Category Archives: Child and Teen mental disorders


Journal Psychological Medicine Adds Another Major Study Linking Youth Psychosis & Cannabis

Whatever you can do to keep your teenagers from smoking pot — especially if there’s a family history of mental disorders or suicide (suspected or verified) — DO IT! Cannabis use is associated with an earlier age at onset of … Continue reading


“Mom, I’m Joining the Marines” | Anxiety In Teens – the resource for youth with anxiety, depression and beyond!

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Here’s another excerpt from A Lethal Inheritance, about my youngest son’s struggles with anxiety and depression. It’s one of the most popular articles on the teen-run site, “Anxiety in Teens.” (Check out the website if your teen has “issues.”) “Ummm … Continue reading


Appearing “Young & Healthy” But Needing Psych Services | My Meds, My Self

An excellent post from Kaitlin Bell Barnett explaining why Health Care Reform (before the Supreme Court) and the individual  mandate matter to young people…. Since there is not much to do, from a layman’s perspective, except wait until June for … Continue reading

The Thoughtful Parent Blog: “The Tangled Web of Depressed Moms and Our Children”

I am a guest author today on the The Thoughtful Parent Blog…here is a piece of my post, and a link to the rest…

“Most people are aware that depression runs in families, but our knowledge tends to stop there. Myrna Weissman is a psychiatric epidemiologist who has spent three decades trying to find out exactly how this occurs, conducting research at Columbia University and New York Psychiatric Institute. “If the mother is depressed and just one other close relative in the family has a history of depression we know the children are likely to show up with either anxiety or depression by the time they’re fifteen,” Myrna Weissman told me in an interview for my book, A Lethal Inheritance.”

via The Thoughtful Parent: Guest Author: Victoria Costello.

When Mental Illness is a Family Affair: Q&A with Victoria Costello | World of Psychology

Q: In your book you mention the early signs of mental illness that you missed in your son Alex. Even as a baby, you write that he seemed different. What signs can parents watch for?

A: Some of the early signs resemble those linked to autism, for which parents are already told to monitor their toddlers and preschool children. Newer research is now establishing the existence of signals that can indicate a higher risk for schizophrenia — particularly if the child also has a family history of a psychotic illness such as schizophrenia and some types of bipolar disorder or suicide.

Some developmental signs include sitting, walking and talking later. The child may also have a preference for solitary play at 4 — usually a very sociable age — something that was very true of Alex.

In an older child, social withdrawal, anxiety, antisocial behavior and acts of self-harm are also associated with a higher risk.

There are also risk factors for schizophrenia in genetically vulnerable children over which parents can have at least some control, such as maternal malnutrition and depression; bullying and child maltreatment; and cannabis smoking by adolescents. No one or two of these signs should be seen as red flags. Only in combination do they merit parental concern.

READ the full interview on Psych Central:

via When Mental Illness is a Family Affair: Q&A with Victoria Costello | World of Psychology.

Lloyd I. Sederer, MD: Trauma and Adversity in Childhood: History Need Not Be Destiny

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.


What do you think of this anti-online bullying infographic?

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Copy or just click on the embed code below to see the infographic full size. It’s very elaborate and I’m wondering if it’s too much? Or just cutting edge and effective??? If you think it works, please share the primary … Continue reading


Sudden OCD in kids? Culprit may be strep throat, other infections

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.


Self discipline in Parents sets tone for successful disciplining of toddlers

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