Building Blocks for Mental Health
Mental health, especially for children, has been trending in the news lately. In Columbus, Ohio, a large, brand new kids mental health center opened at Children’s Hospital. In a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers found that one in every six kids here in America between ages 6 and 17 has a mental health disorder that can be identified and treated. Some examples of these conditions are depression, anxiety, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and bipolar disorder.
Parents are understandably concerned for the welfare of their kids. And the usual treatment protocol for mental health/behavioral issues is medication and talk therapy. However, we all know that this does not always work so well. Medication has many adverse side effects and talk therapy may or may not help. After all, kids are kids, not adults, even if they look very grown up. Are you aware that there are other highly effective, low-cost, and non-toxic approaches to reduce or eliminate the symptoms of mental health disorders like depression, ADHD, and more? It’s true!
There are so many opportunities for our vulnerable kids to experiment with drugs. And after all, we can’t be with our kids morning, noon and night - every day. Who’s going to earn the money to keep all the bills paid?! Even with good childcare and our own best efforts, sometimes kids go down the pathway to drugs. Consider also that prescription medication definitively can lead to other substance use. Now marijuana is in the process of being legalized, not only for medical reasons, but for recreational use across increasing numbers of states. This gives kids another reason to use. So – what are we going to do about the rapid spread of drug use in our beloved kids?! (Hint – you, the parent, are the best tool we have!)
Suicide in kids has always been a hot topic for parents. It may be that your children are downward spiraling in depression, feeling isolated, helpless and hopeless. Bullying is often linked to teen suicide. The Center for Disease Control reports that kids who are bullied physically, verbally, or even online, die by suicide way too often. Plus, it’s becoming more commonplace, and we should be worried about this. The practice of bullying has mental health ramifications for both those being bullied and those who are doing the bullying. It affects the mental health of the perpetrator and the victim. Most current efforts at curbing bullying, however well researched and well meaning, are not highly successful. But are you aware that there are ways to make these efforts more effective?!
Another concern for parents is eating disorders in their kids. Although we mostly think of this occurring in girls, boys are also experiencing them. We see 95% of cases of eating disorders in people between the ages of 12 and 25. Three percent of adolescents, ages 13 to 18, have been diagnosed with eating disorders. Consider anorexia – current research states that less than half of the people with this diagnosis recover, but 1 in 3 relapse within the first year. Conventional experts believe that one’s genes plus emotional health (think physical health to get to full emotional health as it’s very related) may cause eating diseases. There are ways to improve these odds in case you were wondering.
Finally, parents are rightfully concerned about learning disabilities, and it is all too frequently being diagnosed. The Mayo Clinic states that this is “an information-processing problem that prevents a person from learning a skill and using it effectively. Learning disorders generally affect people of average or above average intelligence. As a result, the disorder appears as a gap between expected skills, based on age and intelligence, and academic performance.” These, too, are often approached with educational learning plans within the schools, medication, therapy (kids often have emotional fallout from their diagnosis, plus often experience bullying), special accommodations, and extra help with schoolwork. However, there may be ways to improve academic importance and even make some learning disabilities disappear completely!
There are many other issues your children can be facing. These are some of the main ones. Perhaps you can add other issues to the mix so more attention and help comes your way. After all, if you’re experiencing them, it stands to reason that others do as well.
*Please note: all information is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat an individual. It is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. Please consult your doctor or healthcare provider.