About this blog
The Healthy Kids blog is your window into the latest news, research and advice around children's health. Learn more about our growing list of contributors here.

If you have questions about your child's health, ask them here.

Anna Nguyen Healthy Kids blog Editor
Stephen Aronoff, M.D., M.B.A. Temple University Hospital
Christopher C. Chang, M.D., Ph.D Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Jefferson Medical Colg
Mario Cruz, M.D St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Drexel University College of Medicine
Katherine K. Dahlsgaard, Ph.D. Lead Psychologist - The Anxiety Behaviors Clinic, CHOP
Gary A. Emmett, M.D. Director of Hospital Pediatrics at TJU Hospital & Pediatrics Professor at Thomas Jefferson Univ.
Lauren Falini Bariatric exercise physiologist, Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
Hazel Guinto-Ocampo, M.D. Nemours duPont Pediatrics/Bryn Mawr Hospital
Rima Himelstein, M.D. Crozer-Keystone Health System
Anita Kulick President & CEO, Educating Communities for Parenting
Janet Rosenzweig, MS, PhD, MPA VP for Programs & Research for Prevent Child Abuse America
Beth Wallace Smith, RD Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
W. Douglas Tynan, Ph.D. Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Jefferson Medical Colg
Flaura Koplin Winston, MD, PhD Scientific Director of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Center for Injury Research and Prevention
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