I’m delighted to have a feature article in the latest print issue distributed throughout Southern CA. The article titled “A Mother Knows” is particularly meaningful to me in that the events I share took place there when I was a single mom to two sons, and we struggled with multiple mental disorders, including my son Alex’s diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia, his younger brother’s depression and anxiety disorder and my own lifelong untreated depression. Happy to say we’ve all reached recovery, one reason why I’m sharing our experiences.
The print edition is also available online; read it here.
More good news for special needs parents in California…with CalMHSA (Prop 63 support for mental health services for all and early intervention clinics such as PREP for youth psychosis), parent-activists like Laura Schumaker, and a proactive insurance commission, kids with … Continue reading
Sometimes it’s important to connect the dots in a very public way between cause and effect, as with the “adverse events” in childhood that can cause lifelong trauma. In an excellent essay on Huff Post, Lloyd Sederer, a prominent N.Y. psychiatrist whose articles I follow closely, honors the American Pediatric Association for its leadership on raising awareness around the lifelong damage caused by childhood trauma.
It seems that those who have experienced trauma as children also need to be reminded that these events can be devastating in order to allow themselves to seek help for the PTSD or whatever effects may be present in their adult lives. To help, Dr. Sederer also notes interventions and treatments for child and family trauma that have been shown to be effective.
As noted by the APA and Dr. Sederer, here are the primary “Adverse Childhood Events”, or ACEs that do the most damage to children — and the adults they become:
1. Direct psychological abuse
2. Direct sexual abuse
3. Direct physical abuse
4. Substance abuse in household
5. Mental illness in household
6. Mother treated violently
7. Criminal behavior in household
The greater the number of ACEs, the greater the risk of developing a chronic disease,or multiple chronic diseases. From post traumatic disorder research we know the greater theseverity and frequency of the trauma the more like it will burn itself into the brains neural circuitry.
via Lloyd I. Sederer, MD: Trauma and Adversity in Childhood: History Need Not Be Destiny.
This is cutting edge reporting on a different aspect of post partum depression… “Probably, a lot of what people are experiencing is a hormone change that’s making them feel down, and they feel they have just lost a special relationship,” … Continue reading
POSTED ON HUFF POST 2-25-2012
In light of the continuing controversy surrounding Whitney Houston’s death, including questions of blame and responsibility for what the coroner may determine was an overdose involving drugs and alcohol, here is a look at the science behind the central and often misunderstood concept of self-medication in mental illness, addiction and recovery. My interest in this is both professional and personal. My sister Rita died of a multiple drug cocktail at age 38 — after a downward slide that began over 20 years earlier and finally caught up with her. She was, like Whitney Houston, a victim of her own demons and a culture that favors self-medication over getting mental health treatment. As both of their premature deaths demonstrate, self-medication and aging don’t mix well.
Victoria Costello: Addiction Causes: Understanding Self Medication And How I Lost My Sister To Substance Abuse.
This definitive meta-analysis took place in 2007 and there has been nothing to disprove its findings since....”We conclude that there is now sufficient evidence to warn young people that using cannabis could increase their risk of developing a psychotic illness later in life.”
This is for all young people, it’s an even higher risk for those with a genetic load of family mental illness. This should not be mixed up with discussions of medical marijuana use for ADULTS. Here’ we’re talking about young still growing brains under the age of 25...
via Cannabis use and risk of psychotic or affective mental health outcomes: a systematic review : The Lancet.
PANDAS — or Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections — is the unusual diagnosis given to a group of children who abruptly develop Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or tic disorders such as Tourette’s Syndrome – but only after contracting … Continue reading
Shocking, but not surprising. I offer this new finding to set the context for my Huffington Post article, listed above. 10% of kids live with at least one alcoholic parent.
Study Shows that Problem Behavior In Toddlers May Be Due To Over-Reactive Parenting Lipscomb said the take-away message for parents of young children and infants is that the way they adapt to toddlerhood – a challenging time marked by a … Continue reading