Sunday, July 1, 2012

Melatonin for sleep improvement

Melatonin is a hormone our body naturally produces. It appears that the level rises and falls during the day and assists in setting our internal clock, along with some other bodily functions. Melatonin has been sold as a food supplement since the early 1990's. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Identifying Learning Problems

For years I have advised anyone with a child struggling in academics, to request a full assessment for learning disorders. Now a compelling article from the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry has documented what I have noticed in my practice.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Stress proof your day

Did you know that stress, in the small amounts is actually good for you! When the brain perceives a stressor it releases epinephrine (adrenaline), norepinephrine, and cortisol. In small amounts these hormones increase oxygen, blood flow and energy levels. This is useful for successfully handling stressful events like asking for a raise, performing in a play, competing in a race, etc. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Improved sleep for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

I thought I would share this interesting article from the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. There is a high rate of sleep difficulties reported by individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), also known as pervasive developmental disorder (which includes Asperger's Disorder) These sleep problems include difficulty falling asleep as well as maintaining sleep. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Trouble sleeping?

We have all experienced difficulty sleeping from time to time. Insomnia due to travel or a stressful event can be easily treated with medication (prescription or over the counter); however, when the sleep problems last more than a few nights the underlying cause needs to be addressed. Long term use of sleep medication can lead to dependence, next-day drowsiness, and when discontinued there is an increased risk of rebound insomnia. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Social Anxiety and Body Image

Body dysmorphic disorder is characterized by a preoccupation with a defect in appearance which is either imagined or a slight physical anomaly.  I recently read an interesting article about this subject. I must admit that I have noticed anxiety symptoms (although sometimes subclinical) in my clients with eating disorders or body image issue. The authors of this article address the treatment of social anxiety symptoms in the successful treatment of body dysmorphic issues.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Parenting styles and adolescent anxiety

When a parent contacts me to arrange counseling for their adolescent, I explain that there will be times that the parents will be a part of the counseling session. It’s always difficult to talk with the parents about parenting styles. There’s plenty of guilt when it comes to parenting in general; therefore, guilt and a little defensiveness is understandable when your child’s counselor says, “we need to talk about parenting.”