Thursday, September 22, 2011

Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Child and Adolescent Mental Health
By Arthur Buchanan

Mental Health Is Important

Mental health is how people think, feel, and act as they face life's situations. It affects how people handle stress, relate to one another, and make decisions. Mental health influences the ways individuals look at themselves, their lives, and others in their lives. Like physical health, mental health is important at every stage of life.

All aspects of our lives are affected by our mental health. Caring for and protecting our children is an obligation and is critical to their daily lives and their independence.

Children and Adolescents Can Have Serious Mental Health Problems
Like adults, children and adolescents can have mental health disorders that interfere with the way they think, feel, and act. When untreated, mental health disorders can lead to school failure, family conflicts, drug abuse, violence, and even suicide. Untreated mental health disorders can be very costly to families, communities, and the health care system.

In this fact sheet, "Mental Health Problems" for children and adolescents refers to the range of all diagnosable emotional, behavioral, and mental disorders. They include depression, attention- deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and anxiety, conduct, and eating disorders. Mental health problems affect one in every five young people at any given time.
"Serious Emotional Disturbances" for children and adolescents refers to the above disorders when they severely disrupt daily functioning in home, school, or community. Serious emotional disturbances affect 1 in every 10 young people at any given time.

Mental Health Disorders Are More Common in Young People than Many Realize.

Studies show that at least one in five children and adolescents have a mental health disorder. At least one in 10, or about 6 million people, have a serious emotional disturbance.

The Causes Are Complicated

Mental health disorders in children and adolescents are caused mostly by biology and environment. Examples of biological causes are genetics, chemical imbalances in the body, or damage to the central nervous system, such as a head injury. Many environmental factors also put young people at risk for developing mental health disorders. Examples include:

Exposure to environmental toxins, such as high levels of lead;
Exposure to violence, such as witnessing or being the victim of physical or sexual abuse, drive-by shootings, muggings, or other disasters; Stress related to chronic poverty, discrimination, or other serious hardships; and
The loss of important people through death, divorce, or broken relationships.

Signs of Mental Health Disorders Can Signal a Need for Help

Children and adolescents with mental health issues need to get help as soon as possible. A variety of signs may point to mental health disorders or serious emotional disturbances in children or adolescents. Pay attention if a child or adolescent you know has any of these warning signs:

A child or adolescent is troubled by feeling:

Sad and hopeless for no reason, and these feelings do not go away. Very angry most of the time and crying a lot or overreacting to things.

Worthless or guilty often.

Anxious or worried often.

Unable to get over a loss or death of someone important.
Extremely fearful or having unexplained fears.

Constantly concerned about physical problems or physical appearance.

Frightened that his or her mind either is controlled or is out of control.

A child or adolescent experiences big changes, such as:

Showing declining performance in school.

Losing interest in things once enjoyed.

Experiencing unexplained changes in sleeping or eating patterns.

Avoiding friends or family and wanting to be alone all the time.

Daydreaming too much and not completing tasks.

Feeling life is too hard to handle.

Hearing voices that cannot be explained.

Experiencing suicidal thoughts.

A child or adolescent experiences:

Poor concentration and is unable to think straight or make up his or her mind.

An inability to sit still or focus attention.
Worry about being harmed, hurting others, or doing something "bad".

A need to wash, clean things, or perform certain routines hundreds of times a day, in order to avoid an unsubstantiated danger.

Racing thoughts that are almost too fast to follow.
Persistent nightmares.

A child or adolescent behaves in ways that cause problems, such as:

Using alcohol or other drugs.

Eating large amounts of food and then purging, or abusing laxatives, to avoid weight gain.

Dieting and/or exercising obsessively.

Violating the rights of others or constantly breaking the law without regard for other people.

Setting fires.

Doing things that can be life threatening.

Killing animals.

Comprehensive Services through Systems of Care Can Help
Some children diagnosed with severe mental health disorders may be eligible for comprehensive and community-based services through systems of care. Systems of care help children with serious emotional disturbances and their families cope with the challenges of difficult mental, emotional, or behavioral problems. To learn more about systems of care, call the National Mental Health Information Center at 1-800-789-2647, and request fact sheets on systems of care and serious emotional disturbances, or visit the Center's web site at

Finding the Right Services Is Critical

To find the right services for their children, families can do the following:

Get accurate information from hotlines, libraries, or other sources.

Seek referrals from professionals.

Ask questions about treatments and services.

Talk to other families in their communities.

Find family network organizations.

It is critical that people who are not satisfied with the mental health care they receive discuss their concerns with providers, ask for information, and seek help from other sources.

Important Messages About Child and Adolescent Mental Health:

Every child's mental health is important.

Many children have mental health problems.

These problems are real, painful, and can be severe.

Mental health problems can be recognized and treated.

Caring families and communities working together can help.

With Much Love,

Arthur Buchanan


Out of Darkness & Into the Light

43 Oakwood Ave. Suite 1012

Huron Ohio, 44839

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mental Health and Mental Wellness To Its Fullest

Mental Health and Mental Wellness To Its Fullest

Mental health is simply the absence of any mental disorder in a person. It is the emotional well-being regardless of the situation, environment or community a man lives in. A person who has a mental health or ability to enjoy his life to the fullest even with the presence of many challenges is what we call healthy emotional well-being. An individual who can cope up with any kind of stress in life, knows his or her capabilities, those who can work productively and contribute something to the community are those people that have a total well-being.

Mental wellness on the other hand, pertains to the capacity of a person to live his life to the fullest. The person involved must be creative in coping with any inevitable circumstances or challenges in life. If we want to further improve the mental wellness of an individual, there are many self-help books or therapeutic systems that offer techniques and strategies that are proven to be effective. In totality, it includes several studies and concepts like religion, sociology, psychology, education, anthropology and developmental psychology.

There is a variety of reasons why there is so called a disorder. This may be brought by a tragic event that an individual had experienced. It can also come from a genetic predisposition, long- term abuse or neglect from other people and brain disorder that is medically related. The most common issue here is depression. Almost all people experience depression at any stage in their lives. For those that have a genetic predisposition or bipolar disorder, they need to have some form of treatments.

If mental disorder is not treated, the consequence can be damaging on the person involved. Whenever a person experience depression, they become less social, sedentary, and they have a hard time to make an informed judgment because they are not able to think clearly, thus they may have the possibilities of developing paranoid ideas and thoughts. If this situation happens to a person, people tend to move away from the person, when in fact, they needed some attention.

We might be curious who gets affected by a mental health disorder, in actuality almost every one will undergo and experience any form of mental health concern or issue at least once in a person's life. It can be in a form of alcohol or drug abuse, common depression, problems with relationships and post traumatic stress. Aside from the patient themselves, even their family members or the person taking care of the patient can also be a victim of such stress.

With all this, how can we treat mental health disorder? The most effective way and the solution are to seek a doctor's help as well as any available mental health specialists or professional. In order to treat mental health disorder, the family of the person involved, circle of friends, psychologists, mental health therapists and psychiatrists has a significant role in order to treat the individual. We can also deal with mental health therapist in order to set goals and plan strategies for our loved ones who experienced the situation.

Sherwin Ree E. Miras has been in the field of handling Utah mental health problems for a long time and maintains a Utah therapy company where you can get answers to the rest of your questions.

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