Child Behavior, ADHD, Depression and Exercise

April 19th, 2017

Children and teenagers today report symptoms of ADHD and Depression at a higher rate than ever before. Childhood bullying and being overweight is on the rise as well.

Children today are spending an inordinate amount of time on electronics: social media, snapchat, instagram, texting, you tube, Netflix, video games, DS players, TV series and this is creating an imbalance in your child’s life: physically, mentally, emotionally and in other areas.

Physical activity strengthens a child and teen’s bones, muscles, helps with weight gain, and reduces the risk of diabetes and many other diseases. Physical exercise is highly beneficial for your child or teens mental health. Research in the journal of pediatrics supports the above as well as many other articles and research throughout the world.

Exercise, Mood and Behaviors

Exercise improves not only mood and behaviors it releases endorphins and these make your child happy.

Research shows playing outdoors and outside decreases ADHD symptoms. The greener and more wilder the experience is in nature the better restorative effect it has on a child’s ADHD.

The same research is true for depression in children and teenagers. Playtime in nature reduces depressive symptoms and ADHD symptoms in youth and fosters creativity in your child’s mind. We need experiences in nature for our psychological, physical, and spiritual health.

Children attending school that have natural green play areas did better on standardized tests than children and teenagers that did not have access to green playgrounds and nature at their respective schools.

Nature has a healing and relaxing impact on our mind and body.

Children need to get out and play in nature be it riding a bike, walking, going to a park, throwing a ball, shooting baskets at a park, playing tag, and being active.

Exercise for children that provides aerobic activity and short bouts of exercise are a treatment modality for ADHD children. Attention and control improve in the brain studies. Children and teens show great cognitive involvement in testing and reading and math after exercise compared to when simply just seated without exercise.

The more physical activity that was attended during research studies the better cognitive functioning occurred in the children. There was also increases in attention.

Depressive symptoms in children that get outside and play vs sitting inside playing video games and playing electronics is significant in many research studies. Youth that are active at least an hour a day were less likely to report depressive symptoms in their lives. Research supports this in Psychiatric and Psychological journals in many countries throughout the world and in over 500 studies.

Research also shows that a decrease in video games, smart phone activity, TV, social media etc. showed a decrease in a child’s depression and depressive symptoms.

Overall exercise supports executive functioning, brain activity, and a decrease in depressive symptoms

Parents should encourage children to get involved in sports and exercise. Physical activity is not just great for mood and the body it is an opportunity to build self esteem, learn teamwork, learn how to overcome disappointment, learn interpersonal skills and develop social skills.

Child Therapist Anxiety Phoenix Arizona, Scottsdale Arizona

April 8th, 2017

Almost 20 Percent of adults in the USA have anxiety so do not feel alone it is becoming more and more common in our stressful society in the USA. Many teens would like to avoid or not acknowledge their anxiety and this is not the solution. The more the teen ignores the more they find that it is interrupting many areas of life.

The more children and teens open up about: anxiety, panic attacks, OCD, the more we can create strategies and coping mechanisms to manage or eliminate the anxious symptoms.

There are many techniques and tools your child can learn to empower him or herself and feel confident and peaceful and be able to do the things he or she wants to do in life.

There are many factors that can contribute to anxiety or anxiety disorders: obsessive compulsive disorders, Panic disorders, social anxiety, Phobias, general anxiety, Panic attacks, PTSD Post traumatic stress disorders and more.

It is important to look at many elements in an individuals life: medications, factors during inception and birth, environmental factors, Drugs, marijuana, alcohol, Stressors, Trauma from the past ( emotional, physical, mental), sleep, diet, daily habits, negative cognitions daily, genetics in the family from Mom and Dad as well as other family members and their traumas as well.

 

Many practitioners give meds without addressing the root causes of the anxiety. It is important to look at all the above and more in order to create the best plan to reduce anxiety. I have worked with anxiety disorders for over 15 years and have seen a combination of many elements that exacerbate anxiety disorders. It is vital to look at all the above areas in order to really manage your child’s anxiety or your anxiety as best as possible. Not looking at sleep for example and treating the disorder without a change in sleep will most likely not be very successful since sleep is an important element in mood disorders.

Brain experts believe a diet that is heavy in inflammation food consumption and low in healthy fats affects the risk of obtaining anxiety or anxiety disorders. Anxiety is extremely high in those with high sensitivity to gluten.

Medication is used to treat ADHD , however, research shows that it also leads to anxiety disorders, as well as other symptoms including but not limited to addiction.

There are many tools an anxiety client can learn in order to manage an anxiety disorder be it panic attacks, phobias, generalized anxiety, PTSD, etc.

Some of the research based tools in counseling psychology to manage anxiety are: EMDR, DBT, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Progressive Relaxation, VMBR, Exposure therapy, and mindfulness.

Child anxiety is stressful and painful for families. Activities that once were enjoyable are avoided and parents hear complaints of stomach problems, and various aches and pains, headaches and more. Learning ways to cope with anxiety is important. It is a fine balancing act however avoiding school and avoiding sleeping alone and avoiding new things is not creating a balance for your child or teenager. Forcing a child may be overwhelming and can be a failed approach as well. It is important that parents understand that anxiety can be debilitating and your child may no be manipulating and may not be lazy.

Many children that have behavioral issues like oppositional defiance or conduct disorders also have underlying anxiety that they do not know how to handle or identify. Learning skills to manage anxiety is vital to you child’s success socially as well as academically and behaviorally and emotionally. Most children can not articulate what is going on inside their bodies and minds. They must learn skills and tools to address their anxiety.

Some children can manifest itself in different ways. One way might be to avoid situations that are uncomfortable. Another way might be to escape the situation and this can be seen or perceived as oppositional or defiant when it is really fear based. Behavioral dysregulation is common with children and teens that have anxiety disorders: panic attacks, phobia, social anxiety, PTSD, Post traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorders , obsessive compulsive disorder and other anxiety disorders.

Children that display temper tantrums, behavioral problems at school, throw things at school, throw themselves down and cry and have full blown outburst may have a profound anxiety disorder however this needs to be assessed by a professional. Anxiety disorders need to be assessed and treated by a professional in mental health care.

Academic pressure and demands in the classroom can trigger anxiety and this will look like disruptive behaviors. The child may feel overwhelmed and anxious and not be able to cope with the teachers request or the assignment. The child might be intelligent however he or she may have a learning challenge or trouble with the task and feel overwhelmed hence unable to do the task and act out behaviorally.

Most teachers are not trained in identifying anxiety disorders and a child or teenager typically will end up in suspension or in the Principals office being punished. This does not address the underlying issue that may be an anxiety disorder.

A child that is diagnosed with ADHD may have an anxiety disorder instead that looks like: impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattention however this needs to be evaluated by a professional. A lot of times individuals jump to ADHD diagnosis when really the child or teen is suffering with an anxiety disorder. An anxiety disorder may be primary and for example ADHD is secondary or it may be the other way around. There are a number of other diagnosis as well that may be co-occuring with a child or teens anxiety.

It is important to find a professional that has daily experience working with anxiety and children and teens . Children and teens can learn tools and skills to manage and cope with anxiety and other disorders. Parents can learn skills as well to help create success and balance in your child’s life. David Abrams MAPC, LPC, CAGS has over 15 years experience working with families and youth treating anxiety disorders. Lifeworksaz.com has testimonials and more information.

Teen Depression, Aggression, Counseling video Games: Scottsdale Phoenix Arizona

April 8th, 2017

I wrote a research paper in Graduate school back in 2002 on children and teens playing violent video games and aggression using research from TV studies as well as research forom video game use studies. The American Psychological Association recently stated that violent video game play is linked to increased aggression in players. The research demonstrates a consistent relation between violent video game use and increases in in aggressive behavior, aggressive cognitions and aggressive affect. Children playing violent video games shows a relation between the game and a child’s empathy, sensitivity to aggression, and a decrease in pro social behavior.  The link between violence in video games and increased aggression in players is one of the most studied and best established in the field now. The accumulation of risks factors cause a child to act violently..the more risk factors the more potential for violence according to researchers.

Most parents view video games as” entertainment.” their content is not taken as seriously as that of the passive act of watching TV. After all, most adults today grew up playing pong, pac man, asteroids, space invaders, or defender. Nevertheless, what many parents might not realize is that the challenge for many players today is to rack up points by killing prostitutes after having sex with them. Video games have not only become more violent, the characters have become more real, and the effects that they are having on society, specifically women is shocking. Video games have engaged the “once spectator” to actively participate in addictive violence. Recent studies have undoubtedly concluded that the violence and negative reinforcements in video games have not only successfully promoted violence against women by desensitization, but they have also increased aggressive behavior in children and teenagers to a level that has devastated the lives of many.

Many people are shocked to discover that the video game industry is larger than the film industry. The Interactive Digital Software Association reported that video games are “the fastest growing entertainment industry in America, surpassing books, records and movie box offices combined” (Berger 2002). In 1997 the video and computer game industry generated 16 Billion dollars in economic activity, this does not include computer and video game hardware sales. In the year 2000 it became a 20 billion dollar industry and is still growing considerably (Berger, 2002). IDSA also reported at the time sixty five percent of all Americans age six and older, or about 145 million people, play computer and video games (Berger 2002). The video game industry has increased exponentially since 2002. It is stated that video games, many times is the initial experience that children have with the computer/ technology world. So, if boys tend to be the primary target of the industry, which, they are, what effect does it have on girls. As of today the video game industry is a 100 BILLION Dollar Industry in America.

If a child’s interest begins with games. most common computer games involve violence and aggressive themes have the effect of turning girls away from the computers in general. This is one way of keeping women out of power. After all, these are male dominated industries. Since computer literacy is essential in most jobs, people who are exposed to computers earlier in life have an obvious advantage. The boys who outnumber the girls in gaming, will be the men who out-number the women in the business world. This may lead to the girls becoming less interested in the world of computers as a career. Girls are not the only ones who are not enamored with video games. Parents are unaware of the violence that is being reinforced hundreds of thousands of times in their child’s brain.

Teenagers report that 95 percent of the time their parents do not check the ratings or the content of video games being purchased. Ninety percent of parents do not set limits on how much time their child can play video games.

We have seen an alarming increase in violence and school shooting. Shootings at Paucah, Kentucky, Jonesboro, Arkansas, and Littleton, Colorado were all cases where the shooters were students who habitually played violent video games. The bloody game Doom was Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold’s favorite game ( they wounded 23 and killed 13). Two studies examined violent video games effect on aggression related variables. The first study found that real-live violent video games are positively related to aggressive behavior and delinquency. the second study showed lab exposure to a violent video game increased aggressive thoughts and and behaviors. The results are in line with the General Affective Aggression Model, which predicts that exposure to violent video games will increase aggressive behavior in both the short term and the long term ( Calvert, Jordan, Cocking 2000)

A study of about 329 children and media violence was done over a 21 year period by L. Rowell Huesmann at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. Girls and boys participated. This was one of the few studies that followed children into adulthood, which enabled researchers to gauge the long term effects of televised violence. Men in the top twenty percent on childhood exposure to violence were twice as likely as adults to have pushed, grabbed or shoved their wives. The women who scored in the 20 percent were twice as likely to throw something at their husbands. the study concluded that both girls and boys exposed to a lot of televison violence have a greater risk of spousal abuse and criminal offenses, no matter what they were like as children( Ritter, M., 2003). This study was based specifically on violence, however, most video games today are also including very graphic sexually violent images, which are destroying women and the morality of society as a whole.

The effects of viewing sexually violent images was researched and discussed by Ed Donnerstein, Dean and Professor of Communications at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  In his study, young adults ages 18-20 were shown a one hour documentary on battered women. After watching the film, the viewers showed less empathy toward the victims. They lowered their evaluation on the level of injury that the women received. They also under estimated the level of pain that must have been experienced. Both men and women were more likely to display indifference toward the victims. many blamed the rape on the ladies and believed that the women brought it to themselves. It is clear that watching these images are negative, however, the video game industry uses reinforcement tactics to hook children, teens, and adults making the game, not just interactive but addictive. Violence in America and against women has increased since the rise of video games across the country.

Violence was declared the number one health problem for women in 1992, sadly, recent studies have concluded that the problem is not decreasing ( Violence, Women, and  the Media, 2000). For example , consider the following statistics: the single major cause of injury to American women is domestic violence, exceeding gang violence, muggings, murders, and accidents ( The Commonwealth Fund, 1993). In the US, one women is raped every two minutes (National Crime Victimization survey, 1996). One in every seven women has been raped in her life time (Daily News, November 18,1998). Also, In America a woman is physically abused every nine seconds ( The Commonwealth Fund, July 1993). In emergency rooms more than one third of American women have suffered physical or sexual abuse ( Sternberg S. 1999) And a staggering thirty percent of women murdered in the US are killed by their husbands, ex-husbands or boyfriends ( national Crime Victimization Survey,1996). Researchers have found that the way the media depicts women influences how women are viewed and treated in society( Violence, Women, and the Media, 2000). For example, many video games are very degrading and often depict women as victims of violence. Also many video games also portray women as sex objects.

In the year 2000 half of the top selling video games contained negative images about girls according to (Children, Now 2000). For example unrealistic body images, high pitched voices,fainting, violence, and provocative sexuality is promoted.

Twenty eight percent of games in a study show women as inferior and powerless. In games like Grand Theft Auto boys are taught women can be treated brutally and this is reinforced in the video game.

Players of Grand Theft Auto get rewarded if they kick and kill the prostitute to death after they have sex with her. Sounds shocking, but it is true and is one of the most popular video games among children and teenagers in the US. After playing for 4-8 hours a day, these acts of violence begin to seem normal.

Two decades of research had shown that repeated exposure to violence blunts emotional reactions and makes people less likely to help others in need ( Levine, 1996). Perfectly normal people no longer recognize violence because it is so prevalent in the media. People grow numb to violence with repeated exposure via media. People become less responsive to human pain and begin to lose awareness of what it means to be human.

Before the Vietnam War, fewer than 20 percent of soldiers on the front lines would actually fire at the enemy, however, with games such as Doom used as conditioning tools fdor the soldiers, the US military kill rate increased to (0 percent in Vietnam. With video games, our military scientifically overcame the soldier’s innate resistance to killing ( game Over, 2000) Violent video games are the mental equivalent of putting an assault rifle in the hands of every American child. By sitting mindlessly, killing countless thousands of fellow members of their own species without any ramifications or repercussions, operant conditioning concepts transfer immediately when the individual gets a real weapon in their hand and are being taught violence. The recent school shootings in 2008 and 2007 serve as an example of a link between video games and heightened aggressive behaviors.

For the video game child/ teenager or gamer, beating a previous high score, or winning a free game, or having sex with a prostitute is all part of Skinnerian reinforcement. behavior that is followed by reinforcement that will increase in frequency. In short, video games that make a child or teen or adult feel good will be played again and again. A partial reinforcement schedule will lead to behavior that occurs more often with and is more resilient to extinction than does a continuous reinforcement schedule. These two effects of partial reinforcement produce what is considered addictive behavior. These irregular schedules of reinforcement are in part, what cause these video games to be so exciting and desirable. This kind of reinforcement, which causes addictive behaviors can explain why their is an increase in the video game industry as a whole.

The AMA states that anywhere in the world where TV appears, 15 years later the murder rate doubles. Ten thousand murders per year, 70,000 rapes, and 700,000 assaults. We must consider the impact of violent video games on the minds and behaviors of our society. The evidence is clear violence breeds more violence in the majority of situations.

In 2015 the 120 Billion dollar Video game industry must be taken seriously. It must start with education and healthy parenting. It must come with boundaries and limitations. It must come with healthy communication and listening to children and teenagers. It must come from healthy role modeling from parents. The video game industry is no different than access to violence on TV or on the internet. Violence and abuse physically, mentally, emotionally, and sexually is not ok!

Counseling Teens and Children: Phoenix, Scottsdale, Cave Creek Arizona

April 6th, 2017

Teens are facing a great deal of challenges that are real and challenging. Adolescents are exposed to many struggles from the inside to their environment. Teens are experiencing hormonal and physical body changes. Youth are searching for their own identity and want to fit in as well as find friendships. Many teenagers feel overwhelmed and stressed out concerning their grades, their future, college, a career path and more.

Some of the most common problems teens are facing today are: relationship issues with family and friends, stress, bullying, anxiety, depression, addiction to Electronics: social media, instagram, snapchat, video games, you tube, Netflix, the internet, texting, TV, and other electronic media, body image, peer pressure, drinking and smoking, drugs, self esteem, social skills, academic and school stress, family communication and healthy life skills and habits.

 

All of the above issues are interconnected and must be addressed to create healthy life choices and healthy behaviors at home and at school as well as socially for your child’s success and happiness.

For example if your child has a few friends he might be suffering from anxiety and stress. He or she might also have a low self esteem and negative thinking about his or her ability to be liked and fit in with peers. Many youth are highly critical and judgmental of themselves and their image of their body is negative. Many teens compare themselves to media and celebrities and feel inferior or un attractive.

Bullying is a huge issue in the school system. Children and teens can be cruel in person and via smartphone and internet. Bullying is real and has impacted millions of children and teens. A child that is being bullied is suffering great emotional pain and this must be addressed asap. Many children have committed suicide and have stated in their suicide notes that is was due to being bullied. Bullying impacts your child’s mood, academics, and social lives and this is vital to be addressed for your child’s mental and physical health.

Depression is one of the worst problems teens are struggling with and can lead to more problems in the future. Depression can arise from: low self esteem, negative self talk, poor self image, struggles academically, grief and loss, poor social interactions, family challenges, bullying, being out of balance, poor sleep, and other unhealthy habits.

There are many symptoms of depression in your child. It can be : dropping grades, changes in sleep, sleeping too much, lack of sleep, lack of interest and motivation in activities they once enjoyed, isolating in their room, crying a lot, not communicating feelings, avoiding family interactions, isolating, suicidal talk, feeling hopeless, worthless, criticizing themselves.

Teen problems are interrelated and for example depression will not improve unless negative self talk improves, self esteem changes, social interactions change, eating and sleeping habits change, family dynamics change etc. A holistic approach is best.

Lifeworksaz.com David Abrams MAPC, LPC CAGS has worked with children, teens and families for over fifteen years. His specialty is youth and families working with : depression, anxiety, ADHD, ASD, Bullying, electronic addiction, family issues, academics, motivation, social skills, self esteem, mood regulation, stress management, and more. David has worked with youth and families in: Phoenix, Cave Creek, Scottsdale, Tempe, Goodyear, Buckeye, and Gilbert.

Teen counseling depression: Phoenix, Scottsdale, Cave Creek Arizona

April 5th, 2017

Selena Gomez discussed that she was suffering from : anxiety, panic attacks and depression and needed to attend to her mental health. Anxiety and depression can impact anyone regardless of success or celebrity status. There are many teens and adults that suffer from anxiety and depression and is very common so do not be afraid to get support. We all need support in our lives at one point or another.

Demi lavoto has opened up about her struggle with depression and Bipoar disorder. Justin Bieber suffers from ADHD. Leonardo Dicapprio suffers from anxiety and OCD. The list of celebrities and people in the USA that have a mental health issue is in the millions so do not fret you can get help and manage your challenges so you can be happier and more at peace.

Thirty two million people suffer from Major depression in the United States of America. A large recent research study shows that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be as effective as using a second generation anti-depressant to treat the depression. The study focused on three anti depressants that are used frequently to treat depression. The three anti depressants were: Wellbutrin, Lexapro, and Prozac. The journal states that both options should be provided for treatment for the almost 20 Percent of people that suffer from depression.

CBT Cognitive Behavioral Therapy empowers your child to manage his mood, thoughts, and behaviors. A medication will not change your child’s negative or rational or unhealthy thinking. This therapy in conjunction with healthy life choices, boundaries, building self esteem, social skills, and learning to be successful is vital for a child’s life long journey.

There is as much evidence for cognitive behavioural therapy as there is for medications to treat mild and moderate depression, as well as evidence that they have a synergistic effect,” says Dr. Gratzer. “In other words, for the hundreds of thousands of Canadians struggling with depression, Internet-assisted cognitive behavioural therapy offers a cost-effective and empowering way of accessing an important treatment.”

One of the most common types of mental health disorders that children, teens, and women experience is depression. We all have times when we feel: down, low, unmotivated and lack energy however when symptoms occur for over two weeks it may be sign of a depressive disorder, grief and loss and more.

Major depression occurs twice as frequently in women as major depression occurs in men. Depression is a persistant state that will negatively affect ones physical well being and health as well as how one performs, behaves, and ones mood.

Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in society however it is not diagnosed due to a number of reasons and it needs to be looked at by a professional in order to help alleviate symptoms that impact ones life.

Many things contribute to depression: grief and loss, loss of friends, changes in relationships, new schools, new life transitions, negative thinking, financial stress, family stress, abuse, genetics, biological predispositions, environmental factors and much much more.

Treatment for depression can include: counseling, coaching, psychotherapy, meds, or a combination of some of the above or all of the above.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is an evidence based treatment used in therapy to help with depression and anxiety as well as other disorders. CBT looks at the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors .

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy looks at thoughts to see if the thoughts have distortions in them. By identifying unhealthy thoughts we can change them to healthier thoughts. These healthier thoughts will impact our feelings as well as future behavior in a positive manner .

An example of some cognitive distortions follow :

Black or White Thinking: you look at things in black n white and see little shades of gray or other colors in your spectrum .

Mind Reading: you read others minds and jump to a conclusion that is not supported by facts .

Magnification or minimization: you blow things out of proportion or you shrink their importance .

Labeling: instead of stating you made a mistake you call yourself names .

CBT is a powerful form of therapy and counseling that has evidence and research to support it by the medical as well as the psychological experts.

CBT therapy is based on the fact that our thoughts cause our feelings and behaviors not external things, like people, situations and events. CBT therapy is a research based therapy w evidence to show positive results. It is rapid in terms of results obtained compared to other therapeutic techniques .

Cognitive Behavioral therapy is considered a brief type of therapy .

The average number of sessions is approx 15.

CBT Cognitive Behavioral Therapy makes use of homework and is highly instructive in nature.

Rapport with the therapist is important in CBT however the focus is on teaching rational self therapy skills.

Learning what goals you desire and helping you achieve those goals is part of CBT.

CBT is just one of many techniques used to create changes in moods and depression.

LifeWorks AZ counseling provides therapy and psychotherapy for adults , families, and teens in phoenix Arizona working with depression and Bipolar disorder as well as anxiety and other disorders.

Child ADHD counseling Therapy: Phoenix, Scottsdale,Cave Creek Arizona

April 4th, 2017

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that providers prescribe behavior therapy and counseling before medication. Parenting and individual child and teen counseling can create desired changes in ADHD behaviors. Behavior therapy gives children choices to manage their own behavior and to make healthy choices and decisions. A behavioral approach will work for a majority of children and teenagers in counseling therapy. Data shows the long term trajectory of ADHD symptoms does not change with medication . Behavior therapy looks at the root of the behaviors and helps create change.

Medication does not look at a child’s thoughts or problem solving or behavior management it simply may numb your child out. However when your child or teen refuses to take the medication he or she will not have the skill set to manage his or her moods and emotions and it will be harder to learn the longer he or she has been relying on medication and not dealing with the underlying problems. Behavioral counseling and therapy is not done overnight however results can be seen in weeks depending on the child and family. Parents are involved at a high level to help implement behavior therapy and being consistent is very important.

Research shows using ADHD behavior therapy early on helps prevent other negative behaviors like oppositional defiance, anxiety, depression, conduct disorders , a low sense of self , self esteem and more.

It is important that children with ADHD receive positive praise and rewards after engaging in appropriate behavior. Improvement in parent child relationship was vital to a reduction in ADHD child behavior according to a large study done in Japan. Japan does not typically use Pharmaceuticals to treat ADHD .

ADHD effects children and adolescents worldwide at the rate of 3.5 percent of the worlds children according to researchers. ADHD is one of the most commonly diagnosed mental health disorders in the USA and worldwide. The main symptoms of ADHD are : hyperactivity, impulsivity, and attention deficits.

Over sixty five percent of children and adolescents diagnosed with ADHD in a large study showed the symptoms into their mid twenties.

Healthy diets have a huge impact on ADHD according to research in Spain. Mediterranean diets filled with lots of fruits, vegetables and healthy fats provide the best nutrients for ADHD according to a recent study.

Over one million children are mis diagnosed with ADHD each year. This is concerning since many are put on stimulant medications and long term impacts of stimulants is not known for youth.

Many children are diagnoses with ADHD because they are young and immature and they do not have ADHD. Many children are simply emotionally immature and or intellectually immature. Many ADHD diagnosis are driven by behaviors at school. Teachers are overwhelmed and they do not have the resources to take time to manage a child’s behaviors with many classrooms having a 30:1 ratio . Teachers really need many more assistants and if they did the suggestion of an ADHD diagnosis would disappear most likely.

Children and adolescent teenagers that experience stress and trauma are more likely to have an ADHD diagnosis. Psychosocial issues are rarely looked at by pediatricians according to recent ADHD studies. Children with ADHD may display: disruptive behaviors, impulsivity, issues with organization, issues with memory, challenges with problem solving and more.

ADHD like symptoms are often found in children and teens that have family stressors and or environmental stressors. Family discord and divorce are some examples where ADHD like behaviors are likely to be seen. Research shows that environmental stressors may increase levels of stress to a high toxic level. This level of stress may impair a child or teens brain development, behaviors, and overall it may impact their physical health as well as their mental health.

When environmental stressors like divorce or family stress is not looked at many practitioners may diagnose a child or teen with ADHD and are at risk of overlooking a child’s past trauma or current trauma as well as environmental factors that are the triggers for the behaviors like Impulsivity, disruptive behaviors, challenges with focus or problem solving etc.

Financial hardships, domestic violence, divorce, mental illness in families, incarceration of parents, discrimination death, grief and loss must be looked at in depth before one gives a child or teenager a diagnosis of ADHD.

Children and teens can learn ways to mange behaviors and moods via therapy and counseling. Parents can learn tips to assist in healthy behaviors at home and at school through child therapy and family counseling from a professional who specializes in these areas. Lifeworksaz.com provides child, teen, adolescent, and family therapy in Phoenix, Scottsdale Arizona. David Abrams MAPC, LPC has expertise working with ADHD children and teens for over fifteen years as well as parenting techniques for ADHD

Child Counseling : anxiety, social skills, self esteem Phoenix, Scottsdale AZ.

April 3rd, 2017

Many children and teens are struggling with developing healthy relationships with peers. They are able to play video games online and skype friends and text friends however when it comes to face face communication it is a huge challenge. Children and teens become extremely depressed and angry about not having friends to spend time with or to talk to and connect with outside of school. Developing positive social skills is essential for a child’s mood and mental health as well as future success. Many children are not aware that anxiety and negative thinking is preventing them from making new friends. Negative self esteem can also be an issue and I see the above daily in my office. The great news is that these challenges can be modified with some work.

Children and teen can learn active listening skills. Children and teens can practice these skills as well as social skills to facilitate conversation and find commonalities among friends.

Children and teens may have to overcome anxiety and negative thinking can prevent them from socializing with peers and others. CBT Cognitive behavioral therapy as well as mindfulness are just a few techniques that can help your child overcome anxiety and social issues with an expert who works with children and teens daily and has a specialty in counseling youth and families.

Mental health impacts relationships and academics and sports and all aspects of life. Children need to be aware of mental health issues so they can learn to manage mental health challenges like depression and anxiety, social anxiety, and ADHD and can the proper professional support and tools to become resilient and able to cope with these challenges.

Children and teens have many stressors: academics, peers, family issues, grief and loss, school peer pressure, negative self talk, body image issues, social media pressures, cyberbullying, acceptance, self esteem, social skills, and more.

Children and teens are coping with developing mind and bodies as well as hormonal changes that are huge. Children and teens are under stress; the influence of strong peer pressure to use: marijuana, Vape, and use non prescribed pills.

Technology can be a blessing and also a curse! Research shows that increases in use of: video games, smart phones, Computers, TV, Netflix, Instagram, snapchat, FB, texting, are associated with poorer mental health issues among children and adolescent teenagers..

Children and adolescent teens are spending 40 plus hours a week on technology and a majority of youth are not developing social skills .

In many research studies children that have strong social skills and emotional skills were more likely than their peers to succeed academically as well as professionally . One study followed children for over twenty years .

Social abilities are more than just having friends . Social competence includes the ability to be a team player , resolve conflicts , listen to others, make suggestions without judgment or criticism .

In a large research study twenty five years ago academic teachers used an assessment tool the educational leaders were asked to assign each child a score based on qualities that included : team work, cooperates with peers without prompting., helpful to others, understands feelings; and independent problem solver.

One huge result was that the children that scored high on the above criteria were over FOUR TIMES more likely to graduate from college.

Another result showed that academic success is not enough for career or life success. Children need to learn self awareness, and social awareness, self management, and emotional strength in order to have successful futures. Social and emotional skills: mood regulation, stress management, healthy communication with peers and family are vital for healthy adults.

Children and teens with poor social skills were more likely to have : substance abuse problems, be unemployed , receive public assistance , and more .

The positive piece of the study was that children and teens can develop social skills throughout childhood with some practice and work. Your child’s success in life all around: relationships, happiness, career happiness and life joy’s are connected to strong social skills.

Developing the whole child is very important. Teaching your child or teen kills to communicate with peers and family in healthy ways, tools to make friends and keep friends, skills to manage stress in life, mood regulation skills, healthy diet, exercise, and creating overall balance in your child’s life.

Many children and teens are struggling with developing healthy relationships with peers. They are able to play video games online and skype friends and text friends however when it comes to face face communication it is a huge challenge. Children and teens become extremely depressed and angry about not having friends to spend time with or to talk to and connect with outside of school. Developing positive social skills is essential for a child’s mood and mental health as well as future success.

Children and teen can learn active listening skills. Children and teens can practice these skills as well as social skills to facilitate conversation and find commonalities among friends.

Children and teens may have to overcome anxiety and negative thinking can prevent them from socializing with peers and others. CBT Cognitive behavioral therapy as well as mindfulness are just a few techniques that can help your child overcome anxiety and social issues with an expert who works with children and teens daily and has a specialty in counseling youth and families..

Prevention counseling can address the social skills and the anxiety before it can progress to depressive moods and depression. If not counseling can address : social skills, self esteem, anxiety and depression.

Lifeworksaz.com specializes in working with youth with a variety of mental health and family issues: Social skills , depression, anxiety, ADD, ADHD, Anxiety, Panic, Bipolar, Conduct disorders, Behavioral issues, Coaching, Motivation, self esteem, ASD issues and more.

Counseling Anxiety Child and Teen Phoenix, Scottsdale , Cave Creek Arizona

March 31st, 2017

Anxiety and stress can be simple and it can be complex. Research at Stanford state deep breathing triggers neurons in the brain which tell the body it is time to relax. There are 175 neurons which tell the brain whats going on and the neurons link breathing to : relaxation, attention and excitement and anxiety located deep in the brain stem. There are many methods to assits with anxiety and stress reduction some are : CBT, DBT, Visual Behavioral methods, and more. Many children and teens have anxiety that is not diagnosed.

Child anxiety is stressful and painful for families. Activities that once were enjoyable are avoided and parents hear complaints of stomach problems, and various aches and pains, headaches and more. Learning ways to cope with anxiety is important. It is a fine balancing act however avoiding school and avoiding sleeping alone and avoiding new things is not creating a balance for your child or teenager. Forcing a child may be overwhelming and can be a failed approach as well. It is important that parents understand that anxiety can be debilitating and your child may no be manipulating and may not be lazy.

Many children that have behavioral issues like oppositional defiance or conduct disorders also have underlying anxiety that they do not know how to handle or identify. Learning skills to manage anxiety is vital to you child’s success socially as well as academically and behaviorally and emotionally. Most children can not articulate what is going on inside their bodies and minds. They must learn skills and tools to address their anxiety.

Some children can manifest itself in different ways. One way might be to avoid situations that are uncomfortable. Another way might be to escape the situation and this can be seen or perceived as oppositional or defiant when it is really fear based. Behavioral dysregulation is common with children and teens that have anxiety disorders: panic attacks, phobia, social anxiety, PTSD, Post traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorders , obsessive compulsive disorder and other anxiety disorders.

Children that display temper tantrums, behavioral problems at school, throw things at school, throw themselves down and cry and have full blown outburst may have a profound anxiety disorder however this needs to be assessed by a professional. Anxiety disorders need to be assessed and treated by a professional in mental health care.

Academic pressure and demands in the classroom can trigger anxiety and this will look like disruptive behaviors. The child may feel overwhelmed and anxious and not be able to cope with the teachers request or the assignment. The child might be intelligent however he or she may have a learning challenge or trouble with the task and feel overwhelmed hence unable to do the task and act out behaviorally.

Most teachers are not trained in identifying anxiety disorders and a child or teenager typically will end up in suspension or in the Principals office being punished. This does not address the underlying issue that may be an anxiety disorder.

A child that is diagnosed with ADHD may have an anxiety disorder instead that looks like: impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattention however this needs to be evaluated by a professional. A lot of times individuals jump to ADHD diagnosis when really the child or teen is suffering with an anxiety disorder. An anxiety disorder may be primary and for example ADHD is secondary or it may be the other way around. There are a number of other diagnosis as well that may be co-occuring with a child or teens anxiety.

There are many factors that can contribute to anxiety or anxiety disorders: obsessive compulsive disorders, Panic disorders, social anxiety, Phobias, general anxiety, Panic attacks, PTSD Post traumatic stress disorders and more.

It is important to look at many elements in an individuals life: medications, factors during inception and birth, environmental factors, Drugs, marijuana, alcohol, Stressors, Trauma from the past ( emotional, physical, mental), sleep, diet, daily habits, negative cognitions daily, genetics in the family from Mom and Dad as well as other family members and their traumas as well.

 

Many practitioners give meds without addressing the root causes of the anxiety. It is important to look at all the above and more in order to create the best plan to reduce anxiety. I have worked with anxiety disorders for over 15 years and have seen a combination of many elements that exacerbate anxiety disorders. It is vital to look at all the above areas in order to really manage your child’s anxiety or your anxiety as best as possible. Not looking at sleep for example and treating the disorder without a change in sleep will most likely not be very successful since sleep is an important element in mood disorders.

Brain experts believe a diet that is heavy in inflammation food consumption and low in healthy fats affects the risk of obtaining anxiety or anxiety disorders. Anxiety is extremely high in those with high sensitivity to gluten.

Medication is used to treat ADHD , however, research shows that it also leads to anxiety disorders, as well as other symptoms including but not limited to addiction.

There are many tools an anxiety client can learn in order to manage an anxiety disorder be it panic attacks, phobias, generalized anxiety, PTSD, etc.

Some tools include: Cognitive behavioral therapy, Visual behavioral tools, Deep breathing, DBT and more.

Child and teenage Anxiety often manifests as a physical symptom like pain, fatigue, or inability to sleep. 30 percent of patients seen by primary care practitioners have at least one ANXIETY disorder.

Having a children follow healthy lifestyle behaviors may be an effective intervention either alongside or in the place of traditional ADHD medications.

Some of the research based tools in counseling psychology to manage anxiety are: EMDR, DBT, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Progressive Relaxation, VMBR, Exposure therapy, and mindfulness.

Child anxiety is stressful and painful for families. Activities that once were enjoyable are avoided and parents hear complaints of stomach problems, and various aches and pains, headaches and more. Learning ways to cope with anxiety is important. It is a fine balancing act however avoiding school and avoiding sleeping alone and avoiding new things is not creating a balance for your child or teenager. Forcing a child may be overwhelming and can be a failed approach as well. It is important that parents understand that anxiety can be debilitating and your child may no be manipulating and may not be lazy.

Many children that have behavioral issues like oppositional defiance or conduct disorders also have underlying anxiety that they do not know how to handle or identify. Learning skills to manage anxiety is vital to you child’s success socially as well as academically and behaviorally and emotionally. Most children can not articulate what is going on inside their bodies and minds. They must learn skills and tools to address their anxiety.

Some children can manifest itself in different ways. One way might be to avoid situations that are uncomfortable. Another way might be to escape the situation and this can be seen or perceived as oppositional or defiant when it is really fear based. Behavioral dysregulation is common with children and teens that have anxiety disorders: panic attacks, phobia, social anxiety, PTSD, Post traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorders , obsessive compulsive disorder and other anxiety disorders.

Children that display temper tantrums, behavioral problems at school, throw things at school, throw themselves down and cry and have full blown outburst may have a profound anxiety disorder however this needs to be assessed by a professional. Anxiety disorders need to be assessed and treated by a professional in mental health care.

Academic pressure and demands in the classroom can trigger anxiety and this will look like disruptive behaviors. The child may feel overwhelmed and anxious and not be able to cope with the teachers request or the assignment. The child might be intelligent however he or she may have a learning challenge or trouble with the task and feel overwhelmed hence unable to do the task and act out behaviorally.

Most teachers are not trained in identifying anxiety disorders and a child or teenager typically will end up in suspension or in the Principals office being punished. This does not address the underlying issue that may be an anxiety disorder.

A child that is diagnosed with ADHD may have an anxiety disorder instead that looks like: impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattention however this needs to be evaluated by a professional. A lot of times individuals jump to ADHD diagnosis when really the child or teen is suffering with an anxiety disorder. An anxiety disorder may be primary and for example ADHD is secondary or it may be the other way around. There are a number of other diagnosis as well that may be co-occuring with a child or teens anxiety.

It is important to find a professional that has daily experience working with children and teens . Children and teens can learn tools and skills to manage and cope with anxiety and other disorders. Parents can learn skills as well to help create success and balance in your child’s life. David Abrams MAPC, LPC, CAGS has over 15 years experience working with families and youth treating anxiety disorders. Lifeworksaz.com has testimonials and more information.

Receiving input form parents on daily and weekly behaviors and working together to modify unhealthy habits and routines as well as setting up a system that is reward based for positive behaviors is vital in creating balance and success for your Child and Teen. Lifeworksaz.com works with your child as well as with parents to create a system of change and balance in your child’s life. David Abrams MAPC, LPC Counseling anxiety can be reached at his web site phone number or email from his web site at Lifeworksaz.com

Teen counseling: social media, Video Games; Pheonix Scottsdale Cave Creek Arizona

March 30th, 2017

Research on Video game and TV watching over the past few decades show that their is a correlation between the time playing video games and watching TV and aggression. Thousands of research study show that the more TV viewing and the more video game the more aggression displayed. Eliminating video games and smart phone games and TV is almost impossible however , setting limits each day on electronic is essential to your child’s success. Children and teens need time to develop: social skills, interpersonal skills, communication skills, conflict resolution, listening skills, problem solving skills, mood and stress management skills, physical exercise and more. It is clear that their is an imbalance in healthy activities for youth in America.

Diabetes and obesity are sky rocketing. Mood disorders are on the rise. Anxiety, depression, and substance dependence are on the rise. Social skills are on the decline. Insomnia is on the rise. Violence and aggression in youth and conduct disorders are on the rise.

Most parents view video games as” entertainment.” their content is not taken as seriously as that of the passive act of watching TV. After all, most adults today grew up playing pong, pac man, asteroids, space invaders, or defender. Nevertheless, what many parents might not realize is that the challenge for many players today is to rack up points by killing prostitutes after having sex with them. Video games have not only become more violent, the characters have become more real, and the effects that they are having on society, specifically women is shocking. Video games have engaged the “once spectator” to actively participate in addictive violence. Recent studies have undoubtedly concluded that the violence and negative reinforcements in video games have not only successfully promoted violence against women by desensitization, but they have also increased aggressive behavior in children and teenagers to a level that has devastated the lives of many.

Many people are shocked to discover that the video game industry is larger than the film industry. The Interactive Digital Software Association reported that video games are “the fastest growing entertainment industry in America, surpassing books, records and movie box offices combined” (Berger 2002).The video game industry projected sales for 2015 will be  128 Billion dollars annually .In 1997 the video and computer game industry generated 16 Billion dollars in economic activity, this does not include computer and video game hardware sales. In the year 2000 it became a 20 billion dollar industry and is still growing considerably (Berger, 2002). IDSA also reported at the time sixty five percent of all Americans age six and older, or about 145 million people, play computer and video games (Berger 2002). The video game industry has increased exponentially since 2002. It is stated that video games, many times is the initial experience that children have with the computer/ technology world. So, if boys tend to be the primary target of the industry, which, they are, what effect does it have on girls. In 2014 the video game industry generated over 103 Billion dollars in one year.

If a child’s interest begins with games. most common computer games involve violence and aggressive themes have the effect of turning girls away from the computers in general. This is one way of keeping women out of power. After all, these are male dominated industries. Since computer literacy is essential in most jobs, people who are exposed to computers earlier in life have an obvious advantage. The boys who outnumber the girls in gaming, will be the men who out-number the women in the business world. This may lead to the girls becoming less interested in the world of computers as a career. Girls are not the only ones who are not enamored with video games. Parents are unaware of the violence that is being reinforced hundreds of thousands of times in their child’s brain.

Teenagers report that 95 percent of the time their parents do not check the ratings or the content of video games being purchased. Ninety percent of parents do not set limits on how much time their child can play video games.

We have seen an alarming increase in violence and school shooting. Shootings at Paucah, Kentucky, Jonesboro, Arkansas, and Littleton, Colorado were all cases where the shooters were students who habitually played violent video games. The bloody game Doom was Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold’s favorite game ( they wounded 23 and killed 13). Two studies examined violent video games effect on aggression related variables. The first study found that real-live violent video games are positively related to aggressive behavior and delinquency. the second study showed lab exposure to a violent video game increased aggressive thoughts and and behaviors. The results are in line with the General Affective Aggression Model, which predicts that exposure to violent video games will increase aggressive behavior in both the short term and the long term ( Calvert, Jordan, Cocking 2000)

A study of about 329 children and media violence was done over a 21 year period by L. Rowell Huesmann at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. Girls and boys participated. This was one of the few studies that followed children into adulthood, which enabled researchers to gauge the long term effects of televised violence. Men in the top twenty percent on childhood exposure to violence were twice as likely as adults to have pushed, grabbed or shoved their wives. The women who scored in the 20 percent were twice as likely to throw something at their husbands. the study concluded that both girls and boys exposed to a lot of televison violence have a greater risk of spousal abuse and criminal offenses, no matter what they were like as children( Ritter, M., 2003). This study was based specifically on violence, however, most video games today are also including very graphic sexually violent images, which are destroying women and the morality of society as a whole.

The effects of viewing sexually violent images was researched and discussed by Ed Donnerstein, Dean and Professor of Communications at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  In his study, young adults ages 18-20 were shown a one hour documentary on battered women. After watching the film, the viewers showed less empathy toward the victims. They lowered their evaluation on the level of injury that the women received. They also under estimated the level of pain that must have been experienced. Both men and women were more likely to display indifference toward the victims. many blamed the rape on the ladies and believed that the women brought it to themselves. It is clear that watching these images are negative, however, the video game industry uses reinforcement tactics to hook children, teens, and adults making the game, not just interactive but addictive. Violence in America and against women has increased since the rise of video games across the country. These games are highly addictive and use many psychological reinforcement principles to hook children to wanting to continue to play. Many youth are playing video games 40 hours a week.

Violence was declared the number one health problem for women in 1992, sadly, recent studies have concluded that the problem is not decreasing ( Violence, Women, and  the Media, 2000). For example , consider the following statistics: the single major cause of injury to American women is domestic violence, exceeding gang violence, muggings, murders, and accidents ( The Commonwealth Fund, 1993). In the US, one women is raped every two minutes (National Crime Victimization survey, 1996). One in every seven women has been raped in her life time (Daily News, November 18,1998). Also, In America a woman is physically abused every nine seconds ( The Commonwealth Fund, July 1993). In emergency rooms more than one third of American women have suffered physical or sexual abuse ( Sternberg S. 1999) And a staggering thirty percent of women murdered in the US are killed by their husbands, ex-husbands or boyfriends ( national Crime Victimization Survey,1996). Researchers have found that the way the media depicts women influences how women are viewed and treated in society( Violence, Women, and the Media, 2000). For example, many video games are very degrading and often depict women as victims of violence. Also many video games also portray women as sex objects.

In the year 2000 half of the top selling video games contained negative images about girls according to (Children, Now 2000). For example unrealistic body images, high pitched voices,fainting, violence, and provocative sexuality is promoted.

Twenty eight percent of games in a study show women as inferior and powerless. In games like Grand Theft Auto boys are taught women can be treated brutally and this is reinforced in the video game.

Players of Grand Theft Auto get rewarded if they kick and kill the prostitute to death after they have sex with her. Sounds shocking, but it is true and is one of the most popular video games among children and teenagers in the US. After playing for 4-8 hours a day, these acts of violence begin to seem normal.

In the recent shooting at UCSB the 22 year old male stated many phrases in his you tube video regarding slaughtering women and others. He also stated that video games were a way for him to avoid: rejection, loneliness, humiliation, depression, and pain from not having a girlfriend and not having what he wanted sexually and in  relationships. The UCSB shooter mimicked many specific phrases from the video game World Of War Craft relating to specific violence and rage. The UCSB shooter also played: Diablo, and Halo as well as many other video games.

Anders Breivik, the right-wing extremist who has confessed to killing 77 people during a murder spree in Norway last summer, played the violent computer game World of Warcraft nearly seven hours a day for several consecutive months before his attack, prosecutors say.

Breivik, 33, already known to have a long history with the online role-playing game, was particularly absorbed by it between November 2010 and February 2011, when he played for an average of 6 hours and 50 minutes per day, according to prosecutors.

Two decades of research had shown that repeated exposure to violence blunts emotional reactions and makes people less likely to help others in need ( Levine, 1996). Perfectly normal people no longer recognize violence because it is so prevalent in the media. People grow numb to violence with repeated exposure via media. People become less responsive to human pain and begin to lose awareness of what it means to be human.

Before the Vietnam War, fewer than 20 percent of soldiers on the front lines would actually fire at the enemy, however, with games such as Doom used as conditioning tools fdor the soldiers, the US military kill rate increased to (0 percent in Vietnam. With video games, our military scientifically overcame the soldier’s innate resistance to killing ( game Over, 2000) Violent video games are the mental equivalent of putting an assault rifle in the hands of every American child. By sitting mindlessly, killing countless thousands of fellow members of their own species without any ramifications or repercussions, operant conditioning concepts transfer immediately when the individual gets a real weapon in their hand and are being taught violence. The recent school shootings in 2008 and 2007 serve as an example of a link between video games and heightened aggressive behaviors.

For the video game child/ teenager or gamer, beating a previous high score, or winning a free game, or having sex with a prostitute is all part of Skinnerian reinforcement. behavior that is followed by reinforcement will increase in frequency. In short, video games that make a child or teen or adult feel good will be played again and again. A partial reinforcement schedule will lead to behavior that occurs more often with and is more resilient to extinction than does a continuous reinforcement schedule. These two effects of partial reinforcement produce what is considered addictive behavior. These irregular schedules of reinforcement are in part, what cause these video games to be so exciting and desirable. Tis kind of reinforcement, which causes addictive behaviors can explain why their is an increase in the video game industry as a whole.

The AMA states that anywhere in the world where TV appears, 15 years later the murder rate doubles. Ten thousand murders per year, 70,000 rapes, and 700,000 assaults. We must consider the impact of violent video games on the minds and behaviors of our society. The evidence is clear violence breeds more violence in the majority of situations.

Many children are having challenges sleeping at night and have great anxiety. The children report that their nightmares are specific to the video games they are playing. Research shows a lack of sleep impacts: mood, anger, depression, and behavior as well as performance.

The 93 Billion dollar Video game industry must be taken seriously. It must start with education and healthy parenting. It must come with boundaries and limitations. It must come with healthy communication and listening to children and teenagers. It must come from healthy role modeling from parents. The video game industry is no different than access to violence on TV or on the internet. Violence and abuse physically, mentally, emotionally, and sexually is not ok!

There are 100’s of violent video games out there one is: Call of Duty Black Ops:This gritty, extremely violent military first-person shooter (pictured above) involves constant killing using realistic weapons, with blood and gore pouring across the screen during more intense scenes. Cinematic sequences can be even more dramatic and graphic, with soldiers and civilians alike dying in horrible ways, including graphic melee kills, people burning to death, civilians killed in crossfire, torture, and a shipping container filled with rotting corpses. In one scene, the player steps into the shoes of a villain and goes on a murderous rampage against soldiers, the screen turning red with blood rage as he takes damage. This M-rated game also has frequent profanity, some sexual themes, and drug use.

Do you want your child assaulting woman? Killing prostitutes? Raping people? This is what is going on in many video games above and beyond brutal violence.

Do we really want our children actively involved and engaged in violent games daily; the same type of games that the US military uses to increase kill rates at war? Garbage in garbage out. We must find healthy activities that create health and balance for our youth and violent video games is not the solution.

Written by David R Abrams

MAPC, LPC, CAGS

Lifeworks AZ  Phoenix Arizona, Scottsdale Arizona

Child Teen Family Counseling and Therapy

Counseling ADHD CHILD Teen Phoenix Scottsdale Cave Creek Arizona

March 29th, 2017

We know that children and adolescents do not have the part of their brain developed that are responsible for healthy life choices. Teenagers are full of poor judgment and if you look back at your teenage years you can find times you made poor choices most likely as well as unhealthy choices. Take this and combine it with hormones that are pervasive as well as physical body changes and this is a recipe for big challenges in youth. This is a highly volatile combination for teenagers world wide. Mental health disorders pop up during these years.

Communication is changing in our society. In the past we spoke to someone on a phone or in person. Now we “ speak” through SIRI, texting, instagram, snapchat, facebook, via ps4, xbox, etc.

Teens are impulsive and may send and inappropriate text or photo that initially is believed to be between friends and as you know now can be shared not just with school peers but posted on line for the world to see . This can have a devastating effect on a teens mental health in a very negative way.

Many children and teens feel betrayed by friends they communicate with in this digital error and often find themselves feeling shamed and embarrassed when private texts become public or private photos become public. Many teens become depressed due to cyberbullying or feeling rejected by peers. Social isolation is a big issue for children and teenagers that impact their emotional well being and physical health.

The Rate of depression in the United States of America increased in children and teens twelve year and older from six percent to seven percent over an eight year period. It was last reported in 2013 in this study.

Research in a California study states that there were warning signs in all the cases of suicide among youth that suicide in Santa Clara County in a 200 page report. There was evidence of a history of mental health struggles and precipitating circumstances for those that suicide.

Prevention efforts would include interventions, such as the combined use of psychopharmacology and psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavior therapy, and early detection and identification of youth with symptoms of schizophrenia and other severe mental illness.

Early detection , counseling and prevention show they reduce depressive symptoms in children and teenagers.

If your child is out of balance as far as : grades, homework, mood, electronic use, not spending time with family, isolation, anger, lack of friends,depressed mood, negative thinking, changes in behavior, hopelessness, suicidal thoughts, self harm, changes in appetite, changes in things they once enjoyed, change in grades,  these are just a few red flags . that your child needs professional help from someone in child-teen mental health.

Lifeworksaz.com specializes in child and teen mental health  as well as family mental health. You can reach David Abrams MAPC, LPC at his website and email him or call him re: your child or teenager. He has expertise in a wide array of areas. He has expertise treating: behavioral issues, emotional issues, depression, anxiety, sports performance, ADHD, self esteem, social skills and more.