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By January W. Payne

Posted: March 9, 2010

You've been feeling particularly anxious, depressed, or irritable lately. How do you know if it's time to seek help? While not a substitute for diagnosis by a medical professional, a number of online questionnaires, including a new one discussed in a study published in the March-April issue of Annals of Family Medicine, can help you determine whether your symptoms are something to be concerned about. Bradley Gaynes, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, notes that a positive result doesn't mean you have a psychiatric illness. But it does mean you're "having some distressing psychiatric symptoms" and might benefit from expert attention.

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Published By  Lindsay


Almost everyone has had or does presently have some type of phobia. Some common phobias people have are of insects, spiders, riding in elevators or escalators. Some people are afraid of airplanes and will avoid flying,  if at all possible. Approximately 19 million people in the US suffer with some kind of phobia. Phobias can interfere with one's life; a common type of phobia that is restrictive is agoraphobia. There are different types of agoraphobia; one is agoraphobia with panic disorder and the other is agoraphobia without panic disorder. This article won't go into detail about the two different types, but generally, agoraphobia with panic disorder generates sudden panic when a person is out of their comfort zone.

What is agoraphobia?

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Published By  Lindsay

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Mental health experts say for some people, the crisis in the Gulf could dredge up unresolved feelings from Hurricane Katrina. The emotional fallout from the oil spill was one of the topics discussed at the Community Wellness Conference in Biloxi Wednesday. 

A coalition born out of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita is now preparing to deal with the emotional toll of the BP oil crisis. Officials with REACH NOLA say coping with the latest disaster may be more difficult for some people.

"The hurricane itself and the flood waters that came in was a short term occurrence that we can pick up the pieces afterward," said Benjamin Springgate of REACH NOLA. "With the oil spill, the duration of it is something that we're still not clear on how long it is going to take."

Mental health professionals met in Biloxi to discuss what they say is rising anxiety levels along the Gulf Coast. They are especially concerned about the fishermen and tourism workers whose way of life is being threatened.

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 When Children Feel Sad After The Excitement Of The Holidays


THE  New Year hits many children with an emotional thud as the excitement and fantasy of the holidays are replaced by the mundane reality of arithmetic tests and tuna casserole. For some, it is a time of great stress as they try to make sense of all they have done and felt over the past few months.


"To children, Christmas is built up as a time when all sorts of wonderful and important things will happen," said Dr. Lynn P. Rehm, a professor of psychology at the University of Houston who studies depression among children. "And they don't happen."

Dr. Rita P. Underberg, a child psychologist and a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center, said: "The holiday is never as good as what the children see on television in the commercials or on Christmas cards. I've been warning parents not to be discouraged if their children regress emotionally a bit after the holidays."

Children who become more demanding, clinging and whiny at this time of year are usually tired or overstimulated. Their problems are almost always solved by sleep and a return to the old pre-holiday routines at home. But for other families, post-holiday stress is more serious.

"We know that adults tend to become more depressed after the holidays," said Dr. David Fassler, a child psychiatrist in Burlington, Vt., and an instructor at the Harvard Medical School. "We see an increase in referrals to mental health centers in January."

Children may also show bouts of sadness, either because of their own disappointment or in response to their parents' emotions. "Depression in children is often a reflection of depression in their parents," Dr. Rehm said. "In one outpatient clinic where we did our research, more than 40 percent of the children who were diagnosed as depressed had mothers who were also depressed."

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Childhood Anxiety Disorders - Three Effective Treatments


Oct. 31, 2008) — Treatment that combines a certain type of psychotherapy with an antidepressant medication is most likely to help children with anxiety disorders, but each of the treatments alone is also effective, according to a new study funded by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

"Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental disorders affecting children and adolescents. Untreated anxiety can undermine a child's success in school, jeopardize his or her relationships with family, and inhibit social functioning," said NIMH Director Thomas R. Insel, M.D. "This study provides strong evidence and reassurance to parents that a well-designed, two-pronged treatment approach is the gold standard, while a single line of treatment is still effective."


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FOR AGES: Five to 13
Most children experience some fears and anxiety as each new school year begins. They worry they won't be able to read fast enough, and fret that older, popular kids will think they're geeks.



   Your children may be silent about their back-to-school fears, but that doesn't mean they're anxiety-free. Kids may be reluctant to share with you their thoughts of impending confusion and embarrassment. A supportive family conversation about these feelings can be reassuring. Here are some words to help your kids through four particularly difficult transitions.



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