Informative General Mental Health Articles
Posted 02 March 2005 - 07:29 PM
(United Press International)
Updated: Feb 10th 2005
The Food and Drug Administration Wednesday revised its warning about antidepressants and their effect on children and teenagers taking such drugs.
In its earlier warning, the FDA had said drugs such as Zoloft, Paxil and Prozac could cause suicidal actions among children and teens.
In its revised warning, the federal regulatory agency changed the wording to say only that the drugs increased the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in short-term studies of adolescents and children with depression and other psychiatric disorders, CNN reported.
News of the FDA's warning change was disclosed in Charleston, S.C., during the murder trial of 15-year-old Christopher Pittman. The defense contends Zoloft caused the boyr to **** his grandparents when he was 12.
Steve Romano, a psychiatrist and a vice president of Pfizer, which makes Zoloft, mentioned the FDA change at Pittman's trial while being questioned about the company's own clinical trials for Zoloft.
The significant retreat by the FDA came after several months of lobbying by the pharmaceutical industry, the report said.
The agency has never approved Zoloft, Paxil or most similar drugs for use by younger patients with depression. Even so, many doctors prescribe them for children and teens.
Depressed Moms Raise Risk for Kids' Behavioral Woes
Tue Feb 8,11:47 PM ET
TUESDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- A mother's depression may raise the risk for antisocial behavior in her child, especially when depression occurs early in her child's development, British researchers say.
Researchers at King's College, London studied 1,116 sets of twins and found much higher levels of antisocial behavior in 7-year-old kids whose mothers had suffered depression during the child's first five years of life.
The greatest risk for problem behaviors occurred in children whose mothers suffered from depression and also showed symptoms of antisocial personality disorder.
A family history of antisocial behavior "accounted for approximately one-third of the observed association between maternal depression and children's antisocial behavior," the study authors explained in a prepared statement. They say the study findings also suggest a strong environmental component linking exposure to a mother's depression with behavioral problems in her offspring.
The UK team believe a combination of three factors might explain the association between antisocial behavior in children and depression in mothers: First, depressed women are more likely to have antisocial personality traits related to depression; second, they are more likely to have children with men who also display antisocial behaviors; and third, children of depressed mothers may simply be genetically predisposed to antisocial disorders.
Building Self-Esteem in Children
By National Mental Health Information Center SAMHSA's,
SAMHSA - NMHIC
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) National Mental Health Information Center provides information about mental health via a toll-free telephone number (800-789-2647), this web site and more than 200 publications.
Most parents have heard that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" and it's especially true with self-esteem in children. All children need love and appreciation and thrive on positive attention. Yet, how often do parents forget to use words of encouragement such as, "that's right," "wonderful," or "good job"? No matter the age of children or adolescents, good parent-child communication is essential for raising children with self-esteem and confidence.
Self-esteem is an indicator of good mental health. It is how we feel about ourselves. Poor self-esteem is nothing to be blamed for, ashamed of, or embarrassed about. Some self-doubt, particularly during adolescence, is normal”even healthy-but poor self”esteem should not be ignored. In some instances, it can be a symptom of a mental health disorder or emotional disturbance.
Parents can play important roles in helping their children feel better about themselves and developing greater confidence. Doing this is important because children with good self-esteem:
Take pride in their accomplishments
Handle peer pressure appropriately
Attempt new tasks and challenges
Handle positive and negative emotions
Offer assistance to others
Words and actions have great impact on the confidence of children, and children, including adolescents, remember the positive statements parents and caregivers say to them. Phrases such as "I like the way you¦" or "You are improving at¦" or "I appreciate the way you¦" should be used on a daily basis. Parents also can smile, nod, wink, pat on the back, or hug a child to show attention and appreciation.
What else can parents do?
Be generous with praise. Parents must develop the habit of looking for situations in which children are doing good jobs, displaying talents, or demonstrating positive character traits. Remember to praise children for jobs well done and for effort.
Teach positive self-statements. It is important for parents to redirect children's inaccurate or negative beliefs about themselves and to teach them how to think in positive ways. Avoid criticism that takes the form of ridicule or shame. Blame and negative judgments are at the core of poor self-esteem and can lead to emotional disorders.
Teach children about decisionmaking and to recognize when they have made good decisions. Let them "own" their problems. If they solve them, they gain confidence in themselves. If you solve them, they'll remain dependent on you. Take the time to answer questions. Help children think of alternative options.
Show children that you can laugh at yourself. Show them that life doesn't need to be serious all the time and that some teasing is all in fun. Your sense of humor is important for their well-being.
ados for Depression Forums Administration
Original DF join date: October 25, 2001
Posted 17 June 2005 - 06:46 PM
Dr. Bob Wilmott
Stress and anxiety can be as unhealthy for children as they are for adults.
Some level of anxiety is normal during a child's development. When anxieties fail to fade, however, parents should seek a medical evaluation.
Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health problems faced by children, according to the National Mental Health Association.
These problems can cause a variety of difficulties, says Donna Gfeller, director of psychology and psychiatry at Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital. "Depending on the developmental age of the child, the child may (have) temper tantrums, bed-wetting, perfectionist tendencies, school performance concerns, peer relationship concerns, avoidance of a specific anxiety-provoking situation or other emotional concerns."
In one large-scale study of children between the ages of 9 and 17, as many as 13 percent were reported to have had an anxiety disorder in the previous year, according to The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Short of medical intervention, one of the best things parents can do is to learn to communicate with their children. By listening and allowing a child to initiate conversation, parents can build a trusting relationship that encourages the child to talk through problems and find solutions.
Here are some ideas for aiding communication:
- Acknowledge your child's emotions.
- Help your child to explore his feelings by talking openly about them.
- Involve your child in creative activities that give him an outlet for his feelings.
Perhaps the best day-to-day tactic for helping children avoid anxiety is to be positive and upbeat, even when faced with your child's shortcomings. Whether it's a poor grade in school or something as simple as spilled milk, a parent's reaction can make or break a young person's self-image.
Dr. Bob Wilmott is chief of pediatrics at Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital.
July 19, 2004
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Original DF join date: October 25, 2001
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