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What Are The Causes Of ADHD?

Child with ADHD with mom at treatment

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), previously referred to as attention deficit disorder (ADD) is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) and is characterized as “a persistent pattern of inattention and/ or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.” The American Academy of Pediatrics further asserts, “Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurobiological condition whose symptoms are also dependent on the child’s environment.” Although ADHD is one of the most studied conditions in America, the precise cause for developing ADHD remains unknown. Research has, however indicated that genetic factors, environmental factors and developmental delays may all contribute to its potential development.

DSM-5 ADHD Diagnostic Criteria

The diagnosis process for ADHD is rather complicated, as there is no single test for diagnosis, and symptoms will vary from person to person. The CDC outlines the following diagnostic criteria:

  • Inattention: Six or more symptoms of inattention for children up to age 16 years, or five or more for adolescents age 17 years and older and adults; symptoms of inattention have been present for at least 6 months, and they are inappropriate for developmental level:
    • Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work, or with other activities.
    • Often has trouble holding attention on tasks or play activities.
    • Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
    • Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (e.g., loses focus, side-tracked).
    • Often has trouble organizing tasks and activities.
    • Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to do tasks that require mental effort over a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework).
    • Often loses things necessary for tasks and activities (e.g. school materials, pencils, books, tools, wallets, keys, paperwork, eyeglasses, mobile telephones).
    • Is often easily distracted
    • Is often forgetful in daily activities.
  • Hyperactivity and Impulsivity: Six or more symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity for children up to age 16 years, or five or more for adolescents age 17 years and older and adults; symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity have been present for at least 6 months to an extent that is disruptive and inappropriate for the person’s developmental level:
    • Often fidgets with or taps hands or feet, or squirms in seat.
    • Often leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected.
    • Often runs about or climbs in situations where it is not appropriate (adolescents or adults may be limited to feeling restless).
    • Often unable to play or take part in leisure activities quietly.
    • Is often “on the go” acting as if “driven by a motor”.
    • Often talks excessively.
    • Often blurts out an answer before a question has been completed.
    • Often has trouble waiting their turn.
    • Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games)

In order to obtain the most effective treatment it is essential for an individual to be thoroughly evaluated by a qualified mental health professional and accurately diagnosed. 

Disclaimer: 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health.  As such, please do not use any material provided above as a means to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment. 

What Is EMDR?

EMDR in writing

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) is a type of therapy that was developed to help treat individuals who suffered from traumatic events. American psychologist, Francine Shapiro developed Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy in 1987. According to the EMDR Research Foundation, “EMDR is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. EMDR therapy includes a set of standardized protocols that incorporate elements from many different treatment approaches. To date, EMDR has helped millions of people of all ages relieve many types of psychological stress.” EMDR is an eight-stage therapeutic process that can be used independently, or as a means to supplement other psychotherapeutic treatment methods. EMDR incorporates a variety of principals from other therapeutic modalities, including behavioral therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). EMDR is based on the notion that physiological symptoms occur as a result of trauma or challenging experiences overwhelming the brain’s natural ability to heal. 

Who Can It Help?

Although EMDR was originally developed to treat people recover from isolated or repeated exposures to trauma, it has since proven an effective method of treatment for a variety other mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, substance use disorder, panic disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and more. Instead of spending time revisiting the memory of past trauma, a core component of other psychotherapeutic modalities, EMDR emphasizes shifting the emotions, behaviors, and/ or thoughts surrounding the trauma to enable the brain to heal itself. EMDR therapy often requires fewer sessions than other psychotherapies. 

How Does It Work?

EMDR works to relieve one’s brain of certain coping mechanisms that have been developed to help an individual cope with a traumatic event or events. When an individual experiences a traumatic event, it is not uncommon for the memory of this event to get stuck in the right hemisphere of one’s brain. The left side of one’s brain will then self soothe and implement other coping mechanisms to help deal with this memory. The simple explanation for how EMDR works is that it does not allow one’s brain to perseverate on the negative experience. Instead it enables one’s brain to process the negative experience (and implement a positive self-belief) through both hemispheres of one’s brain, by utilizing the bilateral eye movement method. EMDR is comprised of the following eight stages:

  • Initial history discovery and treatment planning
  • Preparation
  • Assessment
  • Desensitization
  • Installation
  • Body scan
  • Closure
  • Reevaluation 

While in the presence of a mental health professional and in a safe and controlled environment, EMDR therapy facilitates the healing process through bilateral stimulation where the individual can revisit the experienced trauma and learn to re-process and reintegrate it in a way that is both healthy and disarming, alleviating physiological stress. A typical EMDR session lasts between sixty to ninety minutes long.

Disclaimer: 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health.  As such, please do not use any material provided above as a means to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment. 

Symptoms Of An Anxiety Attack

woman with anxiety

Often the terms panic attack and anxiety attack are erroneously used interchangeably. While they have many similarities, they are two distinct conditions. Anxiety can be a symptom of panic, but experiencing anxiety is different from a panic attack. Unlike panic attacks, anxiety attacks are not recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). Medical News Today identifies specific features of anxiety attacks that distinguish them from panic attacks, including: 

  • Anxiety attacks are not a diagnosable condition
  • Anxiety attacks can have a specific trigger 
  • Anxiety attacks are less severe than panic attacks
  • Anxiety attacks can develop gradually when a person feels anxious 
  • Anxiety attacks typically involve physical symptoms

Anxiety is a normal reaction to stressful situations, and anxiety attacks are generally precipitated by the anticipation of a stressful experience, situation or event. Experiencing bouts of anxiety is to be expected. However, experiencing random and/ or frequent anxiety attacks may suggest the presence of diagnosable mental health condition. Anxiety disorders, for example, involve excessive feelings of nervousness, anxiousness, fear and anxiety. According to the American Psychiatric Association there are several different types of anxiety disorders, some of which include: generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), separation anxiety disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia, and social anxiety disorder (also known as social phobia). While each type of anxiety disorder comes with its own distinct characteristics, they all share the common symptom of anxiety attacks. The exact cause for developing an anxiety disorder remains unknown. Research suggests that it is likely due to a combination of contributing factors such as psychological, environmental, genetic, and developmental factors.

Signs and Symptoms

The lack of diagnostic recognition of anxiety attacks contributes to the vague and wide-ranging signs and symptoms that are often associated with anxiety attacks. Every individual is different and could exhibit a unique combination of symptoms when it comes to anxiety attacks. Medical News Today provides examples of common signs and symptoms that could present with an anxiety attack, some of which include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Dizziness, lightheaded, unsteady, faint
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dry mouth
  • Chest pain
  • Being easily startled
  • Hot flashes
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Irritability
  • Numbness and/ or tingling sensations
  • Loss of concentration
  • Sleep disturbances
  • A rapid heart rate
  • Restlessness 
  • Chills 
  • Feeling of choking
  • Worry and/ or distress 
  • Trembling
  • Abdominal pain
  • Excessive sweating

The symptoms of an anxiety attack can range in severity and duration. Usually, acute anxiety attacks are short-lived, but for some, the intense symptoms can leave an individual experiencing residual effects of anxiety long (e.g. days, weeks, or even months) after an anxiety attack has ended. It is important to note that not all individuals that experience anxiety attacks unequivocally go on to develop an anxiety disorder. Due to the fact that anxiety disorders are highly common, it may be advantageous for an individual that experiences frequent and/ or severe anxiety attacks to consult a mental health professional. 

Disclaimer: 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health.  As such, please do not use any material provided above as a means to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

Do I have Anxiety? Here’s How to Tell

Helpguide International explains that “anxiety is a normal reaction to danger, the body’s automatic fight-or-flight response that is triggered when you feel threatened, under pressure, or are facing a challenging situation, such as a job interview, exam, or first date.” Basically, anxiety is the body’s natural response to stress. Anxiety is often unavoidable, as every individual will experience stress at some point in his or her life. Further, although its symptoms are often unpleasant, experiencing anxiety is not necessarily a bad thing as it can help an individual remain alert and focused. However, there is a big difference between experiencing anxiety and having an anxiety disorder. According to the American Psychiatric Association there are several different types of anxiety disorders, some of which include: generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), separation anxiety disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia, and social anxiety disorder (also known as social phobia). Anxiety disorders can be debilitating, and interfere with one’s ability to function optimally in one’s everyday life.  

Signs and Symptoms

In order to gauge whether or not you are experiencing anxiety it is helpful to be aware of common signs and symptoms. The Mayo Clinic provides examples, some of which include the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dry mouth
  • Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom
  • Chest pain
  • Hyperventilation (breathing rapidly)
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Irritability
  • Feeling nervous, restless and/ or tense
  • Loss of concentration
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Sweating 
  • Trembling
  • Experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) problems

Symptoms can range in severity and duration. It is important to note that while anxiety disorders are highly common, not every individual that experiences anxiety will inevitably go on to develop and anxiety disorder. The exact cause for developing an anxiety disorder remains unknown. Research suggests that it is likely due to a combination of contributing factors such as psychological, environmental, genetic, and developmental factors.

Do I Have An Anxiety Disorder?

Consider the following questions, and if you identify with any of them it could be indicative of an anxiety disorder, and it may be advantageous to seek professional guidance: 

  1. Does your anxiety interfere with your daily life (e.g. school, work, family responsibilities, etc.)?
  2. Are you constantly tense, worried, or on edge?
  3. Do you believe that something bad will happen if certain things are not done a certain way?
  4. Do you experience unshakable, irrational fears? 
  5. Do you feel like danger and/ or catastrophe is lingering around every corner?
  6. Do you experience sudden, unexpected anxiety attacks?
  7. Do you avoid everyday situations and/ or activities because they cause you anxiety?

In order to obtain the most effective treatment, it is crucial to be thoroughly evaluated and diagnosed by a qualified mental health professional. 

Disclaimer: 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health.  As such, please do not use any material provided above as a means to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment. 

What Is Art Therapy?

woman doing art therapy

British artist, Adrian Hill, coined the term ‘art therapy’ in 1942 after discovering the healthful benefits of drawing and painting while recovering from tuberculosis. Art therapy is currently recognized as an alternative form of psychotherapy that incorporates creative methods of expression by way of visual arts media. The American Art Therapy Association defines art therapy as “an integrative mental health and human services profession that enriches the lives of individuals, families, and communities through active art-making, creative process, applied psychological theory, and human experience within a psychotherapeutic relationship.” In short, art therapy acts as another means of communication. Unlike many traditional psychotherapeutic modalities, art therapy encourages participants to explore self-expression, emotions, and challenges through various art media rather than relying on one’s ability to accurately articulate verbally. Art therapy has been woven into treatment practices across the country and is often used in prisons, nursery schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and more. Art therapy allows individuals to process emotions and explore solutions to whatever they are experiencing through artistic expression. 

Uses

Nowadays, art therapy is utilized in many areas of society, and depending on one’s needs, is considered a viable method of treatment for individuals ranging in age from toddlers to geriatrics. Art therapy may be used as a form of treatment for individuals with any of the following conditions:

  • Anxiety
  • Eating disorders
  • Emotional difficulties
  • Ageing-related issues
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Substance use disorder
  • Family and/ or relationship problems
  • Depression
  • Cancer 
  • Psychological issues

Art therapists are trained mental health clinicians that are educated in human development, clinical practice, psychological theories, and fine art. Art therapy sessions can be conducted in an individual or group setting. Art therapy can be used on its own or in conjunction with other therapeutic treatment modalities.

Benefits

The mere fact that art therapy is a technique rooted in the notion that creative expression can foster healing and mental well being directly correlates with its efficacy. The benefits of art therapy are extensive. Some examples of the benefits of art therapy include, but are not limited to the following, as provided by the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association:

  • Promotes self-reliance, personal independence, and self-sufficiency
  • Enables an individual to verbally and nonverbally communicate emotions that may otherwise be abandoned 
  • Facilitates illuminating positive perspectives on one’s life
  • Encourages the development of health coping strategies
  • Promotes self-expression and self-discovery
  • Acts as an emotional release
  • Provides stress relief
  • Improves self-esteem
  • Increases resilience 

Many individuals can be shy, or uncomfortable with their ability to properly articulate their emotions. Art therapy can serve as a language for those who need another way to identify, express, process and/ or work though challenges, thoughts, and emotions.   

Disclaimer: 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health.  As such, please do not use any material provided above as a means to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment. 

How To Deal With Anxiety

anxiety word cloud

Anxiety is the body’s natural response to stress. Anxiety will manifest differently in different people. The feelings of anxiety can range from mild (e.g. fluttering in one’s stomach) to severe (e.g. racing heart). Some individuals, however, will experience severe, debilitating anxiety and this could be indicative of the presence of an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders involve excessive feelings of nervousness, anxiousness, fear and anxiety. According to the American Psychiatric Association there are several different types of anxiety disorders, some of which include: generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), separation anxiety disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia, and social anxiety disorder (also known as social phobia). It is important to note that while all people will experience stints of anxiety every now and then, not every person that experiences anxiety will go on to develop an anxiety disorder. 

Signs and Symptoms

In order to effectively deal with anxiety it is helpful to be aware of how it can manifest. When an individual experiences a sudden and intense episode of fear and anxiety it is known as an anxiety attack. Medical News Today provides the following examples of signs and symptoms that can be the result of anxiety, many of which are commonly associated with anxiety attacks:

  • Loss of concentration
  • A rapid heart rate
  • Restlessness 
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dry mouth
  • Chest pain
  • Being easily startled
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Fear 
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Irritability
  • Numbness or tingling in the extremities
  • Feeling of choking
  • Worry and/ or distress

Anxiety attacks can range in severity and duration. Each person is unique and as such different triggers can initiate the onset of anxiety and/ or anxiety attacks in different people. Typically, the symptoms of anxiety attacks come on suddenly, and the intense symptoms can leave a person with residual effects of anxiety long after (e.g. hours, weeks, or even months) an anxiety attack has subsided. 

Helpful Tips

It is helpful to arm oneself with a variety of coping strategies to navigate anxiety when it arises. In order to better deal with anxiety consider the following tips:

  1. Explore relaxation methods: try out different relaxation tactics (e.g. meditation, journaling, listening to music, etc.)
  2. Exercise: regular exercise can not only help you remain physically fit, but also provides a natural release of endorphins, elevating your mood
  3. Get creative: engaging in creativity can be an excellent emotional outlet; consider taking a painting class, try out ceramics, take a cooking class
  4. Breathe: focus on slowing down your breath to help pull your focus away from your symptoms and onto your breath.
  5. Acknowledge your feelings: although it may seem that your anxiety will last forever, it won’t; by acknowledging and naming your feelings you can help diffuse your angst.
  6. Focus on external stimuli: look around you and notice tangible items in your surroundings; this can be both grounding and helpful in gaining perspective over your anxiety

If you are experiencing frequent and/ or severe bouts of anxiety it is best to err on the side of caution and obtain an evaluation from a qualified mental health professional. At the vary least, they will be able to provide you with more pointed guidance regarding how to most effectively deal with your anxiety. 

Disclaimer: 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health.  As such, please do not use any material provided above as a means to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment. 

ADHD Treatment For Children In Los Angeles

ADHD in blocks for children

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), previously referred to as attention deficit disorder (ADD) is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as neurological disorder. ADHD is characterized by three main symptoms: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Most children with ADHD experience all three symptoms. Prior to 1994 a teen with the main symptom being inattention would have been diagnosed with ADD, whereas now the formal diagnosis for this is: ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive Type. It may also be referred to as ADHD without hyperactivity or Inattentive ADHD. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is extremely common. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates nearly 3.3 million children between ages 12-17 have been diagnosed with ADHD. 

Signs and Symptoms

The signs and symptoms that can occur in a child with ADHD can begin in children as young as five years old. Symptoms will often range in severity and can differ depending on one’s gender. Below are examples of common symptoms that could arise in a child with ADHD, provided by the American Psychiatric Association (APA):

  • Failure to meet deadlines (e.g. does not complete homework on time)
  • Inattention to detail
  • Unable to engage in activities that require prolonged attention
  • Mind constantly wandering/ does not listen when directly spoken to
  • Misplaces belongings frequently 
  • Regularly and mindlessly fidgeting  
  • Little or no patience 
  • Easily distractible
  • Organizational difficulties
  • Excessive talking
  • Restlessness

A young person who is diagnosed with ADHD will exhibit at least five of the symptoms from the above list, lasting for six months long or longer, in multiple settings. The symptoms associated with ADHD that are experienced by a child will interfere with his or her ability to appropriately function in his or her daily life. 

Diagnosis

The diagnosis process for ADHD is rather complicated, as there is no single test for diagnosis, and symptoms will vary from child to child. The number of young people that are incorrectly diagnosed and subsequently prescribed medication for ADHD in America is huge. For example, it is not uncommon for symptoms of anxiety to appear as manifestations of ADHD, when in reality they are due to an anxiety disorder. The medications that are prescribed for teens that have ADHD versus those who suffer from anxiety disorders are vastly different. Furthermore, the types of medications that are often prescribed to a young person with ADHD can be detrimental to a child who has an anxiety disorder that does not require medication. It is essential to have a mental health professional evaluate a child that may be struggling with ADHD in order to obtain the proper diagnosis, so as to ensure the most effective treatment.

Treatment

There are many treatment options available in Los Angeles, California for a young person with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The best place to start is to consult your child’s pediatrician. Most pediatricians will be able to point you in the right direction and connect you with a mental health specialist that is within their professional network. Additionally, word of mouth recommendations can yield positive results, so it may behoove you to check with your family and friends and see if anyone has any recommendations. There are also a variety of online resources (e.g. Psychology Today) that can help you find a mental health provider specializing in ADHD in California. Every child is different and will require a customized treatment plan.

Disclaimer: 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health.  As such, please do not use any material provided above as a means to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment. 

What Is Social Anxiety Disorder?

girl with social anxiety disorder

Social anxiety disorder (SAD), also known as social phobia, is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a chronic mental health condition. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIH) explains that social anxiety disorder is “characterized by persistent fear of one or more social or performance situations in which the person is exposed to unfamiliar people or to possible scrutiny by others.” The exact cause for developing an anxiety disorder remains unknown. Research suggests that it is likely due to a combination of contributing factors such as psychological, environmental, genetic, and developmental factors. 

Signs and Symptoms

Every individual is unique and will have his or her own set of challenges with regards to social anxiety. Anxiety is a normal and healthy reaction to stress.

While fleeting anxiety is unavoidable for the vast majority of humans, an individual with social anxiety disorder will experience symptoms that interfere with his or her ability to function in his or her daily life. Common examples of signs and symptoms that an individual with SAD may exhibit could include any combination of the following, as provided by the Mayo Clinic:

  • Muscle tension
  • Agitation 
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Excessive worry and or fear
  • Sweating
  • Irritability
  • Shaking
  • Poor eye contact with others
  • Low self-esteem/ low self-worth
  • Blushing 
  • Sadness
  • Crying
  • Nausea 
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

In addition to the above, people with social anxiety disorder may have frequent self-deprecating thoughts and/ or constant thoughts of inadequacy. It is important to note that social anxiety disorder symptoms can change over time. 

DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria

The diagnosis process for social anxiety disorder typically includes several components such as a physical exam, reviewing one’s symptoms, completing a self-report questionnaire, and meeting the diagnostic criteria provided in the DSM-5. The diagnostic criteria outlined in the DSM-5 for social anxiety disorder include:

  • Persistent, intense fear or anxiety about specific social situations due to fear of possibly being judged, embarrassed or humiliated
  • Avoidance of anxiety-producing social situations or enduring them with intense fear or anxiety
  • Excessive anxiety that is out of proportion to the situation
  • Anxiety or distress that interferes with one’s daily living
  • Fear or anxiety that is not better explained by a medical condition, medication or substance abuse

In order to ensure proper treatment, it is imperative to be thoroughly evaluated and diagnosed by a qualified mental health professional.

Treatment

There are many treatment options for SAD. Every person is different and will require a customized treatment plan, as each will respond distinctly to various treatment options. Treatment plans for social anxiety disorder will typically consist of a variety of therapeutic approaches, such as talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), expressive arts therapy and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). It is not uncommon for medication to be incorporated in one’s treatment plan in conjunction with psychotherapy. There are several different types of SSRIs that are often prescribed for individuals with SAD. SSRIs are Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. Some of the common SSRIs that are often prescribed for social anxiety disorder include Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate), Zoloft (sertraline), and Prozac (fluoxetine). If left untreated, social anxiety disorder can lead to a plethora of short and long-term effects.  

Disclaimer: 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health.  As such, please do not use any material provided above as a means to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment. 

Most Common Marital Problems

married couple having problems

Every relationship has challenges, and most individuals understand that when entering into a marriage they are exposing themselves to a whole slew of potentially difficult to navigate experiences, also known as marital problems. The marital problems that have the propensity to manifest could range from mild to extreme, and anywhere in between. Some of the most widespread martial problems include the following, in no particular order: 

  • Division of labor: research indicates that when both spouses work outside the home, the responsibility of chores and housework usually falls on the woman. An imbalanced division of labor can foster resentment.
  • Infidelity: infidelity includes short and long-term emotional affairs and physical cheating, and can corrode a marital relationship.  
  • Communication issues: communication in a relationship encompasses both verbal and non-verbal cues. Lacking the ability to effectively communicate (e.g. listening without interrupting) or falling into a habit of engaging in improper communication can fester in a marriage. 
  • Finances: arguing about money is highly common and can be particularly frustrating when a couples view on finances is not aligned. 
  • Power inequality: power can be held in many areas (e.g. parenting power, decision-making power, financial power, etc.) and when there is power inequality in a marital relationship one spouse is likely to feel powerless over time. 
  • Children and childrearing differences: every person comes with his or her own worldview and perspective, which directly inform their respective parenting styles. Raising children can be highly stressful and when conflicting parenting styles clash it can affect a married couples relationship. 
  • Boredom: the beginning of relationships are new and exciting, but without putting in effort, as time progresses relationships can stagnate and become void of excitement.  
  • Different love languages: in 1992, Dr. Gary Chapman wrote a well renowned book called The Five Love Languages. In it he defines five different ways people give and receive love (e.g. touch, time, acts of service, words of affirmation, and gift giving). If both individuals in the couple speak different love languages, it may lead to partners feeling underappreciated and/ or unloved in their relationship.
  • Sex: every person has different sexual desires and needs, and many couples struggle with sexual compatibility. 
  • Abuse: there are several forms of abuse (e.g. verbal abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, mental abuse, etc.) and allowing any kind of abuse in a relationship can be severely damaging to the health of each individual, separately and as a couple. 

If you experience any of the above marital problems, you are in good company. The fact is that no marriage is void of marital problems, as they will develop at some point during the relationship. Marital problems exist and they should not be stigmatized. Enduring and resolving relationship challenges can provide couples with an opportunity to learn from their experiences while simultaneously deepening and strengthening their relationship. 

Disclaimer: 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health.  As such, please do not use any material provided above as a means to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

Anxiety Treatment For Children

boy with anxiety

Preadolescence and adolescence can be incredibly challenging periods in a young person’s life. It is both normal and unavoidable for a young person to experience bouts of anxiety, especially during their teenage years. However, severe and frequent levels of anxiety that interfere with a young person’s ability to complete everyday tasks could be indicative of an anxiety disorder. In some cases, it can be difficult to discern normal levels of anxiety from debilitating anxiety levels, especially as children endure the countless physiological changes that occur during the preadolescence and adolescence stages. It is generally best to err on the side of caution when it comes to a child’s mental and emotional wellbeing. In situations where a child’s anxiety becomes increasingly problematic to the point that it interferes with his or her ability to function socially, occupationally, and/ or educationally in daily life it is best to pursue guidance from a qualified mental health professional. Every child is different and will respond distinctly to the varied methods of treatment for anxiety.

What Are Anxiety Disorders?

Anxiety disorders are a common mental health condition that is characterized by persistent feelings of fear, worry, and/ or distress. There are several different types of anxiety disorders. Children with anxiety disorders are likely to have one or more of the following: 

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Selective mutism (SM)
  • Panic disorder
  • Phobias
  • Social anxiety disorder (SAD)
  • Separation anxiety disorder 

Research has discovered that anxiety disorders are more prevalent in females than males, of all ages.  

Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder

There are many different types of anxiety disorders, and each have their own respective set of symptoms. Some of the more general signs and symptoms that span across most anxiety disorders could include, but are not limited to, any combination of the follow, as provided by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating 
  • Muscle tension
  • Behavioral problems
  • Excessive worry
  • Strong startle response
  • Nervousness
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Fear of being alone
  • Nail biting
  • Frequent urination and/ or bedwetting 

The Child Mind Institute has pointed out that, unfortunately, nearly eighty percent of young people with anxiety go untreated. 

Treatment

There are many different therapeutic modalities that can be used to treat children with anxiety. With the help of a qualified mental health professional, the nuanced mental health needs of each child will be considered and used to develop a customized treatment plan. The specific components of a child’s anxiety treatment plan could consist of a combination of different therapeutic approaches. It is highly common to include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in one’s treatment plan. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment approach. Through CBT a child can learn to replace and adjust negative self-views through behavior modification. Other treatment options that could be included in a child’s treatment plan may be creative arts therapies, group therapy, exposure therapy, and medication. It is important to note that though medication is always an option, for some children it may be unnecessary. 

Disclaimer: 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health.  As such, please do not use any material provided above as a means to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.