Archive for the 'Childhood Depression' Category

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. 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


counseling child depression Phoenix Scottsdale Arizona

Monday, February 6th, 2017

Hundreds of studies have found a link between physical activity in children and teenagers and lower rates of depression in adults and teens. More research has ben done with children that are five years old and the results are the same. Physical activity on regular basis lowers rates of depression and a depressed mood for children. Depression is on the rise because children are not riding their bikes and they are not joining soccer or basketball or dance or cheer.

Children and teens that exercise and sweat and get their heart rate up and get to breath at an increased rate showed less signs of depression and this is important!

Limiting screen time is not the solution. Parents should set time for daily physical activity for stress and mood management for your children. Having your child’s heart pump and exercise for at least an hour shows a correlation with reduced depression in children and teenagers.

Most children are not physically active and this is a big red flag for mental and physical health. Depression and anxiety are elevated without daily exercise. Research shows obesity and health risks like diabetes without physical exercise. Managing stress and mood management needs physical exercise to naturally keep stress in balance.

Research shows the need for children to experience natural environments often and in a variety of ways. Adolescents and teens and children are spending more time inside the house watching television, playing video games, watching Netflix, watching you tube and playing on smart phones or gaming.

ADHD ( Attention Hyper Deficit Disorder) symptoms decrease at a high rate when your child is involved in daily physical exercise that is rigorous. Attention spans in children and teens with ADHD improves. Paying attention in school and being able to focus increases with physical exercise on a daily basis. Creativity and cognitive thinking and problem solving increases with physical exercise.

Instagram, snapchat, twitter, facebook may likely be contributing to your child and teens depression, and eating disorders according to research at FSU University. Recent studies have shown teenage girls and boys self esteem negatively impacted by social media usage. Time on social media impacted eating habits as well as anxiety in children and teens even when on sites for under thirty minutes. Parents should be extra vigilant with children and teenagers that have emotional, behavioral , and mental health issues be it: aspergers, autism, depression, bipolar, anxiety, substance use etc.

Children and adolescents that are withdrawn in their rooms is a red flag. Youth that have grades dropping. Teens that are not physically spending time with friends at your home. practitioner David Abrams MAPC, LPC, CAGS works with children, teenagers and families in Phoenix and Scootsdale, Peoria, Glendale, Goodyear AZ to help create balance physically, mentally, and emotionally in all aspects of your child’s life.

Counseling Child Video Games: Anxiety, Depression, ADHD, Anger, Poor Grades Phoenix Scottsdale

Saturday, June 4th, 2016

Children and adolescents who play video games before bedtime go to bed later and those who use online social media take longer to fall asleep, this study has been done hundreds of times. In Medical journals, health journals, psychology journals, and more.

Children and teens that spend more time with family and friends and that are not using: smart phones, video games, social media, snapchat, instagram, facebook, texting etc are more balanced in their lives. In fact those that limit technology receive much better sleep and why is this important? Sleep is vital for school performance as well as for stress and mood regulation. There are many studies that connect poor sleep to : depression, anger that is out of control, irritability, anxiety, depression and more.

When your child is playing video games and on social media or you tube he is not learning : academic skills, time management, health social skills, communication skills. Your child is not being involved in your family as a team player and he is not contributing to your family as well. Your child is not exercising and he is not involved in sports or other school activities. Video games can be very addictive and will wreck havoc and imbalance in your household if parents do not limit limit all technology!

On school days, spending time with family was tied to earlier bedtimes and better sleep. Limiting technology is vital to the balance and health and success of your child or teenager.

Teens and children are spending between 6-9 hours per day on electronic devices. Youth in America according to a recent study of over 3000 youth show they are spending more time on media and electronic devices including phones than they are sleeping. The cell phone, Tv, You tube videos, cell phone games, texting , instagram, snapchat, video games, netflix , hula are distracting children from homework, exercise, and healthy face to face relationships. Children and Teenagers are in their room jumping from one electronic device to another and it is having a negative impact on learning and grades! I had a news reporter tell me that we do not know the impact of media on children. There are thousands of studies showing that children and teens are out of balance with media use, tv, cell phone use, and video games. The experts state children should be using no more than 1.5 hours per day . This includes the pediatric medical community. So media Health Care Doctors, Psychologists, Researchers, and world experts maintain we must limit the exposure to electronics. It impacts sleep, mood, performance, social skills, academic success and more in a negative manner.

Teenagers between the ages of 13-18 are spending on average nine hours per day on electronics: tv, netflix, texting, you tube, Facebook, instagram,social networking, snapchat, video games, online videos. Teens are rarely maintaining 7 hours of sleep per night during the school week.

Children are also using electronic media at a high rate. Youth ages 9-12 are averaging six hours per day of electronic media use nd this does not include time for homework.

Seventy percent of teens do not believe that watching tv, texting, playing video games, surfing the net impacts their ability to study and learn. Research shows this not to be the case in fact it is the opposite of what the teens believe.

Teen Boys are spending a great deal of time on video games. Male teens spend almost ten times the amount of time on video games and online gaming as well as cell phone gaming. Teen girls spend more time on social media than boys and girls spend more time reading than boys.

Parents are in a power position to set boundaries for: sleep, gaming, texting, Tv, Homework, and more. If parents do not set firm limits than an immature child will be sucked into the vortex of games and entertainment and will be in their rooms drunk with power. Family communication will deteriorate, grades will go south, negative behaviors will become more frequent, family stress will increase, and mental and physical health will be poor.

Child Teen Depression: CBT counseling therapy Phoenix, Chandler, Scottsdale AZ

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

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.

Child and Family Stress: anxiety, depression: counseling, Phoenix therapist, Scottsdale

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

Coping with stress in healthy ways is an increasingly critical life skill, and according to a 2012 Placer County teen survey, 88 percent of ninth and eleventh graders said they felt stressed, and 54 percent said they were always stressed.

Healthy lifestyles and managing stress is vital in curbing substance abuse according to experts on substance abuse.


Some stress is an inevitable part of life, and learning to deal with adolescent stress and to avoid preventable stress is good preparation for adulthood. Responding both positively and negatively to stress is learned through experience. When stress is overwhelming the child or teen, it can lead to physiological changes, compromise the brain development and immune system, and lead to health problems later in life including substance abuse, such as alcoholism.

Parents can model healthy ways to manage stress at home and this will teach children and teens ways to manage stress and regulate mood.

Caring for children is more powerful than once believed. Parenting can help not only shape your child’s life it can shape your child’s genetics. Early experiences as children make our genes work differently.

Genes are very important because they create cells. The relationship that goes from cells to each gene in your body is very detailed. Genes in a cell can be expressed in different ways. Genes can be turned on or the gene can be turned off. If a gene is turned on it makes the cells behave in a totally different way than if the gene is in off modality.

One of the most vital discoveries today in the field of biological sciences states that the process of transforming genes into cells can be greatly impacted and influenced by environmental conditions.

Studies were done in a ground breaking journal called Nature that studied how animals react to stress. The study showed that genes can be methylated or de-methylated.  This means that a certain molecule can attack itself to the gene or it can not attach itself to a certain gene. The methylation or de-methylation impacts the way a gene influences cells in your child’s body.

Studies show that early care giving influenced how the stress regulating gene was methylated. The animals that received less licking and less nuzzling from there mothers had more methylated genes. The animals with the more methylated genes were more likely to react badly to stress later on. These animals in turn were less likely to care for their own young, passing on the effect to the next generation.

The above study showed this connection between nurture and cells and genetics for rats however the question was is this identical to children’s brains which is obviously different and much more complex. A recent study done in the Journal of Child Development shows the  same results for children and there family nurturing system.

Teens from vulnerable backgrounds were looked at and comparison was done on genes of children and teens who had been abused or neglected compared to those that and not been abused or neglected.

The same pattern of methylated genes occurred in humans as had happened in the rat study. Maltreated youth had more methylation than children that had been cared for. We have lots of research that showed abused and neglected children are more sensitive to stress as adults and hence are more likely to develop problems like anxiety and depression. Many did not suspect it traveled all the way to their genes.

These studies show that their is a multigenerational circle that is created at a biological level through nature and this biology is created under stress and in situations such as: abuse, isolation, maltreatment, socioeconomic stress, etc. This creates children and generations that are  more vulnerable to stress.

It is simple really. Whatever is happening in the world, stressed out parents raise stressed out kids.

And the role of the parent in promoting healthy stress management is more critical for the modern child exposed to cyber-powered pressures of peers and popular culture 24 hours a day.

The modern child may be exposed to a lot more stress than previous generations. “Many studies have linked excessive use of Internet with depression, poor academic performance and impulsive behavior to use Internet,” she said.

Jani explains that excessive internet use among youth can impede development of several small regions in the brain which could potentially lead to negative effects like diminished inhibition on inappropriate behavior and reduced goal printed behavior.

She is also concerned that unhealthy stress responses, such as gambling or substance abuse can also result in internet-electronic or gaming addiction.

“Children who use Internet excessively might be exposed to developing a type of addiction that was not experienced in the pre-digital era.” she said.

Jani observes that American children are already under enormous pressure to perform and most of them tend to not have much of personal time. “In on-line gaming, a child could be whoever he chooses to be; a hero, a king who builds empire, even a murderer,” she said. “It is the perfect space to be submerged in fantasy. This type of escapism is very attractive to our youth who are struggling with the harsh realities of life.”

Experts in Childhood Stress with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, explains there are three types of stress: positive, tolerable and toxic. Toxic stress is chronic and can lead to health issues. According to the report updated in May 2011: Toxic stress results from adverse experiences that may be sustained over a long period of time. This kind of stress can disrupt early brain development, compromise the functioning of important biological systems, and lead to long-term physical health problems. Along those lines, consider texting and social media as an example of chronic teen stress that can be like peer pressure on steroids and inspire high anxiety.

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