Psychology & Psychiatry Q & A (2001)

Question 12/7/2001:  I have a 14 year old son that has his up and down moods.  But seems to be more down lately.  He won’t talk about things with me because I'm the Mom.  He has mentioned a few of his friends having problems with depression.  I tried to tell him that those children have different home lives than he has.  Well tonight he left me a web page on depression for me to read.  Can I get him an appt with a Therapist?  Or does he have to have a referral?

Answer:   Depression is a significant problem among young teens.  It should always be taken seriously.  If you call 870-932-2800, you can make an appointment at St. Bernards Behavioral Health for an assessment of your situation.

NEA Clinic

(870) 935-4150 (for appointment)

Question 10/25/2001:  What are some of the symptoms of depression in teenagers?

Answer:    Depression is known as a severe affective (mood) disorder that is seen in adults and children alike.  Symptoms of depression in children can include: a sad and unhappy appearance; apathy and withdrawal; reduced capacity for pleasure (anhedonia); feeling rejected and unloved; difficulty with sleeping too much or too little somatic complaints such as headache and abdominal pain; episodes of clowning or foolish behavior; and persistent self blame.  Some experts believe that depression may be masked by overactive and aggressive/anti-social behavior; however, more severe symptoms such as diminished appetite and weight loss (a change of >5% of body weight in one month) tend to portray a more chronic reaction to depression.  It is believed that an association with a family history of depressive disorder is more likely when more severe symptoms are present. In order to treat childhood depressions, evaluation of the family and social setting is required to identify stressors that may precipitate depressive symptoms. Appropriate measures directed toward particular aspects of the child's life (parents, teachers, etc.) should include direct treatment/therapy of the child with a focus on improving self-esteem. If a child you know is showing signs of adolescent depressive disorder, please see your health care provider.  He/she can connect you to the proper avenues to get the child the help that he/she deserves.

Question 8/23/2001:  I have a 4 year old boy that seems to lie to everyone he talks to and I have tried everything possible from taking privileges away (like going outside) to keeping him in his room and still nothing. What can I do to change this?
Answer:  If he is able to truly tell the difference between the truth and lies, then you may need to seek the help of a child Psychologist.  Most children lie or tell "tall-tales" to get attention, but if the behavior persists, then some counseling may be needed for behavior modification.

Question 7/17/2001:  I have had a bad year. In mid January I found out my mother has only 6 mos. to a year to live, (I am an only child and my father died when I was 12), I was in an auto accident and totaled out my car, (my fault), suffer from ruptured disk from that, my purse was stolen and now I have lost my job.  Would I be a coward to go to the doctor to get something to help me cope?
Not at all!  When presented with significant stresses in life, most of us need something to help us get by.  The new medicines are able to help one rest or stay calm depending on the situation.  See your primary care doctor for more information. 

Question 3/6/2001: I have a 7 year old son that is ADHD. I also have a 7 month old. Is it likely that he will have ADHD also?
Just because your son has ADHD, it is not necessary a given that your youngest child will have the disorder. To this point, we do not know the genetics of this condition.