Ask an Expert

How can I get treatment for a Child or Adolescent

When a child or adolescent has a mental illness it is important that you access treatment. It is recommended that you make an appointment with a child/adolescent mental health practitioner for a diagnostic evaluation. The practitioner can assist you in formulating a treatment plan as well as advise and direct you to other appropriate mental health professionals if necessary.

How do I recognize signs of an eating disorder? Does someone have to be seriously underweight to be diagnosed with an eating disorder?

One obvious symptom of an eating disorder is weight loss or weight fluctuation; however, this does not apply to everyone with an eating disorder. Someone struggling with Binge Eating Disorder, Bulimia or Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified may not experience much weight loss, they may in fact, be overweight due to binging and/or purging, or not lose weight rapidly or drastically.

I recently lost my wife and this will be the first holiday season without her. I have three adult children and each of them want to know what we are going to do this year. I just don’t know what to do; I just don’t feel like doing the same things we always did. What should I say to them?

The holiday season can be stressful to anyone. These are all difficult days for individuals and families who have experienced a loss and are grieving. For many, the most difficult time of year is the one we are fast approaching. These days more than any other brings family together. We continually hear Holiday Carols, people wishing everyone, “Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa or Merry Christmas”

Every Winter I get depressed, where I really do not want anything to do with the holidays, I become withdrawn and feel sluggish. I have heard that some people have “winter blues” Could that be my issue?

Although, many people become depressed during the holiday season, even more respond to the excessive stress and anxiety once the holidays have passed. Recent studies have shown that there are also environmental factors which can contribute to the feelings of depression around the holidays. Some people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which can result from fewer hours of sunlight as the days grow shorter during the winter months. Researchers have found, however, that photo therapy, a treatment involving a few hours of exposure to intense ultraviolet light, is effective in relieving depression symptoms in patients with SAD.

Are we There Yet: How to maintain a stress free family vacation

With Summer upon us you’re looking forward to getting away for a family vacation. Everyone is hot and cranky. Your children have changed their mantra from “we don’t want to go to school” to “we’re bored.” As parents, we look forward to summer vacation as the time for our family to enjoy each other’s company, but it doesn’t always seem to work out that way. Advance planning can help you to stress-proof your family travels so that you can have the most fun and relaxing experience possible.

Are there any similarities between people who have eating disorders and people who self-harm themselves?

Approximately 25 percent of individuals who suffer from eating disorders (ED) like Anorexia, Bulimia or Compulsive Overeating also participate in non-suicidal self injury behavior. In and of itself, the practice of an eating disorder could also be considered self harming behavior. Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is defined as the intentional destruction of one’s own body tissue without suicidal intent but as a way of managing emotions that seem to painful to express verbally, using purposes that are considered socially unacceptable. Similar to eating disordered behavior, the NSSI behavior is participated in to help the individual cope with, take control of, block out and release unwanted feelings and emotions. The most common act of self harm is cutting. Self harming individuals usually inflict injury on their wrists, upper arms and inner thighs. The location of body marking is often in a place that can be hidden to avoid detection by others.