Archive for the 'Adolescent Counseling' Category

Teen Counseling Depression Phoenix, Scottsdale, Cave Creek AZ

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018

Adolescent youth developmental is characterized many risk taking behaviors as well as reward seeking behaviors in Arizona and throughout the United States of America. Behaviors like substance use and abuse, drug use and abuse as well as symptoms of mental health issues likely can arise like anxiety symptomology or depression symptoms as well as other disorders that may come to the surface with more frequency and intensity.

 

Childhood traumas and stressors impact the development of brain functioning during teenage years and therefore also elevate the risk for alcohol and or drug abuse.

 

Researchers have also found a variant in receptor gene sites in the adolescent brain that reduces the natural reward system in adolescence before they began using alcohol or drugs or other unhealthy substances.

 

Decision making, planning, and self control may be impacted by adolescent Cannabis use among teenagers in the USA.  A neuroscience study in 2018 showed evidence that exposure to cannabinoids alters the adolescents brain development in the pre frontal cortex. Using marijuana during the most vital time a teens brain is developing may have huge costs later on in life as an adult as well as a teenager.

 

Child and teen depression is real. Many children and teens have taken their lives due to depression.

Children feel : sad, lonely, and have pain and stress just like adults, however, many children do not have the skills and maturity or the tools to cope with depression.

Experts state social media does not bring people together and many times it simply isolates youth and young adults. Using more than two hours of social media per day doubled the chances a youth or young adult would fill lonely or isolated.

Many children and teens are depressed or have signs of depression. Many children and teens are struggling with : family issues, divorced families, academics, blended families, low self esteem, poor social skills, peer pressure, hormonal changes, grief and loss. Many times teens will stuff their thoughts and feelings . Some teens hide in their room and avoid communication. Some teens are on their Smart Phones, TV, Netflix, and Video games. Too much of anything is not ok and parents can ask themselves is my son or daughter in balance or out of balance with their habits? Below is a story of a Tempe Teen that was depressed and it ended tragically. The good news is there are signs of depression and the sooner one gets help the better. After the article there is a list of some red flags your child may be depressed. There are experts in treating child and teen depression through counseling and therapy and other treatments.

I have worked with thousands of teens with depressed moods and depression. Moving to a new school, change, academic pressure, not getting along with mom or Dad, negative thinking, low self esteem, social dynamics, past challenges are being carried around by children and teens and these items need to be addressed to create health and balance.

A tragedy happened at a Tempe, Arizona High school yesterday . A student athlete committed suicide at a Tempe High school not far from Arizona State University.

Teen and child depression is on the rise and can not be ignored. Depression is not an adult disorder . Millions of children and teen adolescents feel depressed and there are a slew of reasons today that impact a child or adolescents mood.

A child or teen does not have to have had a traumatic childhood in order to be depressed . A teen can have loving parents and spiritual parents and feel depressed.

As a safety measure parents should lock up all pills , medications , guns, knives , blades , weapons at all times regardless of a child’s mood. Parents should lock up all alcohol as well . Parents should monitor social media, smart phones , video game dialogue , texting , and be as involved as they can with their child or teen . Some parents would say it is an invasion of privacy however better safe than sorry . Children state they are excelling in the classroom and passing all classes however parents must still verify and look at report cards and look at missing homework assignments. Teens spend a lot of time w electronic devices and those that are in their room and not communicating daily with parents . They must get off these devices and communicate with parents about their day in detail . If not a parent has no idea why is going on mentally , physically , and emotionally with ones children .

Setting limits and boundaries and requiring family interaction is vital . Spending one on one time with your teen is important and will help find out what is going on in their lives . Make it a requirement before they use their : video games , computers , smart phones etc . Schedule one on one time with each child and this lets them know they are important as well as they are more likely to share information with you than in front of the whole family . Most children will not share their true pain or depressed mood in front of the whole family or at dinner .

I find wonderful children and teens that have very negative thought processes about themselves . Children that are excellent students and athletes still can be very depressed . Many suffer from low self esteem and many suffer from social or peer challenges . Many are depressed about family dynamics and school pressures.

The best approach is to have someone who works w children and parents guide you to help create balance and learn tools to manage depression , anxiety , self esteem, family issues and more .

Teens face a myriad of pressures , from changes in development to questions about who they are and where they are going w peers, school, and their future. The natural transition toward adulthood can bring parental challenges and conflict as the adolescent teen pushes for their independence .

It is not simple to differentiate between depression and teen mood swings . Some teens that are depressed are not sad or withdrawn . Many depressed teens are angry , full of rage , defiant, and irritable and this may be depression.

Some signs of depression in teens are: sadness , hopelessness , irritability , anger , hostility , frequent crying or tears , withdrawal from family and friends, loss of interest in activities , change in eating habits or sleep habits , agitation, restless , guilt, worthless feelings , concentrating issues , thought of death, suicidal thoughts and more.

It is best to have a professional assessment from a professional who has expertise in teen and children .

There are many signs that may indicate your teen is down or depressed or is suffering from depression.

Some red flags that should not be ignored are: sadness , crying, tearfulness, hopelessness, a decrease in activities , inability to enjoy activities that were enjoyable.

Low energy, isolation, poor communication and a lack of connection w family and friends is a sign that something is going on that needs attention. Increased irritability and anger and rage are common w depressed children and teens.

Physical complaints : stomach aches , pain , etc are signs your teenmay be depressed. Changes in sleeping habits and or eating patterns is a red flag as well .

Self destructive behaviors, suicidal thoughts, self harming, drug andalcohol abuse are signs your child need help asap!

Parents should seek professional help if any of the above are going onas soon as possible. Depression is a very serious condition that impacts : thoughts, mood,

and behaviors. Teen depression can be treated .

Teens face many stressors and pressures. Transitioning from child to an adult. Figuring out who they are and what they want to do with life . Hormonal changes and wanting to fit in socially are just a few. Teens with depression do not always appear sad. Many teens display anger and irritability and aggression. Long lasting changes in mood, behavior, personality are all huge red flags that your teen needs professional help.

Some common symptoms for teen depression are: hopelessness , sad, blue, loss of interest in activities, withdrawal from friends and family , crying and frequent tears, changes in eating , changes in sleeping, agitation , restlessness, little motivation , lack of energy or excitement , fatigue , difficulty concentrating , thoughts of death , suicide or self harm.

There are many excellent counseling tools to help elevate mood and treat depression. CBT therapy looks at unhealthy thoughts that have no facts to support them and how these thoughts impact mood. DBT has a few elements: awareness/mindfulness, distress tolerance/mood regulation, interpersonal effectiveness. These are all research based and evidence based counseling techniques that have been used for decades with positive results. There are many other effective techniques that can be used to create health and balance for your child or teenager.

Lifeworks Az has a specialization in child and teen depression counseling and therapy, child adolescent counseling, family counseling, family therapy, adolescent counseling, teen counseling, child counseling: in Phoenix Arizona, Scottsdale Arizona and serves valley wide. www.Lifeworksaz.com

 

Counseling Teen Behavior Phoenix, Scottsdale Arizona

Sunday, November 4th, 2018

I have been working with children and teenagers as well as family members for over 15 years . I also coach children in sports and have done so for over 25 years. My approach is a unique approach in that I do not label children and teens and my approach is to create a win win situation for parents and for children and teenagers.

Many parents arrive at my office and simply do not have the time to read 10 books on behavior modification and various techniques. Also most parents do not work with behavior modification daily at work for the past fifteen years and this is where I come in to assist.

The first step I take is an initial assessment. The initial assessment looks at all aspects of your child’s life from birth till present. This may include and is not limited to: Medical history, Birth issues, School issues, Family dynamics , Emotional issues, events that are significant be it bullying or trauma or a history of mental health issues. The initial assessment looks at: anxiety, ADHD, Conduct issues, Defiance, respect, listening, sleep, diet, interpersonal skills, communication skills, self esteem, thinking process, behaviors with family members, behaviors at school, behaviors with peers, extracurricular activities, activities at home and much more.

Many times there are a number of issues that are contributing to behavioral issues however sometimes it can be very simple. Many children need to break negative thinking that is not logical nor accurate this is small part of Cognitive Behavioral therapy. CBT is evidence based and is more than talk therapy or play therapy it looks a negative and stressful events and the thoughts that go with them . CBT teaches your child how to recognize unhealthy thoughts and learn how they negatively impact feelings and behaviors at home and elsewhere.

Teaching children and teens how to manage stress in their life is vital . We all have stress and if we do not address our stress it will ooze out potentially into unhealthy behaviors like: substance and drug abuse, Vaping, Stuffing feelings, Poor relationships, poor communication skills, anger outbursts, Behavioral issues, Acting out at school and at home, Depressed mood or depression, Rage, Anxiety, Panic attacks, Bullying, being bullied. Many youth today rarely communicate with parents and spend a majority of their free time on: snap Chat, Instagram, Netflix, You tube, Internet , Smart Phones, and video games. Research shows that this is very unhealthy and I have research to support the above. If they are on electronics constantly then many other vital skills are out of balance and need to be moved back into balance to create improved behavior and grades and family unity.

I help youth learn to manage: stress, anxiety, depression, panic, social skills, self esteem and much more to create health and success in their lives. Humans are complex and if one just works on one area the child or teen will still be in pain or out of balance and behavior and happiness will be a life long struggle.

I work with the child and teenager so they can learn tools to empower themselves and use those tools for a life time. Keep in mind a medication does not change a child’s thoughts nor an adults on a daily basis. The pediatric and America medical Journals state the best approach if your child or teen is on medication is to obtain counseling services for best results. This opinion is research based.

I also work with the parents to create a program that will work for your family and involves parents so they can also create desired change in their homes. A team approach and systematic approach is best and there is a lot of research to support behavior modification working with both parents and children and Teens.

You can read testimonials from Parents, Adults, and Professional on my web site at  lifeworksaz.com

 

Counseling Teen Anxiety Disorders Phoenix, Arcadia, Scottsdale, Cave Creek Arizona

Thursday, March 8th, 2018

 

Kevin Love an NBA All Star and NBA record holder for Rebounds who now plays on the Cleveland Cavaliers came out to talk about anxiety, panic attacks and mental health. He states he never spoke about mental health issues because he was ashamed about it , however, he states that everyone has challenges and pain this is true. We all have struggles and highs and lows and life is filled with change and loss and it is healthy to learn how to cope with challenges . It is unhealthy to suppress, repress, stuff, avoid, and deny our emotions and pain an bury them in : video games, food, drugs, alcohol, work etc. This is where unhealthy habits are formed. Healthy emotions are dealing with emotions each day.

Kevin Love talked about his panic attacks and how it impacted him in a negative way. There are many times of anxiety: social anxiety, generalized anxiety, performance anxiety, separation anxiety, PTSD ( Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and more. The great news is there many skills that can be learned to manage anxiety and live a happy, calm, and peaceful life as well as meet goals you desire to achieve.

 

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.

Child Depression Phoenix, Peoria, Cave creek Arizona

Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

There are many reasons a child can be depressed: genetics, trauma, bullying , negative thinking, stress at home, stress at school, irrational thinking, poor sleep, lack of exercise, poor diet, poor self esteem, divorce, abuse, neglect, abandonment, medical issues and more. I look at all these elements to help a child and teen find balance in his life. The above mentioned are vital to help with a depressed mood and other mood related issues as well as emotional and behavioral issues.

Recently a family claims an OTC caused there teen to commit suicide. This was Tamil and it is alleged by the family. The tamiflu warning label states patients may be at risk of abnormal behavior or confusion.  The makers of tamiflu released a statement that said ” neuropsychiatric events have been reported during the administration of Tamil in patients with Influenza, especially children and adolescents. They add patients should be closely monitored for behavioral changes.

This is a tragic event and I pray for the family.

Below is more info on depression symptoms and children and teens. There is a lot of research that correlates using instagram, snapchat, Facebook, social media and being online with feeling depressed and lonely and having an impact on mood it again may not be the only reason however it is one more area that may be out of balance in your child or adolescent teens life.

Children, Teens and young adults are reporting feeling more hopeless and useless between 2010 and 2015. The teen suicide rate also increased during tis time period as well. The National survey accounted for socio economics and different demographics, all ethnic groups, etc. The research was from every type of background. The number of teens with clinical levels of depression rose and was more visible among girls in this large national study.

The largest changes in children and teens lives was the use of social media and smart phones according to researchers in this study. Adolescent teenagers that spent the greatest time on screens being : texting, social media, video games, you tube, internet were also more likely to show depression and have significant risk factors for suicide such as having a plan to hurt themselves or an attempted suicide attempt.

Research shows that social media use leads to unhappiness. The rise in smart phone use and social media are potentially two reasons your teen or child is feeling depressed. Popularity is important to teen girls and girls tend to ruminate more than boys. Rumination can contribute to depression and depressive reports.

A decrease in sleep for girls as well as boys is on the rise due to smartphone and social media use. This is a huge reason why teen mental health is suffering. The blue light from the screens is impacting melatonin rates and making it harder for youth to sleep . Lack of sleep is a huge component for mental health : depression, anxiety, performance, behaviors, moods, relationships and more.

There are many things parents can do to help there children and teens manage there mood and find balance in their lives. Finding a balance is vital for children and teenagers.

Children and teens are using social media to express their deep feelings and fears at times and even let people know they are planning suicide. Parents and friends should not assume they are posting for attention. Recently two teens killed themselves in Colorado after posting suicide plans on their social media accounts . It was to late and they passed.

Children and teenagers need a safe and supportive individual to discuss their daily lives, stress, and problems. www.lifeworksaz.com has been working with youth and families for over 15 years in Phoenix and Scottsdale Arizona. The trauma is great for a teen who loses a friend to suicide.

Social media has created more connections with a click as an alleged friend however it has created fewer relationships that are real where a child or teen can talk to a real loving and supportive advocate.

Children and teens are communicating through : instagram, snapchat, Face book, and more and many times they want people to know how they feel and so they post it.

Child and teen depression is real. Many children and teens have taken their lives due to depression.

Children feel : sad, lonely, and have pain and stress just like adults, however, many children do not have the skills and maturity or the tools to cope with depression.

Experts state social media does not bring people together and many times it simply isolates youth and young adults. Using more than two hours of social media per day doubled the chances a youth or young adult would fill lonely or isolated.

Many children and teens are depressed or have signs of depression. Many children and teens are struggling with : family issues, divorced families, academics, blended families, low self esteem, poor social skills, peer pressure, hormonal changes, grief and loss. Many times teens will stuff their thoughts and feelings . Some teens hide in their room and avoid communication. Some teens are on their Smart Phones, TV, Netflix, and Video games. Too much of anything is not ok and parents can ask themselves is my son or daughter in balance or out of balance with their habits? Below is a story of a Tempe Teen that was depressed and it ended tragically. The good news is there are signs of depression and the sooner one gets help the better. After the article there is a list of some red flags your child may be depressed. There are experts in treating child and teen depression through counseling and therapy and other treatments.

I have worked with thousands of teens with depressed moods and depression. Moving to a new school, change, academic pressure, not getting along with mom or Dad, negative thinking, low self esteem, social dynamics, past challenges are being carried around by children and teens and these items need to be addressed to create health and balance.

A tragedy happened at a Tempe, Arizona High school yesterday . A student athlete committed suicide at a Tempe High school not far from Arizona State University.

Teen and child depression is on the rise and can not be ignored. Depression is not an adult disorder . Millions of children and teen adolescents feel depressed and there are a slew of reasons today that impact a child or adolescents mood.

A child or teen does not have to have had a traumatic childhood in order to be depressed . A teen can have loving parents and spiritual parents and feel depressed.

As a safety measure parents should lock up all pills , medications , guns, knives , blades , weapons at all times regardless of a child’s mood. Parents should lock up all alcohol as well . Parents should monitor social media, smart phones , video game dialogue , texting , and be as involved as they can with their child or teen . Some parents would say it is an invasion of privacy however better safe than sorry . Children state they are excelling in the classroom and passing all classes however parents must still verify and look at report cards and look at missing homework assignments. Teens spend a lot of time w electronic devices and those that are in their room and not communicating daily with parents . They must get off these devices and communicate with parents about their day in detail . If not a parent has no idea why is going on mentally , physically , and emotionally with ones children .

Setting limits and boundaries and requiring family interaction is vital . Spending one on one time with your teen is important and will help find out what is going on in their lives . Make it a requirement before they use their : video games , computers , smart phones etc . Schedule one on one time with each child and this lets them know they are important as well as they are more likely to share information with you than in front of the whole family . Most children will not share their true pain or depressed mood in front of the whole family or at dinner .

I find wonderful children and teens that have very negative thought processes about themselves . Children that are excellent students and athletes still can be very depressed . Many suffer from low self esteem and many suffer from social or peer challenges . Many are depressed about family dynamics and school pressures.

The best approach is to have someone who works w children and parents guide you to help create balance and learn tools to manage depression , anxiety , self esteem, family issues and more .

Teens face a myriad of pressures , from changes in development to questions about who they are and where they are going w peers, school, and their future. The natural transition toward adulthood can bring parental challenges and conflict as the adolescent teen pushes for their independence .

It is not simple to differentiate between depression and teen mood swings . Some teens that are depressed are not sad or withdrawn . Many depressed teens are angry , full of rage , defiant, and irritable and this may be depression.

Some signs of depression but not all seem in teens are: sadness , hopelessness , irritability , anger , hostility , frequent crying or tears , withdrawal from family and friends, loss of interest in activities , change in eating habits or sleep habits , agitation, restless , guilt, worthless feelings , concentrating issues , thought of death, suicidal thoughts and more.

It is best to have a professional assessment from a professional who has expertise in teen and children .

There are many signs that may indicate your teen is down or depressed or is suffering from depression.

Some red flags that should not be ignored are: sadness , crying, tearfulness, hopelessness, a decrease in activities , inability to enjoy activities that were enjoyable.

Low energy, isolation, poor communication and a lack of connection w family and friends is a sign that something is going on that needs attention. Increased irritability and anger and rage are common w depressed children and teens.

Physical complaints : stomach aches , pain , etc are signs your teenmay be depressed. Changes in sleeping habits and or eating patterns is a red flag as well .

Self destructive behaviors, suicidal thoughts, self harming, drug andalcohol abuse are signs your child need help asap!

Parents should seek professional help if any of the above are going onas soon as possible. Depression is a very serious condition that impacts : thoughts, mood,

and behaviors. Teen depression can be treated .

Teens face many stressors and pressures. Transitioning from child to an adult. Figuring out who they are and what they want to do with life . Hormonal changes and wanting to fit in socially are just a few. Teens with depression do not always appear sad. Many teens display anger and irritability and aggression. Long lasting changes in mood, behavior, personality are all huge red flags that your teen needs professional help.

Some common symptoms for teen depression are: hopelessness , sad, blue, loss of interest in activities, withdrawal from friends and family , crying and frequent tears, changes in eating , changes in sleeping, agitation , restlessness, little motivation , lack of energy or excitement , fatigue , difficulty concentrating , thoughts of death , suicide or self harm.

There are many excellent counseling tools to help elevate mood and treat depression. CBT therapy looks at unhealthy thoughts that have no facts to support them and how these thoughts impact mood. DBT has a few elements: awareness/mindfulness, distress tolerance/mood regulation, interpersonal effectiveness. These are all research based and evidence based counseling techniques that have been used for decades with positive results. There are many other effective techniques that can be used to create health and balance for your child or teenager.

Lifeworks Az has a specialization in child and teen depression counseling and therapy, child adolescent counseling, family counseling, family therapy in Phoenix Arizona, Scottsdale Arizona and serves valley wide. See testimonials at www.lifeworksaz.com

 

Teen Counseling Phoenix, Scottsdale, Arizona

Friday, August 4th, 2017

Teen suicide among girl teens and boy teens is at and all time high. Many teens are feeling worthless and unloved and these thoughts can only feed negative behaviors. Teens need to feel like they are more than their Grade Point Average.

If your child is struggling with : academics, behavior issues, mood issues, depression, anxiety, anger, ADD, ADHD, Defiance, low self esteem, poor communication skills, relationship issues with the family, causing stress than make sure you get your child professional help from one who specializes in children and family issues. www.lifeworksaz.com

Adolescents and children must know they are unique and loved for their personality traits and strengths and not performance alone. Teens are human beings not human doings! All children need and deserve love sweet love. Children must know they have worth not based on perfect behaviors or grades just because they are who they are a special gift to the world. We need to spend time accepting our children and less time judging them. We need to spend more time listening to our children and less time criticizing them and being present with them.

Teens are stressed about dong well at school and getting into college or having a career or a job. Anxiety is a very big piece of most youths lives today in 2016. On the outside adolescents may present as calm however on the inside is great anxiety and pain.

Online bullying is big and is on the rise so not only can someone bully a child in person they can do it covertly online and cause horrible damage to children and teenagers. Many youth have committed due to bullying recently. Children and teens are cruel and unkind over instagram and show little compassion or kindness at all. Children do not want to go to school and are down and depressed due to the way others are treating them online.

Children and teens are distressed at a high level and mask it with games and music and other distractions. It is vital to talk about their thoughts and feelings daily in depth for their emotional health and physical health. Counseling can provide that balance for mental and physical health.

More info below on teens and mood and depression.

Depression is on the rise in the USA among children and adolescents is one of the highest reasons for death among youth in THE USA; AMERICA. This includes Phoenix Arizona, Scottsdale, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Paradise Valley, Arcadia, Biltmore, and Ahwatukee, Arizona. It has been on the rise for a very long time.

Depression in children and teens is on the rise and depression is the number one cause of disability in the world. The World Health Org states that by 2020 Depression will be the second largest cause of suffering throughout the globe.

In many cases children and adults are taking antidepressants despite studies in many cases stating they are no more effective than a sugar pill ( placebo) and some cases can lead to suicide and in some cases are extremely dangerous. Strokes increased 45% for women on antidepressants in a study with over 136,000 woman.

The journal of the American Medical Association stated” the magnitude of benefits of antidepressant medication compared with placebo increases with severity of depression symptoms and may be minimal or nonexistent, on average, in patients with mild or moderate symptoms. Research shows medication alone is not as effective unless counseling is going on.

There are many studies connecting low cholesterol world wide with the risk of developing depression.

Experts world wide have a variety of reasons and research that supports many rationales behind depression. Many experts believe it has to do with hormones and some believe it is hereditary. It is carried in the genetic code and it is important to look at a family’s history and gene pool to see potential links to depression and bipolar disorders.

Brain inflammation and gut inflammation have links to depression; gluten has been a focal point. Experts believe society and Big Pharma spend all their time focusing on symptoms and there is limited time focusing on prevention. Experts in medicine have made a case for linking gluten sensitivity from many brain disorders like depression and Bipolar disorder. It has also made the link to ADHD, Schzophrenia and epilepsy.

A lack of certain Vitamins like Vitamin D has been connected to increased risk of diseases like depression, bipolar, and many mood disorders. Vitamin D deficiency is not just about an increase in weak bones it is associated with one’s risk for depression!

Above is just one reason why a depressed mood is present in your child, adolescent or an adult. There are many other reasons like sleep habits and diet and negative cognitions, low self esteem, judgmental thoughts, negative thoughts, lack of exercise, trauma, stressors in life from family to work to school to relationships.

Lifeworksaz.com David Abrams has worked with children, teens and adults with depression and bipolar disorders for over 15 years. He uses a wide array of strategies to address the roots of depression to help manage mood and create health and balance in your child or yourself.

 

 

Counseling Child Anxiety Disorders Phoenix, Arizona, Scottsdale Arizona

Monday, July 17th, 2017

 

 

Teens are taught to keep in their emotions and boys are told not to cry. Stuffing emotions is extremely unhealthy and must be worked on and processed to create best outcomes.

Many children report high levels of anxiety at school. Children as young as five self harm due to anxiety and stress related to school and academics. Many children do not know how to express their feelings and emotions end up turning into aggression, sadness, anger, tantrums, crying etc. It is vital to teach children to express emotions at a young age before it oozes into an imbalance.

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.

Many adolescent teens are feeling worthless, unhappy, inability to focus or concentrate.

Teens are reporting more problems sleeping and are not receiving adequate sleep.

Children and teens are slow to talk about their distress to parents and parents tend to be slow to respond once finding out their child or teen is suffering.

Parents are not to blame for a child’s mental health issues. Children can have excellent parenting and still suffer from mental health issues.

In colleges and universities throughout the United States the following research was done and this was the mental health results :

The American College Health Association surveyed 100,000 college students at 53 US campuses and found that 84 per cent of US students feel unable to cope, 79 per cent are exhausted, 60 per cent feel very sad and more than half are experiencing overwhelming anxiety.

Obviously teens and college students need to learn coping and stress management tools to address : school, peers, family, work, grades, social situations and much more.

Many teenagers and adolescents as well as college students fear failure and are fearful of their future and need a direction and support to reach their goals. Children as young as 10 are worried about finding a job in many homes and are stressed and anxious.

Cyberbullying and social media can be a stressor and many teens are concerned about their body image with such a huge emphasis on waif models being the norm when most adults know this is not reality. Technology does not create the bully or the poor body image it may magnify the problem. Removing all media may not solve the issue because it is the negative distorted and unhealthy thoughts inside your child or adolescents head that is feeding the negative behaviors and mood. Media can affect our moods however it is up to parents and children and teens to set limits on use and be able to turn it off and find a balance in other activities above and beyond social media and or video games and technology.

 

I have worked with children , teens and families over fifteen years at  Lifeworksaz.com  and many times it is more than just one issues that a child is suffering with it could be: social, self esteem, bullying, relationship with family, and grades. All of these need to addressed so your child can find balance, happiness, and success in their life.

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

Saturday, 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!

Child Teen Counseling Therapy : Phoenix, Cave Creek, Scottsdale Arizona

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

Child and Teen screen time is on the rise and yes there is research related to violent games, tv, videos and aggression.

Many adolescents and children feel empowered when they use: smart phones, video games, texting, Netflix, Instagram,You tube, Reddit, Snapchat, and more.

The problems that arise are why limits must be firm on screen time and electronic usage.

Children and teens spend more time on their video games and their social media and TV than they do on homework and studying. Grades begin to suffer not do to a lack of IQ or ability but simply a lack of motivation and effort. Children that do not spend the time doing homework do not get as good of grades typically as those that do turn in homework.

Screen time is a get away and a distraction and many children are very addicted to their screen time. Another big issue with electronics is that it’s over use is impacting most teen and children as far as their ability to sleep. Many children and teens have : IPADS, Smartphones , Laptops, Computers, in their rooms and they will pull them out past there bed time and play games, text, etc. Most children are suffering from sleep deprivation in that the average child or teen 10-18 needs 9-10 hours sleep and many are only getting 5 hours sleep due to being up on their electronics. Children and teens are more irritable, angry, moody, anxious, and depressed than ever before due to the lack of sleep. Children are tired in class and unfocused and have little energy or motivation for school work and homework.

Screens become more important than talking to family and spending time with family. Communication with family can be very poor and often goes South due to the affinity for electronics.

There is a great deal of research that shows behaviors are influenced by what we watch. If a child is playing an aggressive game for 40 hours a week than he is learning aggression. He is not learning empathy or compassion. Garbage in Garbage out is an old saying but holds true when hours are spent being bombarded with violence.

Many children get sucked into the screen vortex and are not developing their social skills at school or with friends on the weekend . Social skills are important for adulthood as well as academics.

Parents can look at their child’s life: homework, interpersonal skills, family time, chores, sleep, mood, grades and see if their child is in balance?

Positive change can happen and I see it all the time in my office. Angry and irritable behaviors can improve. Grades can move North.. Communication can change. Listening and respect at home can improve. It takes some work and additional support however it is worth it in the long run for all. A reduction in family stress is important!

counseling adolescent anxiety Phoenix, Scottsdale Arizona

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

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 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 anxiety and depression magnified technology , video games, media

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

Depression and anxiety have risen among teenagers in the UK with more than thirty three percent reporting distress. Depression and anxiety is on the rise among college students and adolescents and children in Phoenix and Scottsdale Arizona and the whole USA.

Rates of depression and anxiety among teenagers have increased by 70 per cent in the past 25 years.

Many adolescent teens are feeling worthless, unhappy, inability to focus or concentrate.

Teens are reporting more problems sleeping and are not receiving adequate sleep.

Children and teens are slow to talk about their distress to parents and parents tend to be slow to respond once finding out their child or teen is suffering.

Parents are not to blame for a child’s mental health issues. Children can have excellent parenting and still suffer from mental health issues.

In colleges and universities throughout the United States the following research was done and this was the mental health results :

The American College Health Association surveyed 100,000 college students at 53 US campuses and found that 84 per cent of US students feel unable to cope, 79 per cent are exhausted, 60 per cent feel very sad and more than half are experiencing overwhelming anxiety.

Obviously teens and college students need to learn coping and stress management tools to address : school, peers, family, work, grades, social situations and much more.

Many teenagers and adolescents as well as college students fear failure and are fearful of their future and need a direction and support to reach their goals. Children as young as 10 are worried about finding a job in many homes and are stressed and anxious.

Cyberbullying and social media can be a stressor and many teens are concerned about their body image with such a huge emphasis on waif models being the norm when most adults know this is not reality. Technology does not create the bully or the poor body image it may magnify the problem. Removing all media may not solve the issue because it is the negative distorted and unhealthy thoughts inside your child or adolescents head that is feeding the negative behaviors and mood. Media can affect our moods however it is up to parents and children and teens to set limits on use and be able to turn it off and find a balance in other activities above and beyond social media and or video games and technology.

There are many things children and parents can do to create health and balance for their child and teen or college student. Finding a healthy balance is key to your youths success. Lifeworks AZ has worked with youth and families over fifteen years in: building self esteem, parenting tips, mood regulation, goal setting, anger management, healthy social skills, reaching goals, behavior modification for youth, autistic youth, highly gifted, learning disabled children and more.

Articles are not to be taken as a substitute for professional advice or counseling.