Monday, August 31, 2015

The Decline of Play and Rise in Children's Mental Disorders Children are more anxious and depressed than ever before. Why?

Oko Laa/Shutterstock
Source: Oko Laa/Shutterstock
Rates of depression and anxiety among young people in America have been increasing steadily for the past fifty to seventy years. Today, by at least some estimates, five to eight times as many high school and college students meet the criteria for diagnosis of major depressionand/or an anxiety disorder as was true half a century or more ago. This increased psychopathology is not the result of changed diagnostic criteria; it holds even when the measures and criteria are constant.

Friday, August 28, 2015

7 Qualities That Make a Great ADHD Doctor

Mark Aro sketch: I think one of my kids might have ADHD.
I think one of my kids might have ADHD! (© 2015 Mark Aro)
My husband thought our new family doctor was doing a great job relating to him when he offered up his own experience: “I took Ritalin,” the doctor admitted.
Eagerly, Mark asked, “So you have ADHD, too?”
His doctor’s response shocked him: “No, I just tried it, you know, in college.”
The doctor tried to laugh it off and cover his limited knowledge of ADHD by asking my husband how long he’d had the disorder. He looked shocked when Mark told him he’d had it all his life.

Psychiatry’s Identity Crisis

CreditLeonardo Sonnoli 
AMERICAN psychiatry is facing a quandary: Despite a vast investment in basic neuroscience research and its rich intellectual promise, we have little to show for it on the treatment front.

With few exceptions, every major class of current psychotropic drugs — antidepressants, antipsychotics, anti-anxiety medications — basically targets the same receptors and neurotransmitters in the brain as did their precursors, which were developed in the 1950s and 1960s.

Sure, the newer drugs are generally safer and more tolerable than the older ones, but they are no more effective.

10 Things I’d Tell My Former (Medicated) Self

CreditYann Kebbi
In the fall of 2014 the author decided to quit the prescription medications she has been taking to treat her anxiety, depression and insomnia, and began the process of gradually reducing her dosages. In Going Off, a series of Anxiety posts that began in February, she has chronicled the challenges she has faced from both the drugs and the withdrawal. This is the final installment.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

How to Cut Children’s Screen Time? Say No to Yourself First.

CreditPaul Rogers
Parents are often at fault, directly or indirectly, when children and teenagers become hooked on electronic media, playing video games or sending texts many hours a day instead of interacting with the real world and the people in it. And as discussed in last week’s column, digital overload can impair a child’s social, emotional and intellectual growth.




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