2 Oct 12
The Lighter Side of EDRC - Picture Therapy
Tue, October 2, 2012 | link
26 Sep 12
Just a Little Annoyed
Wed, September 26, 2012 | link
I have considered whether to post these thoughts for 2 days. And I have decided to 'just do it!' During
the past 2 days I have reviewed within my own mind why exactly I do what I do online. In some way it kinda surprised
me the answer I arrived at upon thinking about that question. In other ways it really didn't surprise me at all - it
has been this way throughout my entire career (31+ years) as a therapist helping people recover. So within my own mind
I have arrived at 'nickname' of sorts for myself and what I do. I suppose it could also be a category under which I
fall as well. So here it is:
I'm a dedicated therapist who sincerely cares about folks who might need
a little extra support
in their journey to recover especially
from Eating Disorders, Dishonesty & Shame.
How did I arrive at those thoughts? Well, I gain no financial perks from doing what I do. My website:
http://www.addictions.net never allowed advertising, The website provides unbelievable amounts of information, support and
educational material for which there is no real income to speak of. Yes - I do sell some educational materials but the
prices are ridiculously low. The radio show I provide is free, this blog has no advertising, Facebook is just facebook, Tweets
are free. So my conclusion is I am a dedicated therapist and I'm here for the sole purpose to provide help to those
who might be looking for it. \
Here is the reason that brought me to blog about myself personally. I just get fed up with some
people's negativity. And trust me it's really not that many people (and never on this blog) but when
I offer my time to assist folks I do take negativity personally I have discovered. So 'unlike me', attempt to correct
me, be judgmental, & attempt to act like you know more than I.
I just have to wonder what YOUR motivation is...so exactly what is the point
of sharing your negativity? If it helps you to feel better about yourself as a person, or gives you some sense of superiority
or whatever have at it!
all I have to say about this. Thanks for taking your time to read about my little annoyance Have a wonderful day!
Tweets from a Dedicated ED Therapist
Wed, September 26, 2012 | link
16 Aug 12
How Lying Works - Basics - Signs - How to Tell
When you're young, there's one lesson that gets hammered
into you more often than others: Tell the truth. Tell the truth, you're told, and everything will be OK. Then why does Mom
call her boss claiming to be sick when she's not, and why does Dad say Mom's dress doesn't make her look fat? The lesson didn't stick for them when they were little,
and it didn't stick with you or me, either.
Thu, August 16, 2012 | link
Lying isn't a sign of moral depravity (except when it is). Lying is a sign
of cognitive advancement. It requires a fertile and high-functioning brain to take something as simple as the truth and twist it, palming
off the deception on someone else with the earnestness of a choirboy.
The problem with the truth is that it doesn't always
serve our purposes, further our careers or keep us out of trouble. When you can take the route made of imagination, best-case
scenarios and wish fulfillment, you'd be nuts not to take a deceitful stroll toward your goals, right?
believe that they're always being watched, and that Mom (or some other authority figure) knows all. For this reason, they're
initially more inclined to tell the truth. As they get a little older, they begin experimenting with lies: The dog is blue,
my shirt is made of copper, the cookie told me so. For the very young, lying is a series of cause-and-effect experiments.
When does a lie work? What kind of lie? What is a believable lie? Is the jig ever up, or should I keep lying until the truth
is just a vague memory for all parties?
Around age 2 or 3, children realize
that they're not under constant observation by an all-knowing, all-seeing Eye of Truth. A typical 4-year-old stretches the
truth once every two hours, while 6-year-olds will tell a whopper every 90 minutes [source: Bronson]. They're applying their earlier lie studies toward the
general goals of all truth-stretchers: gaining advantage, staying out of trouble and "bigging" themselves up in
the eyes of others. As children become older, they become more skilled at deception. And they never really stop. Continue
reading to learn the truth, or something like it, about lying.
The Basics of Lies
The ability to lie is a cognitive accomplishment.
While we look down on the practice from a moral and ethical point of view, lying isn't normally done without
a pretty good motive. Lies are told for some of the following reasons:
- To conceal misdeeds and stay out of trouble. Wrongdoings often can't be undone, and it's
rare that owning up to a misdeed will result in a positive outcome (at least in the short term). These lies are told
to avoid responsibility and repercussions.
- To preserve reputation. A recovering drug addict may lie about time spent in a treatment facility, especially
to a potential employer or romantic prospect. A lie like this is told to avoid shame or embarrassment.
- To avoid hurting someone's feelings.
Children learn early on to be polite, not to point out physical flaws, and to say "thank you" even after they receive
something they don't like. These "white lies" are distinguished from other types because they carry no ill will
or bad intentions.
increase stature and reputation. Some lies are told without any obvious external stimulus, such as a demand for an
answer to a specific question. This type of lie is often narcissistic in nature, told to make the liar seem more accomplished,
skilled or gifted as a means of gaining favor in the eyes of others.
- To manipulate. These lies aren't evasive or defensive, but rather aggressive
and malicious in nature. Such lies are told to gain wealth, love, favor or other assets by damaging another's reputation or
spreading harmful untruths.
Lies are told -- in some form or fashion -- by just about everybody.
Some personality types, however, are more likely to lie than others:
- To control information. As opposed to airing a falsehood, indirect lying
is withholding or concealing important facts. This is often seen as a more acceptable form of lying, since a person doesn't
actively construct lies, but only sits tightly on the truth. A missing piece of information can completely alter the understanding
of an event, leading American courts to demand not only the truth, but "the whole truth."
- Pathological liars are generally sociopathic, lack a clear sense of right and wrong and show
an absence of remorse when harming others. Sociopaths tell some of the best lies, since they don't feel bad about doing so
and don't show signs of guilt or worry. Sociopaths lie for self-gain, and their lies veer heavily toward manipulation.
- Compulsive liars lie as the first
option, even when there's no reason or advantage for doing so. Childhood experiences, such as living in an abusive environment
where lying might be necessary for survival or emotional well-being, are often responsible for compulsive lying.
- Narcissists lie to gain undeserved
glory and esteem in the eyes of others.
- Borderline personalities experience wild mood swings and out-of-control behaviors, like drug
abuse, gambling or promiscuous sex. This type may tell lies in an effort to deal with the fallout from these behaviors.
- Histrionic personalities desperately
crave love and attention and will tell lies that, though not accurate,
may reflect the emotional truth of the situation. "I'm so sick I could die," and "If you leave me, I'll kill
myself," are two examples of lies told by this type [source: Goleman].
Signs of DeceptionThere
is no single telltale sign of lying, but rather a constellation of possible signs that may "leak" from the liar
during the act. We'll discuss both verbal and nonverbal signs of lying in this section.
First, we'll examine some nonverbal
signs of lying. One sign that escapes most people is the flashing of a microexpression. Microexpressions
are superquick expressions that cross over people's faces against their will and without their awareness. These provide a
true look at their honest feelings about a matter. While most people aren't looking for such clues, a good many of us detect
them without knowing what just happened. The information we glean -- detecting a millisecond-long look of anger in the middle of a smile -- is often chalked up to intuition
or a "gut feeling." If your "gut" is telling you something isn't quite right with a person, you very well
may have detected a microexpression on that person's face that doesn't mesh with what he or she is saying.
sign of lying is a forced smile, which generally involves only the muscles of the mouth and not the rest of the face. A sign
of deception is a smile or other gesture -- such as nodding "yes" during a denial -- that contradicts what is being
said. When we normally interact, both speech and body language happen naturally, without specific thought. When we lie, however,
not only must we appraise the truth, construct a plausible lie and then verbalize it, we must also decide which body gestures
best match the lie, or rather best represent the telling of the truth. All of this thought leads to mis-matching words and
Someone who's lying may feel attacked and get in a defensive position. He or she might turn away from
the questioner, cross his or her arms or even move farther away. Liars may noticeably fidget, especially during a pause in
There are other nonverbal cues that many people think are surefire signs of lying but aren't, such
as increased blinking, scratching the face or nose, or placing a hand over the mouth while speaking. These signs are only
good indicators when they represent a change in the person's normal behavior (that is, the behavior immediately preceding
the suspected lie). Maybe the guy who's blinking a lot has an eyelash in his eye, and the girl covering her mouth is just
self-conscious; however, if the person doesn't blink often during the first three statements and blinks like crazy and scratches
his or her neck while giving the fourth statement, then that statement warrants closer examination.
Someone telling a
lie will also leak verbal clues that point to dishonesty. Since he or she has to invent an answer, a lie-teller will often
spend more time searching for the right word in the course of telling a story. The person might take too long to provide an
answer or get words mixed up. To get extra time to think, a liar won't use contractions (opting for "cannot" instead
of "can't") and may also repeat questions ("Where was I last night?" or "You want to know what I
was doing yesterday?").
Since they have to create an alternate reality apart from the truth, liars have difficulty
knowing how much of the new story to tell and will often include unnecessary details.
How to Tell If Someone is LyingIf you were accused of murder, you'd be under enormous pressure to lie if you were guilty. The stakes
are high, and that kind of pressure can lead to physical cues that will give you away. A person serving a life sentence for
murder, however, would feel virtually no pressure when lying about the murder because he or she is already in prison -- there
won't be any further consequences for lying. In this case, it's the verbal details, and not body language, that will likely
be his or her undoing.
Here's how you separate the liars from the truth-tellers:
- Establish the baseline. Liars may look you directly
in the eye, and truth-tellers may be fidgety and seem evasive, so don't
look for one trait or the other. First, establish the person's behaviors, mood and mannerisms for that particular point in
time, before the questioning begins. Is the person relaxed or nervous? Angry? Distracted? Notice how much eye contact and
blinking is going on. Does the person touch his or her hands or face when speaking?
- Look for deviations from the baseline. The key to
detecting lies is to look for deviations from an established pattern of behavior. If a person normally makes no eye contact
and blinks like crazy but stares straight through you when answering a particular question, there's your red flag. Look for
slight pauses before answers -- this is the amount of time it takes their brain to fabricate data. The liar may act offended at being questioned
at all but suddenly quite affable when the lie is being told, or vice versa.
- Listen. Sometimes, there will be no body language
or visual cues that accompany a lie. You have to rely on the verbal information you receive. Do the facts add up? Is the person
telling you lots of information that is unrelated to the question? If someone provides lots of details, ask more questions.
These details might be their undoing. After getting into the nitty-gritty of the details, bounce the questioning back to the
overall time frame or arc of the story. Now, refocus on a small detail. Does the story still fit together? Is the person having
to create new details to explain why other details aren't fitting well into the arc of the story?
- Pause. For most people, lying -- and
the circumstance that necessitates the telling of a lie -- is stressful. If you're questioning somebody, pause between one
of his or her answers and your next question. Pauses are slightly uncomfortable for most people in a social interaction, and
much more so for a person who is trying to pass off a lie. This pause may seem like a torturous eternity to a liar. Look for
fidgeting, defensive posturing and microexpressions.
- Change the subject. The best news a liar can receive is that the lie is over. When the person
believes the topic of conversation has changed, he or she may be visibly relieved. A nervous person may loosen up; an agitated
person may smile. This tactic also allows you to continue studying for deviations from the baseline or to look for a return
to the baseline.
12 Aug 12
How to Be a Mind Reader: The Art of Deciphering Body Language
Sun, August 12, 2012 | link
We are going to begin the process of learning how to read others as well as ourselves. All
emotion is expressed through the theater of facial expressions.So it would be the first place to look if you are attempting
to discover if someone is being honest with you. Keep in mind that people try very hard to control their emotions. However
it is almost impossible to completely cover everything - especially the facial expressions. Below is one of the best articles
I have read describing this phenomena.
Learning how to accurately interpret facial expressions isn't easy, but it can make you a more
effective leader. (Or in this case more effective reader of facial language.)
knows that tuning into body language and facial expressions can indicate the thoughts and feelings that remain unspoken. He
also knows how difficult those nonverbal cues can be to interpret. During a budget meeting with a direct report while working
for Global Knowledge, Goldfarb noticed that his vice president kept toying with her necklace. He thought this mannerism was
an indication of her discomfort with the financial target he was proposing. He also noticed her eyes and thought they expressed
worry over the budget target. He repeatedly asked her during the meeting if she thought she could meet the budget, and even
though she consistently answered yes, Goldfarb didn't believe her. So he scheduled a follow-up meeting with her to dig deeper.
She ended up meeting the target without a problem, and Goldfarb realized that he wasted his and her precious time by scheduling
the follow-up meeting and by dragging out the first one with repetitive questions. What could Goldfarb have done differently
to more accurately size up his vice president?
9 Aug 12
Help Improve Eating Disorder Treatment
Thu, August 9, 2012 | link
US IMPROVE TREATMENT OF EATING DISORDERS!
PLEASE HELP US IMPROVE TREATMENT OF EATING DISORDERS!
If you have/had an ED PLEASE Participate in this Study.
Take a Few
Moments to Improve Eating Disorder Treatment By Clicking on the Link Below.
"A Study of Beliefs"
The Eating Disorder Recovery Center Thanks You Immensly for Your Time!
16 Dec 10
Holidays Don't Have to Be Ruined by ED
Thu, December 16, 2010 | link
Holidays like Christmas
are special moment for families to bond and partake sumptuous food together.
However, for an estimated nine million
men, women and young people who are having some eating disorders holidays is a cause of headache and nightmares for them.
Those suffering from eating disorders fears that the presence of many foods in the table would worsen their problem
since it would trigger the desires to eat plenty of food, which would put their lives at risk.
With this scenario,
those who are suffering from eating disorders do not really fully enjoyed the festivity since their mind is pre-occupied with
fears of worsening their medical condition.
To all persons in this planet who are suffering from an eating disorder
it is time for you to forget about worries and just enjoy the holidays with your family.
Based on studies, people
who have eating problems can still have fun during the holidays despite their situation all they need is to plan everything
and follow certain steps to make sure the festivity cannot ruin the spirit of bonding and enjoyment.
the holidays asked someone close to you to act as adviser that will remind you about your condition and offer you comfort
and advices to cope up with your eating disorder problem.
Another important thing to ensure you will still fully
enjoy the holidays despite your condition is to prepare your own food. You know yourself more than anyone else so it would
be prudent on your part to set aside foods that are safe for consumption so that the other foods prepared can be avoided.
It would also be best that you have a full control of your body so that you can make logical choices and have the commitment to avoid foods that pose health risk on your condition.
If ever your treatment team has given you a meal plan stick to it regardless of the tempting situation where foods are plenty to choose and partake.
Holidays are season
of joy and forgiveness so do not allow your stress to ruin the special moment you have with your family.
Human are imperfect individuals so mistakes are common so when
you fail to stop eating to much during the holidays do not blame yourself for it.
Learn to forgive and forget so
that you will avoid feeling sad which might trigger you to eat more during this special time of the year.
are time to merry making and bonding. So whatever your medical condition it would be best to just enjoy the moment and leave
all your worries behind.
Perfectionism & How It Ruins the Holidays!
Thu, December 16, 2010 | link
standards and expectations impossible to meet so perfectionists run the risk of having events not turn out, a Canadian researcher
Antony of Ryerson University in Toronto suggests perfectionists evaluate whether they may be creating a self-fulfilling prophecy
-- by setting expectations too high, perfectionists run the risk of having events not turn out as desired and therefore develop
the perception that they have "reason" to worry.
Antony suggests perfectionists learn to distinguish between high standards, which
are healthy and perfectionism, which is not.
Perfectionists often experience intense anxiety, shame, anger or low mood when their standards or
goals are not met, and perfectionism may affect people's functioning by causing them to spend too long on tasks, procrastinate
or avoid tasks altogether, Antony says.
Antony, author of "When Perfect Isn't Good Enough: Strategies for Coping with Perfectionism," recommends
perfectionists take a step back and shift their thinking to be more realistic and balanced.
For example, Antony says if you are convinced your home
has to be spotless and perfectly neat and organized, ask yourself:
-- "What if a few things are not in their place?"
-- "Does it really matter as much
as it feels like it matters?"
-- "Is it necessarily true that my guests will prefer a perfectly organized home, or will some people feel more
comfortable if things are not so perfect?"© 2010 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution
and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
8 Ways to Take the Joy Out of the Holidays By Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D.
Thu, December 16, 2010 | link
In case you haven’t noticed, the winter holidays are here. They sweep over us like a tsunami
of lights, sights, sounds and smells. It can be a season of joy or a season of stress. Most of us would choose the joy,
but it’s easy to get caught up in things that can bring out the bah-humbug in the best of us.
are eight surefire ways to make sure we are exhausted, resentful, and broke by December’s end. Perhaps being aware
of them will help us all keep good holiday spirits right into the new year.
1. Neglect the
Don’t get enough sleep. Eat nothing but sugar. Don’t move except from car to store to car to door. It’s easy to neglect health
and wellbeing during a time of celebratory eating, rushing around to do in a week what should take a month, and staying
up too late to make sure every tradition is honored. We can fill our days with excuses (“Oh just this once I’ll
…”) or we can stick to our healthy routines some — or even most — of the time and still enjoy
2. Decorate every inch of the house.
The covers on those women’s magazines at the checkout counter can make us all feel like slackers. Twenty-four holiday gifts you can make
in a day! 50 easy cookie recipes! Simple crafts to make your house inviting, warm, wonderful, in the spirit! Yeah. But
most of us already put in a full day every day. The very idea of actually making those gifts, cookies, and decorations
If you truly enjoy crafts and decking the halls, by all means do it — just
do it in a way that makes you as well as the house feel great. If your job is demanding and you already feel stretched to
the max, it’s really okay to use the same decorations you’ve always used (that’s what traditions are
all about anyway) and to buy a couple of dozen cookies.
3. Dig up memories of past holidays where you were neglected,
mistreated, or ignored by someone or maybe by several someones.
We can relive our disappointments
over and over or we can focus on making this holiday season happier and more meaningful. Promise yourself to take charge of some part of the holiday season this year and make a happy memory to look back on next year. Do this enough years in a row and you will build a fund of good memories.
Focus on what you don’t have and can’t do.
‘Tis the season when we can
feel sorry for ourselves for not being able to buy the gifts we’d like to buy, for not being able to go on a winter
vacation, for not being as well off as some family member, friend, or neighbor. Or we can appreciate what we do have and
be grateful for the moments when we can do something special with or for someone we love.
your time by saying yes when you really need to say no.
The PTO needs cookies? You agree
to bake 6 dozen. The church needs folks to staff the holiday fair? You take two shifts as a favor to your friend the committee
chair. The Cub Scouts need a place to have a party? You volunteer your house.
All are worthy activities.
But you don’t have to do them all or do them all in a big way to be a good enough person. Choosing carefully when
to say an enthusiastic yes and when to say a graceful no can make the difference between joyful participation and high
It’s so tempting, isn’t it? The holiday sales are
on. Every catalogue promises deals and steals – and free shipping. While you’re out buying for others, it’s
hard not to throw in things you wanted for yourself. Although you intend to stay within a budget, it’s hard not to
get just one more little thing for each of the kids. Bad idea. The likely outcome of going over budget is that you’ll
be financially stressed until March. Believe me. The kids would rather have a happy parent than another toy or a designer
7. Try to get to too many places in too short a time.
Most of us
don’t get a week off during the holidays, but many of us act as if we do. Let’s see: Christmas Eve at your mother’s,
Christmas morning at your house. Christmas dinner with your partner’s family. The next day you’re expected
to show up for a party. You put 500 miles on the car in three days. The kids are cranky. You’re cranky. Everyone is
exhausted. As much as others may be disappointed, you do have a choice about all that running around. Stay put. Invite
relatives to come to you for a change. Or stretch the holiday visiting out over the month. Only Santa has to get around
the world in 24 hours. You don’t.
8. Threaten the kids.
you don’t behave, Santa won’t come.” As tempting as it may be to use Santa as the heavy, it can make
a child anxious now and resentful in the future. Although it may buy a moment’s peace, threatening kids with the
promise of a stocking stuffed with coal or bribing them with the promise of a pony can only destroy the magic. Leave Santa
out of your repertoire for child management. Instead, catch them being good whenever you can. Be firm and fair in your
discipline. You’ll be more effective as a parent and you’ll get the bonus of being able to see the magic
of Christmas through a child’s eyes.
15 Dec 10
Childhood Eating Disorders Rise @ Alarming Rates
Rate of Eating Disorders in Kids Keeps Rising
Wed, December 15, 2010 | link
MONDAY, Nov. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Eating disorders have risen steadily in children and teens over the last few decades,
with some of the sharpest increases occurring in boys and minority youths, according to a new report.
In one startling statistic cited in the report, an analysis by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
found that hospitalizations for eating disorders jumped by 119 percent between 1999 and 2006 for kids younger
At the same time as severe cases of anorexia and bulimia have risen, so too have "partial-syndrome"
eating disorders -- young people who have some, but not all, of the symptoms of an eating disorder. Athletes,
including gymnasts and wrestlers, and performers, including dancers and models, may be particularly at risk, according
to the report.
"We are seeing a lot more eating disorders than we used to and we are seeing it
in people we didn't associate with eating disorders in the past -- a lot of boys, little kids, people of color
and those with lower socioeconomic backgrounds," said report author Dr. David Rosen, a professor of pediatrics,
internal medicine and psychiatry at University of Michigan. "The stereotype [patient] is of an affluent white
girl of a certain age. We wanted people to understand eating disorders are equal-opportunity disorders."
The report is published in the December issue of Pediatrics.
While an estimated 0.5 percent
of adolescent girls in the United States have anorexia and about 1 to 2 percent have bulimia, experts estimate
that between 0.8 to 14 percent of Americans generally have at least some of the physical and psychological symptoms of
an eating disorder, according to the report.
Boys now represent about 5 to 10 percent of those with
eating disorders, although some research suggests that number may be even higher, said Lisa Lilenfeld, incoming
president of the Eating Disorders Coalition for Research, Policy and Action in Washington, D.C.
studies that have been focused on prevalence were based on patients in treatment centers, who tended to be white
females, Lilenfeld said. "That does not represent all of those who are suffering," she said. "It's
hard to say if eating disorders are on the rise in males, or if we're just doing a better job of detecting it."
Rosen and his colleagues pored over more than 200 recent studies on eating disorders. While much is
unknown about what triggers these conditions, experts now understand it takes more than media images of very thin
women, although that's not to say those don't play a role, Rosen said.
Like other mental health problems
and addictions, ranging from depression to anxiety disorder to alcoholism, family and twin studies have shown
that eating disorders can run in families, indicating there's a strong genetic component, Rosen said.
"We used to think eating disorders were the consequences of bad family dynamics, that the media caused
eating disorders or that individuals who had certain personality traits got eating disorders," Rosen said. "All
of those can play a role, but it's just not that simple. All young women are exposed to the same media influences,
but only a small percentage of them develop eating disorders. So what is different about those 1 percent that
develop an eating disorder compared to the 99 percent who don't?"
At the same time as eating
disorders have risen, the obesity epidemic has also exploded. Concerns about overweight and obese children have
prompted some physicians to counsel their young patients about nutrition. That's an approach that can backfire
when not handled correctly, however.
"There are lots of kids in my practice who say their eating
disorder started when their family doctor told them, 'You could stand to lose a few pounds,'" Rosen said.
"As physicians, we need to make sure our conversations are not inadvertently hurtful or impact their self
For people who are genetically vulnerable, dieting itself is a risk factor for eating
disorders, while strict dieting is even a bigger risk, Lilenfeld said.
Parents and pediatricians should
look for signs of eating disorders, including a child whose progress on growth charts suddenly changes, very restrictive
eating, compulsive overexercising, making concerning statements about body image, vomiting, disappearing after
meals or use of laxatives and diet pills.
Eating disorders, especially anorexia, can have long-term
consequences for health, including leading to early osteoporosis and death.
"We know the sooner
they get some evidence-based treatments, the better the outcome," Lilenfeld said.
news is eating disorders can be 'cured' -- that is to say, the person isn't merely keeping the condition at bay
but can actually get over it," Rosen said. With treatment and maturity, many kids move beyond the eating disorder.
"The conventional wisdom is eating disorders are incurable. You have them for life, you never
get better and the best you can hope for is to keep it under control like alcoholism," Rosen said. "That's
not the reality, particular for children and teenagers with eating disorders. The majority of children and adolescents
get all better."
The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has
more on eating disorders.
10 Dec 10
5 Things NOT To Do If Your Child Has Eating Disorder
Don't ask your daughter how you can help; she doesn't know or she would
tell you. It also communicates that you are just as baffled as she is. Just like with any other issue, she is looking to
you for help and direction so find someone who knows what to do and ask them.
Fri, December 10, 2010 | link
2. As you learn the eating disorder lingo, like eating disorder abbreviation is ED, ana is an abbreviation
for anorexia, or mia is another word for bulimia; don't over use them. It's almost like these words are a badge of honor
and if you use them condescendingly or loosely, your daughter will begin to dismiss you. Some girls don't like the abbreviations
at all and it will irritate them greatly if you utilize the lingo with them. Sometimes it is best to ask if you can use
these words in discussion or if there are other words she would rather you use to refer to the eating disorder.
3. Try not to over-discuss things. What I mean by this is ask your question
or state your concern and wait for a response. Parents often believe if I can just ask the right question or ask it in the
right way I will get a response. This often frustrates your child when she is already having difficulty putting words to
her thoughts and feelings. Stay away from 20 questions and err on the side of brevity. She will appreciate it and will feel
more open to future discussions if she knows she will not be badgered with questions.
4. Don't expect her initially to be able to verbalize how this happened. She won't have an answer
and this will add to the guilt she already feels. She may appear on the surface to only feel angry and oppositional about
food, but underneath there is a ton of guilt for being a burden and disappointing you.
5. Don't require things of her that she is uncomfortable with in the early stages. Some examples
might be forcing her to go to a swimming party when she is so self-conscious in a bathing suit; requiring her to go to a
sleepover when they are serving breakfast the next morning. It is okay to offer to pick her up before breakfast if that
will help her stay connected with friends. Be flexible early on and know her recovery is a process. It will get easier again
as she progresses.
9 Dec 10
Thu, December 9, 2010 | link
7 Dec 10
All About Teens and Adolescents
Tue, December 7, 2010 | link
Anorexic teens refers to teenagers who suffer from anorexia
nervosa, which is one of the most common teen eating disorders. In this article we will review anorexic teen statistics, warning
signs, causes, factors, symptoms, effects and treatment of teen anorexia.
Anorexia Nervosa is a serious and potentially
life-threatening eating disorder, which is characterized by self-starvation and excessive weight loss. Teenage girls are more
likely to have anorexia than any other group.
Teen anorexia, or anorexia nervosa, is one of the most common eating
disorders among teens. Anorexia means that a troubled teen is starving her or himself. Teens with anorexia are obsessed with
their body image. Anorexic troubled teens hardly eat anything, and have a distorted view of themselves so that they always
think they are fat even if they become dangerously thin. Teen anorexia can cause serious health problems or death, so troubled
teens with anorexia need to get medical treatment to recover from their eating disorder.
Eating disorders such
as anorexia are most common among teens, though eating disorders can begin earlier or later in life. About 1 percent of teens
have an eating disorder. Teen anorexia is most common among teen girls, but about 10 percent of troubled teens with anorexia
are boys, and teen boys with eating disorders often go undiagnosed and untreated. Between 5 and 20 percent of teens with anorexia
will die because of the disorder.
Some signs that a teen has anorexia include:
Losing weight even after he or she is underweight
* Fear of being fat, and belief that he or she
is fat even if he or she is underweight
* Denial that he or she is underweight
* Obsession with what he or she eats, especially obsessively counting calories, weighing food, or developing strict eating
* Eating hardly anything at all and saying he or she is never hungry
* Excessive exercising to lose weight
* For teen guys, an obsession with looking athletic
* Staying away from social activities, especially those involving food
Some of these symptoms, such as social
withdrawal, losing too much weight, or lack of appetite can also indicate other health problems in troubled teens, including
depression, bulimia, or other illnesses. Teens with these symptoms need to be diagnosed by a medical professional.
The causes of anorexia are unknown, but some factors seem to make teens more prone to anorexia, such as:
* Feeling out of control, and wanting to control their bodies
* Fear of the changes that occur during
puberty, such as natural and healthy weight gain
* Role models such as celebrities who are excessively
* Mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, or obsessive compulsive disorder
* Family members who are overly concerned with weight
* Genetics ? Involvement in sports that stress
ideal weights, such as gymnastics, ice-skating, ballet, track, and wrestling
* Peer pressure from
someone they know who is anorexic
Anorexia can do serious harm to a teen's body, sometimes ending in death. Some
effects of anorexia are:
* Malnutrition and starvation
* Lack of energy
* Susceptibility to injury, especially due to brittle bones
* Damage to
the heart, liver, and kidneys
* Lowered blood pressure, pulse, and breathing rate
* Muscle weakness
* Anemia (lack of red blood cells)
* Swollen joints
* Light-headedness and poor concentration
* Poor performance in sports or school
* Loss of hair
* Broken fingernails
* Dry hair
* Growth of soft hair all over the body
* Depression and withdrawal
* In teen girls, loss of menstrual cycle
Teens with anorexia need medical treatment without delay so they can recover from their eating disorder. If you,
your teen, or a friend may have anorexia, find help immediately. Teens with anorexia should be treated by doctors, mental
health professionals, and dieticians. Individual therapy is necessary to help the teen learn better eating habits and a better
attitude about food and body image, and family therapy can help the troubled teen to have a supportive environment during
her or his recovery.
Anorexic Teens Sources:
* Eating Disorder Recovery Center -
www.addictions.net & www.edrecover.com
* Nemours Foundation, TeensHealth, Eating Disorders:
Anorexia and Bulimia [online]
* National Eating Disorders Association, Anorexia Nervosa [online]
What is Bulimia
According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services'
Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) (1), bulimia is an eating disorder that mostly affects
young women between the ages of 12 and 25 of normal or near normal weight. Characteristics of bulimia include episodic binge
eating followed by feelings of guilt and self-condemnation.
Teens suffering from bulimia often show signs of the
eating disorder by eating a large amount of food in a small time frame and immediately purging themselves of the food ingested
by causing themselves to vomit. Other ways the bulimic uses to rid the body of food eaten during a binge include laxatives,
diuretics (water pills), and fasting. Often called the "binge/purge" cycle, this behavior is brought about by an
extreme fear of gaining weight.
Treatment of Bulimia
Treatment for teens suffering from bulimia has
been advancing in recent years. In 2002, the American Psychological Association reported on a study conducted in 2000 about
two types of psychotherapy that have met success in the treatment of bulimia (2). One type focuses on the symptoms of bulimia
while the other aims to address issues the bulimic may have with relationships.
Cognitive behavioral therapy helps
the bulimic address the symptoms of bulimia and focuses on the negative thoughts associated with their weight and appearance.
This therapy also helps guide the bulimic to make positive diet changes.
Interpersonal psychotherapy aims to improve
the worth of the bulimic's current relationships and to improve any negative aspects of those relationships by dealing with
issues directly. This therapy also helps the bulimic to form a wider social network.
A study reported in the August
2000 American Journal of Psychiatry (Vol. 157, No. 8) reported that bulimics who responded well to either of these types of
therapy did so within the first six to eight sessions. The report further states that randomly selected patients who did not
respond to the two types of therapy did respond to antidepressant medication such as Prozac.
Studies suggest that
bulimia is manifested in women between the ages of 18 and 24. Psychologist Daniel Le Grange, Ph.D., however, believes that
by exploring bulimic patients' histories more thoroughly, the cycle of bingeing and purging often begins as early as 15 or
How to Prevent Bulimia
According to the Public Broadcasting System's Perfect Illusions website (3),
there are steps parents, teachers, coaches and others who work with teens can take to help avoid bulimia. A few of these include:
* Modifying and adapting expectations you have of your teen.
your own perceptions and attitudes towards food, body image, physical appearance and exercise.
Do not give off the message that you cannot do activities such as dance, swim, or wear certain types of clothing because of
the way you look or how much you weigh.
* Encourage eating in response to physical hunger.
* Encourage eating a variety of foods.
* Help teens to appreciate their bodies and encourage them
to engage in physical activity.
* Do not use food as a reward or punishment.
* Do not criticize your own weight or the way you look by avoiding the use of such phrases as "I'm too fat" or "I've
got to lose weight."
* Love, accept, and acknowledge the teen's value verbally.
Teen Obesity Statistics
Teen obesity has grown to epidemic proportions in the United States.
The US Department of Health and Human Services recently published teen obesity statistics regarding this dangerous
According to the report, 14% of adolescents in the United States are overweight. This figure has nearly
tripled in the last 20 years.
This means that 14% of our teens are at risk for heart disease, high cholesterol,
and high blood pressure. Type 2 Diabetes has also increased dramatically in teens as a direct result of teen obesity. Additionally,
teens who are dealing with teen obesity have a very high probability of being obese as adults further increasing their risk
of other serious health problems.
Reading these teen obesity statistics may be a little frightening but may also
be viewed as "something to worry about tomorrow" because teen obesity statistics are dwarfed by other problems teens
face today. Teens dealing with teen obesity also deal with social discrimination which can be devastating. Overweight or obese
teens often have low self esteem which keeps them from joining in many activities with other teens. Obese teens may also suffer
from depression which can lead to a viscous circle of staying at home watching TV and snacking, gaining more weight, feeling
worse about themselves, and spending more time in front of the TV.
Obese teens may feel this is a problem they
are powerless to change. IT ISN'T.
What Causes Teen Obesity?
The cause of teen obesity is generally
lack of physical activity combined with unhealthy eating habits. We have become a very sedentary society. We spend hours sitting
in front of computers, video games, or televisions. One survey showed 43% of adolescents watched more than two hours of television
Daily physical education has been eliminated from a lot of schools. More children are "latchkey"
children who, while waiting for parents to come home from work, sit and watch TV or play video games. In a January report
to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. William Dietz, Director of the Division of Nutrition and Physical
Activity concluded "of all the ways of tackling this problem, TV reduction appears to be the most effective measure in
reducing weight gain in this population
The other side of the equation, our diet, too often consist of greasy fast
food, sugary snacks, and large portion sizes at restaurants. Going on a strict diet is not the answer. It is important to
change the way the whole family eats. Whole fruits, whole vegetables and whole grains should make up a large part of the diet.
Parents need to know the value of choosing whole grain breads rather than white. The August 2002 issue of The American Journal
of Clinical Nutrition contains a report showing a strong correlation between the amounts of whole grain consumed over a four
year period, and healthier weight, healthier waist-to-hip ratio, and decreased risk for diabetes. This was true no matter
how much refined grain was eaten, and no matter how much fiber.
Recent reports from public health organizations
have concluded that if children are given appealing places to play, it increases their participation and as a result their
health was markedly improved and reduces teen obesity by increasing weight loss.
Activities to do to help reduce
* Play basketball
* Play tennis
* Play volley ball
* Play racket ball
* Go to a skate park
* Go swimming
* Play any ball sports
These can all make a big difference in teen obesity.
Additionally there are classes in dance, gymnastics, karate, etc. There are youth baseball, football and soccer teams to join.
The idea is to choose something fun and get moving, dancing, jumping, climbing, walking, skating?. So, grab an apple and go
Self image is the mental picture that you have of yourself. The teen years represent
one of the pivotal times for the development of self image. It is at this time that many teenagers develop the personalities
that they will have the rest of their lives. And this picture they have of themselves can influence the kinds of friends they
have, the choices they make and their performance at school and work. In order to have a successful and fulfilling life, a
teen needs to develop a positive self image.
Negative self image can lead to damaging behaviors
years, studies (including one at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) have shown a correlation between negative
self image and damaging behaviors. Without the confidence to stand up for oneself, teenagers may look for acceptance by having
unprotected sex, doing drugs or abusing alcohol. When teenagers do not think they are valued by their parents, or if they
feel they are being ignored, they may act out in ways that can hurt them for the rest of their lives.
stemming from negative self image can be suicidal tendencies. If a teen feels worthless, unwanted and depressed, he or she
may decide to take his or her own life. This can be a very painful experience for everyone involved • especially family
Developing a positive self image
In order to help your teenager develop a positive self
image, it is important to make sure that he or she feels worthwhile and knows that you care. In fact, even if your teenager
is exhibiting inappropriate behaviors, it is important that you show unconditional love and offer your help and support. Additionally,
there are a number of things you can support that can help your teenager feel useful and involved.
One of the most
important things you can do is encourage your teenager in accomplishments. These accomplishments can be at school, work, home
or with extracurricular activities. Having something that your teen does well • or is at least improving at • can
help him or her feel a sense of accomplishment that can help them develop a positive self image. Setting goals and achieving
them, as well as being involved, can help teenagers feel connected to others and as though they are doing something worthwhile.
You can help your teenager by encouraging his or her efforts, and by supporting their decisions to do their best.
You should praise improvement and encourage your teenager to excel. Attend ceremonies and events so that you can show your
support for your teenager on a regular basis.
Constructive correction is also important. Helping your teenager’s
self image does mean you ignore all the negative things. You should be helping your teen improve, and correcting behavior.
But you should do so in a constructive and gentle manner. And, while you are pointing out areas that need improvement, you
should also take the time to make sure that you praise your teenager for what he or she is doing well.
self image can provide a teenager with confidence and with the good feelings that make it possible for him or her to do his
or her best, and to say no when confronted with the temptation of dangerous or damaging behaviors.
How a teenager
feels about himself or herself can play a large roll in later success in life. In fact, teen self esteem can influence decisions
that are made now - decisions that can impact health, mental state and achievement in later years. It is important to help
your teenager feel that he or she is of worth. This will inspire the confidence that helps teenagers excel at what they do,
and give the courage to say no to dangerous substances and situations.
Helping your teenager build good self esteem
Positive self esteem is when a teen knows that he or she is loved, cared for and is worthwhile. Self esteem is understanding
that others think well of us. Teenagers need to feel that their friends, teachers and parents respect and love them. There
are some things that parents can do help teens develop a healthy self esteem:
* Avoid too much
negativity. Focus on what your teenager has done right. It is alright to correct your teen when he or she is wrong, but do
so in a gentle manner, and accompany your critique with praise for some other activity that he or she is doing well at. Make
sure you recognize the good while you are helping to manage the bad.
* Focus on improvement, rather
than on perfection. No one is going to be perfect. Let your teenager know that you notice when he or she makes improvements
in their activities and behaviors. Focus on the journey, rather than what you wish was the end product.
* Encourage achievement. Help your teenager set and achieve goals. They should be challenging goals, but also goals that your
teen can accomplish. Being able to overcome challenges and reach a goal can give your teenager a good sense of accomplishment
* Understand that your teenager may want different things than you. You may want your teenager
to be a doctor, but he or she may want to be a journalist. Understand that your teen may have different goals in life. Try
to support your teenager in his or her decisions. As long as your teen is not engaging in risky, damaging or illegal behavior,
try to be supportive and encouraging.
* Listen to your teen. Invite your teenager to share his or
her ideas and opinions. Listen respectfully, and encourage critical thinking. Be a model of civil discussion and teach your
teenager how to disagree without arguing.
* Encourage exercise. Physical activity helps increase one’s
self esteem. Encourage your teenager to get regular exercise, either through activities at home or by participating in organized
* Encourage extracurricular activities. Your teenager does need to be involved in everything,
but one or to extra activities can really help improve self esteem. It gives your teen something to improve at and accomplish.
Make sure that you attend recitals and exhibitions and sporting events that your teenager participates in to show your support.
Having a teenager can be difficult. And it can be hard to know how to properly nurture and
care for your teen. However, if you make the effort to show love and kindness - and support and interest - you can help your
teenager develop the healthy self esteem that leads him or her to live a successful and fulfilling life.
us, both young and old experience stress at certain times in our life. It's how much stress we encounter and how we deal with
the stress that can determine whether or not it's a problem.
Stress, otherwise known in more medical terms as the
"flight or fight" response, increases our heartbeats, speeds our metabolism and heightens our awareness. A little
bit of this stress can be good for us, keeping us in tune with our surroundings. If these stressors last for long periods
of time, they can keep us in a constant state of tension. They begin to wear on us physically, mentally and emotionally.
Causes of teen stress
It really depends on each individual what they consider to be stressful. What may
be stressful for one teen, may not bother another teen at all. For this reason, it is well advised to keep in tune with your
individual child's feelings about different things. Stressors can come from both internal and external sources, some of which
are listed below.
* Family problems (divorce, death in family, new sibling, financial problems)
* Moving to a new school
* Difficulty in school (learning difficulties, too much
* Friends (lack of friends, shyness, fights with friends, acceptance/rejection, peer
pressure, boyfriend/girlfriend problems)
* Overload (too many extra-curricular activities combined
with school work, jobs, etc)
* Physical changes in body
* Lack of sleep
* Deciding one's future (college planning, job planning)
Overachieving (trying to be perfect in many areas)
* High expectations (setting goals too high can
come from both parents and the individual themselves)
Warning signs of teen stress
Signs of teen stress
can come in many forms. Every teen will experience some signs at different times, but when they last for longer periods of
time it can tend to create further problems. Signs of stress can be physical, mental or emotional.
of teen stress
* Stomach aches
* Eating disorders (over eating, under eating)
* Sleeping disorders (insomnia, nightmares)
Mental signs of teen stress
* Lack of concentration
* Drop in grades
Emotional signs of teen stress
* Anger quickly
* Easily Agitated
Solutions for teen stress management
Now that we are aware of the causes
and signs of teen stress, what can we do as parents to help alleviate it? Most stress can be dissipated by some simple everyday
methods. If stress has overrun their lives it's best to seek further professional help for them.
* Talking - Talk to your child about what's bothering them. Talking and working out one's problems with somebody else will
help reduce built up tension. Encourage them to talk to their friends or other adults as well.
time out to relax - Have them find some activities that they enjoy doing such as reading a book or listening to music.
* Exercise and eat healthy - Exercise (non-competitive) can help reduce built up muscle tension among
other things. Eating properly along with good exercise can keep their bodies healthy and prepared to deal with the stress.
Avoid too much caffeine as this increases anxiety.
* Be prepared/organized - Don't allow them to wait
until the last minute to do assignments or study for a test. Feeling prepared and ready for things can reduce lots of built
up stress. Have them create a daily schedule to follow to keep them more organized.
* Learn relaxation
techniques - Breathing exercises, meditation and muscle relaxation are great techniques for alleviating physical and mental
The teenage years are an especially stressful period of our lives. So much is changing around us which
we are forced to deal with all at once. Whether intentional or not, we as parents might be putting too much pressure on our
children as well. Regardless of the cause, it's important to get down to the root of the problem before it gets out of control.
If left untreated, stress can lead to further problems down the road which may be harder to deal with. Teens may turn to drug
or alcohol abuse to alleviate their stress. They can become depressed or suffer other types of anxiety disorders. As parents,
we can and should help them before it gets out of hand.
It is probably safe to say that
at some point in our early or late childhood, we have all had an encounter with a school bully in one form or another. Whether
it was a friend, a sibling, a classmate or even ourselves being bullied, it is a memory we would rather not remember. Maybe
we were a bully ourselves or knew someone that was.
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association,
29.9% of American students were involved in some way with school bullying. Results showed that 10% of children reported being
bullied, 13% reported being a school bully, and 6% reported being both bullied and being the bully. Findings also show that
boys were more likely to be the bully and the one doing the bullying.
One of the growing trends in the online world
is cyber bullying. As children, preteens and teenagers become more active online and through social media Web sites and channels,
it is no surprise that bullying is emerging. Bullying has been going on in “real world” playgrounds for decades,
and now it is moving to the playgrounds of the virtual world. However, even though cyber bullying takes place online in a
world that isn’t “real”, the consequences - emotional and physical - can be real. Emotionally, cyber bullying
can be scarring, since it involves threats and humiliation. In the physical realm, cyber bullying has in some cases moved
into the “real world”, with the harassment continuing offline. There have been reports of beatings, murders and
suicides in connection with cyber bullying.
It is important to note that cyber bullying occurs between minors.
Harassment by an adult toward a teenager online is a different matter, usually predation. Cyber bullying is not limited to
the Internet. It includes the use of any digital technology (including cell phone texting) by a minor or group of minors to
embarrass, torment, threaten, harass, or target another minor. This can leave scars, since online “friends” -
as well as offline friends - can see the abuse. Children, preteens and teenagers are already sensitive about their identities,
and cyber bullying can be as real a blow as bullying that takes place in the physical world.
Cyber bullying stats
Parents should be aware that cyber bullying has increased over time, and that it becomes more prevalent as children
move into their teenage years. The i-SAFE survey offers statistics that illustrate how prevalent cyber bullying has become
amongst those in the 4th through 8th grades:
* 58 percent of kids report that someone has been
hurtful or mean to them online.
* 21 percent of kids claim that they have received threatening messages,
either by email, through social media accounts or text messaging.
* 35 percent of kids say that they
have received threats online.
* 42 percent of kids classify mean behavior towards them online as bullying.
* 53 percent of kids admit that they have said something mean to someone else online.
assumed that these numbers also apply to those in 9th through 12th grade, since these students have more access to the Internet.
Also disturbing is the fact that 58 percent of those who are faced with cyber bullying do not tell a parent or other trusted
adult when these incidents occur online. Kids are seeing these problems, but they don’t know what to do about it.
Protecting against cyber bullying
It is important to do what you can to protect your children against cyber
bullying. If the incident is school related, there is some recourse there. Criminal law with regard to cyber bullying is still
being worked out. However, if it occurs regularly, it is often possible to address the situation - provided you know who is
at the other end. Encourage your children to take the following actions if they are faced with a cyber bully:
1. Tell someone about it. Find a trusted adult - parents, teachers, etc. - and report the incident. Continue to report it
if the problem continues.
2. Take a screen shot of the cyber bulling. It is possible to print out the current
screen, or to take a picture of it for storage. This could be important when it comes time to track down a cyber bully or
prove a case.
3. Save messages from cyber bullies. Do not delete these messages. You want to make sure that
they are easy to find and access should you need them as evidence of wrong doing. It is also possible to save text messages
from cyber bullies on your cell phone.
4. Do not open messages from known cyber bullies. If you receive
a message from someone you know is a cyber bully, you should not open it. Do not delete it (save for just in case), but you
do not have to read the message, either.
5. Block cyber bullies who attack you during chats and other social
6. Inform the police if you are threatened physically.
7. Do not agree to see someone
you met online in person. If you do, do so in a public place, and bring a trusted adult with you.
not give out any personal information - phone number, address or anything else that can identify you. It is possible to use
a fake screen name and avatar (picture) to make identification even more difficult.
9. Be a good online
citizen yourself. Do not get caught up in cyber bullying.
is school bullying?
School bullying comes in several forms and includes things that we may tend to overlook. It
involves someone or a group of individuals consistently and intentionally harming another by the following means.
* Hitting or threatening (physical)
* Teasing and name calling (verbal)
* Spreading rumors, hurting someone's reputation or leaving someone out (social isolation)
Boys tend to fall into
the first category more often. Girls will more likely do the verbal and mental bullying.
Signs of being bullied
Some signs of your child being bullied are more obvious than others. The physical signs are easier to see, but mental
turmoil is more likely to be kept hidden. Staying alert and aware of your child's behavior at all times can make all the difference.
* Not wanting to go to school (ex. Faking illness)
* Grades beginning to
* Depression, mood changes, low self-esteem
* Complaints of headaches,
stomach-aches and other pains
* Sleeping problems
* Changing normal routines
to/from school to avoid situations
* Unexplained damage to self (ex. Bruises) or clothing
* Missing and/or damaged belongings
* Eating problems
* Attempted suicide
What to do if your teen is being bullied at school
1. Talk to your child - Try to get your
child to open up as much as possible about what has been going on. The more information you have, the better prepared you
are to address this situation with the correct authorities.
2. Talk to the school - Many schools have no
bullying tolerance rules. Unless the school knows about the bullying, they cannot be enforced. Many times teachers/principals
are unaware of specific situations, so it's necessary to share any information you may have. Ask your school if they have
a no bullying rule. If not, request that they get together to create one.
3. Avoid situations - If bullying
takes place in specific situations, have them change their routines to avoid the bullying. It also helps if the victim remains
supervised as much as possible. Bullying is more likely to occur while the child is alone.
Signs of being a school
What if your child is the one doing the bullying at school? It can be just as devastating to this child's
future as well. Statistics show that children who are bully's tend to exhibit other negative behaviors as well (stealing,
vandalism, drug use, etc). Some possible signs are as follows:
* Likes to be in power
* Lack of empathy towards others
* Low self-control
What to do if your teen is a school bully
No one likes to think that their child may be a bully, but
if you are faced with that situation there are some things you can do.
* Talk to your child
- Find out if there are things going on in your child's life that may be prompting this behavior.
* Seek help - Arrange a meeting with your child's doctor or mental health professional. They are the people best prepared
to deal with this type of situation. Children will usually open up more to someone other than a parent.
ultimately our responsibility as parents, teachers, friends and peers to look out for anyone that may be suffering. Keeping
our eyes open and informing the necessary authorities is beneficial to all involved.
R. Nansel; Mary Overpeck; Ramani S. Pilla; W. June Ruan; Bruce Simons-Morton; Peter Scheidt Bullying Behaviors Among US Youth:
Prevalence and Association With Psychosocial Adjustment JAMA, Apr 2001; 285: 2094 - 2100
Your Teens Are at Risk
Teenage years are ones of high stress, difficult decisions,
and soaring emotions. The life of a teenager seems oftentimes like a soap opera, with the extreme highs and lows, dramatic
outbursts, and the unexplained "silent treatments". Anxiety can result from a broken nail, a lower grade on a test
than anticipated, or other seemingly trivial issues. In a world of cell phones, palm pilots, portable television, and other
high-powered technology, children learn from a very young age that faster is better. The culture in America promotes a feeling
of always having to get ahead, and this reflects on teenagers especially, who are still impressionable children trying to
be adults. They are looking to the media, as well as their surroundings, to find their identity and who and what they are
expected to be.
So What is Teen Anxiety in "Layman's" Terms?
Anxiety can manifest itself in
different ways. It depends on the person and what they are going through in their lives. A basic definition would be to say
that anxiety is a painful or apprehensive uneasiness of mind. But prolonged anxiety is a completely different ballpark. It
is an overwhelming feeling of dissatisfaction and restlessness, where nothing ever seems to be right.
of Teen Anxiety
Anxiety in teenagers can cause complications such as overeating, smoking, even depression and drug
use. Medical experts have diagnosed countless numbers of teenagers with anxiety-related disorders, including, but not limited
to, depression, bipolar/manic depression, schizophrenia , and addiction. So, how, then, do you know when anxiety becomes a
problem for your child?
Some signs of severe teen anxiety are as follows:
* Extreme mood swings
* Substance abuse
* Secretive behavior
* Changes in sleeping and eating habits
* Bad hygiene or meticulous attention to
* Compulsive or obsessive behavior
Teenagers face circumstances that may or may not be to their liking every day. But the ability to handle these situations,
for a teen that suffers from anxiety, can seem overwhelming and even impossible. The resilience most teens have is not as
present in a teen that has an anxiety disorder. What one teen looks at as a means to an end, the other teen sees only as the
What Can You Do to Prevent Anxiety in Your Teen?
The key to success in all relationships seems
to be the same. Listen. Teenagers don't want to talk about their problems to a parent who lectures them and criticizes every
move. Teens need someone who they can vent their frustrations to and release that inner tension which is ever-present in any
teenager, but much more so in an anxiety sufferer. Teenagers need to know that whatever they say will be accepted. They need
to know that they can trust you, and that they are loved and cared for. Find activities to help get rid of the restlessness,
and don't discourage a teenager from becoming independent and finding his or her own outlets. You also need to pay close attention
to the warning signs, and if your teen is suffering, call your family doctor or local mental health professional for help,
because no one can do it alone.
I Think My Teen Has A Problem With Anxiety
Oftentimes, the battle seems
endless. But it is possible for a teen to combat anxiety. There are a variety of methods, such as:
* A healthy parental relationship
* Understanding, but above all?
seem to be prescribing anti-anxiety medications to teenager more than ever. 80% of teens today are on some kind of anti-anxiety
meds. Sometimes medication is necessary, but only in the most severe cases. It is always better to approach anxiety without
using any drugs if possible, because medication does change one's brain chemistry, especially in teens, where the drugs are
stronger, and the teen is more susceptible.
* Merriam-Webster Dictionary
* Dr. Tawny Moon
ABUSIVE TEEN RELATIONSHIPS
teenage relationships, also called teen dating violence, is becoming more common, and more accepted among teens, according
to a recent survey by the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence (NCDSV).
The Center for Disease Control
(CDC) reports that nearly one in ten teens in grades 7 to 12, male and female, has been physically abused by a boy or girlfriend.
Abused teens are more likely to drink heavily, use drugs, engage in risky sexual behavior, develop eating disorders, and attempt
Abuse or dating violence can be physical, verbal, or sexual, and is often used to control the other person.
Some warning signs to talk to your teen about to see if they are in an abusive teen relationship or a victim of teen
dating violence include:
* Jealous or controlling behavior, including over friends, appearance,
and eating habits
* Sexual pressure
* Pressure to use drugs or alcohol
* Name-calling or swearing
* A partner losing his or her temper, blaming the
other for his or her behavior
* A partner insulting or embarrassing the other in front of others
* Any form of physical violence
* A partner threatening to hurt others or him
Abusive teen relationships and teen dating violence have become alarmingly common among both genders;
in a study conducted by the CDC, nearly equal numbers of teenage boys and girls reported being abused by their partner. Abusive
teen relationships and teen dating violence are not limited by ethnic group or income level. According to the NCDSV:
* 20 percent of teens have been threatened by their partners, or had partners threaten to hurt themselves
if the relationship ended.
* 33 percent of teens, and 50 percent of teen girls, say they have felt
pressured to have sex in a serious relationship.
* 30 percent have worried about their safety in a
relationship, and 20 percent have been hit, slapped, or pushed.
* 64 percent have been with a jealous
or controlling partner.
* 55 percent have compromised their standards to keep their partner.
* 25 percent have been put down or called names by their partner.
Abuse will continue over time, and usually becomes
more serious, leading to death in 1,300 cases each year, according to the CDC. Abusive teen relationships and teen dating
violence have long lasting mental and emotional effects on its victims and the people who care about them. Unfortunately,
those who are abused as teenagers are more likely to be in abusive relationships as adults. Because of the seriousness of
this problem, it is important to watch for the warning signs of an abusive teen relationship or teen dating violence, including:
* Unexplained injuries
* Changes in appearance
* Withdrawal from friends and family
* Giving up activities that were once enjoyed
* Changes in behavior or mood - acting depressed, anxious, or secretive, or acting out
* Alcohol or
* Apologizing for or justifying a partner's behavior - especially his or her temper
* Acting afraid of a partner, or worrying about making him or her angry
* One partner is possessive
and makes all the decisions
* One partner insults, criticizes or embarrasses the other
you are in an abusive teen relationship or a victim of teen dating violence, talk to a trusted adult to get help. The Teen
Action Campaign suggests that if your child or friend is in an abusive teen relationship, talk to them. Be supportive and
make it clear that it is not their fault they are being abused. Do not judge them or push them to do anything they are not
comfortable with, and be patient. Encourage your teen to stay out of contact with the abuser. If you know the abuser, do not
attack him or her as a person, but it make it clear that his or her behavior is not acceptable and encourage him or her to
talk to a counselor and develop healthy behaviors. Do not hesitant to turn to good sources for help, including trusted school
counselors, religious leaders, doctors, community support groups, the police, or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at
1. Center for Disease Control: National Center for Injury Prevention
and Control, and "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report," May 19, 2006
2. Teen Action Campaign
3. National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence
4. National Youth Violence Prevention
5. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Stress from the pressure to have good grades, be a star athlete, or
from peers can result in adolescent or teenage depression. If your teen experiences some of the following warning signs
- please see a therapist in your area. We also provide information on residential treatment centers that have on site
therapists to deal with teen depression.
Recognizing Adolescent / Teenage Depression:
may indicate depression, particularly when they last for more than two weeks:
Poor performance in school
from friends and activities
Sadness and hopelessness
Lack of enthusiasm, energy or motivation
Anger and rage
Overreaction to criticism
Feelings of being unable to satisfy ideals
Poor self-esteem or guilt
lack of concentration or forgetfulness
Restlessness and agitation
Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
Problems with authority
Suicidal thoughts or actions
Get help for youth with adolescent depression
- fill out the contact form today! Or visit childhood depression for info on a depressed child.
Teen Suicide : Statistics and Prevention >>
Teen Suicide Statistics
Every year nearly 5,000 American
teenagers and young adults kill themselves.
That makes suicide the third-leading cause of death among those 15
to 24 years old, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Only accidents and homicides kill more.
that parents understand what may lead teens to suicide, learn the warning signs, and know what they can do to help.
Some Basics Facts About Teen Suicide
* More young people die by their own hand than from cancer,
heart disease and AIDS combined.
* Girls attempt suicide at a rate double that of boys.
* But four times as many boys as girls die by suicide.
* Boys tend to use more lethal methods, like
hanging, jumping from heights, or guns.
High Risk Groups for Teen Suicide
commit suicide for many reasons, but some common circumstances have been identified. According to the National Alliance on
Mental Illness, the overwhelming majority of those who kill themselves, including teens, have a have a psychological or substance-related
disorder at the time of death.
These disorders make it harder to deal with stressful situations teenagers may face,
like failing a test, breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend, the death of a loved one or seeing parents divorce.
Some mental disorders, like depression, can be difficult to recognize in young people, says Dr. Richard O'Conner, a psychotherapist
and author of the book Active Treatment of Depression. Symptoms can easily be mistaken for common teenage behavior like anger,
sullenness or acting out.
Also among teens at higher risk of suicide are those who exhibit one or more of these
* Perform poorly in school
* Have access to guns
* Experience violence at home
* Previously attempted suicide
* Have a family history of depression or suicide
* Suffered physical or sexual abuse
* Are struggling to cope with issues of sexual orientation
* Have a friend who committed suicide.
Warning Signs of Teen Suicide
According to the National Mental Health Association, four of five teens who
kill themselves have given a clear warning of their intentions. Parents and friends should recognize these behaviors commonly
associated with suicide.
* An obsession with death
* Withdrawing from
regular friends and activities
* Verbal clues: "I'm going away" or "I won't see you
* Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
* Suicidal thoughts or fantasies
* Giving away possessions or putting affairs in order
* Talking to friends about
* A dramatic change in appearance or personality
* A severe decline
in school performance or social interaction
* Marked change in eating or sleeping habits.
Above all, any suicide threats or talk of death - even writings or drawings indicating a desire to die - must be taken seriously,
no matter how harmless they may seem or whether the teen dismisses them as "a joke."
What Parents Should
(and Shouldn't) Do to Help Prevent Teen Suicide
Be alert to your teen's behavior and feelings. If he or she seems
depressed or withdrawn, watch your child carefully. Those thinking about suicide often feel helpless or alone. You can help
by communicating openly. Demonstrate your willingness to listen.
If your child is hesitant to talk to you about
how he or she is feeling, suggest someone else he or she can confide in. It may be another relative, a member of the clergy,
a counselor at school, or your physician ? anyone your child is comfortable talking with.
* Keep the lines of communication open.
* Express your love and support.
Ask questions: "You've been talking about death a lot lately. Are you having thoughts about suicide?"
* Make hotline numbers available to your teen, like 1-800-SUICIDE. (1-800-784-2433)
* Get help from
a mental health professional.
* Don't lecture.
say "But you have so much to live for," nor try to list the reasons.
* Don't minimize your
* Don't be afraid to talk with your teenager about suicide.
* Don't assume anyone who talks of suicide won't really kill himself.
* If the threat of suicide is
immediate, don't leave your child alone.
* Don't assume someone who is receiving treatment and "feeling
better" won't commit suicide.
TEEN DATE RAPE
Rape is a serious crime that the victim can report
to the police. A victim of rape is never at fault, and should seek medical help immediately.
Teen date rape is
a widespread crime. In 2002, about 9 percent of teens - 12 percent of teen females and 6 percent of teen males - reported
that they had been raped, and many rapes remain unreported. A rapist sometimes uses physical force, fear, drugs or alcohol,
or other methods to force a teen to have sex. Any sexual intercourse - vaginal, anal, or oral - is rape if the teen did not
want it. Date rape also occurs if a teen agrees to one type of sexual contact, but is forced to perform other sexual acts.
Rape is not always avoidable, but there are some things teens can do to reduce the risk of being a date rape victim:
* Stay in control; don't drink or use drugs and don't get in a car with someone you don't know
* Try not to do things alone; go to parties and other activities with friends, and consider
sticking to group dates.
* Always carry a cell phone or phone card and some extra money in case you
need to get out of a bad situation.
* Learn how to defend yourself.
what your limits are, and remember that a person who pressures you to change your standards doesn't care about you and should
* If someone is trying to force you into doing something you don't want, loudly tell him
or her "no" and get away. Making noise can attract help and scare your attacker.
your instincts; if you don't feel comfortable with a person or situation, get away.
Date rape drugs are often used
to rape teens. Date rape drugs usually have no smell, taste, or color and can be added to a teen's drink without the teen
knowing. They cause the teen to become helpless - unable to move, see, or get away. To avoid being the victim of date rape
drugs, teens should not drink alcohol, and should only drink from containers they opened themselves and have always been in
control of - including while they were in the bathroom.
If you know or think that you have been raped, get away
from the area without touching anything, and go to an emergency room or police station immediately - before showering, washing,
urinating, or changing clothes. Nurses or doctors will treat you, and make a record of your injuries and check you for evidence
that can be used against your attacker. Even if you choose not to press charges you should seek medical attention so you can
be treated for injuries and checked for sexually transmitted diseases, which can be spread even if your attacker used a condom
or forced you into oral or anal intercourse.
Date rape causes emotional harm, including feelings of guilt, depression,
anger, distrust, and worthlessness, and trouble sleeping or having normal sexual relations later in life. Rape victims should
seek counseling to help them heal from the emotional damage of rape, and consider joining a support group for rape victims.
Free counseling is available to rape victims in most areas.
Remember that it is not your fault if you were raped.
If someone you know is a victim of teen date rape, listen and offer comfort. Help the person get medical care and
counseling, and reinforce the idea that the rape was not the victim's fault.
Resources: Local police, emergency
room professionals, and phonebooks can direct you to local help for rape victims, or call: National Sexual Assault Hotline,
1-800-656-HOPE (4673) 24-hour National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TDD)
Date Rape Sources:
* The Cleveland Clinic, Rape and Date Rape GirlsHealth.gov, Safety - How
to be Safety Savvy, What is Rape and Date Rape? [online]
* U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
womenshealth.gov, sexual assault [online]
* U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, womenshealth.gov,
date rape drugs [online]
* Center for Disease Control, Sexual Violence: Fact Sheet [online]
DATE RAPE DRUGS
Date rape drugs are several drugs that generally have no flavor, taste, or smell when added
to drinks, and make their victims drowsy, confused, or otherwise unable to defend themselves. Using drugs to make a teen have
sex is a type of rape, and is a serious crime. Teens and their parents should educate themselves about date rape drugs and
how teens can stay safe.
One in three teen or adult females will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime, and teen
and adult males can also be sexually assaulted. Since the 1990's the number of teens assaulted through the means of date rape
drugs has been increasing. Also, about 1 percent of teens admit to using date rape drugs for other illegal purposes, such
as getting high.
Date rape drugs are easily added to drinks to incapacitate teen victims. There are several types
of date rape drugs, including Rohypnol, GHB, and Ketamine.
Rohypnol is also known as rophies, roofies, roach, and
rope, and is similar to newer drugs called Xanax, Klonopin, and Rivotril. Rohypnol usually comes in the form of a pill that
dissolves in liquids. Some Rohypnol turns blue when it dissolves, but many Rohypnol pills have no color.
gamma hydroxybutyrate, is commonly known as liquid ecstasy, soap, easy lay, vita-G, and Georgia home boy. GHB comes in several
forms, including a colorless, odorless liquid, a white powder, or a pill. GHB is made by some people in home labs, so it can
contain any number of dangerous chemicals.
Ketamine is a white powder and is used in the U.S. as an anesthetic.
These date rape drugs have similar effects on teen victims, which can include:
* Lower blood pressure and heart rate
* Muscle relaxation or loss of muscle control
* Drunk or dream-like feelings
* Nausea and vomiting
* Problems talking, including slurred speech
* Problems seeing
* Breathing problems
* Hallucinations and other distorted perceptions
* Seizures or convulsions
* Death, especially if mixed with alcohol
or other drugs
Alcohol is also considered a date rape drug because it makes it harder to think clearly and resist
Here are some things teen girls and guys can do to protect themselves against date rape drugs:
* Keep your drink with you at all times, even when you go to the bathroom.
Don't drink from punch bowls.
* Don't accept drinks from others.
* Only drink
from containers you opened yourself.
* Don't drink things that taste or look funny.
* Don't drink alcohol or use drugs.
* Go to parties with friends and watch out for each other.
* Be clear about your standards and limits, and avoid people who pressure you to change them.
* Stay away from people and situations that make you feel uncomfortable.
* Don't go off alone with
anyone you don't know well.
Remember that even if someone has been drinking it is not his or her fault if he or
she is raped or assaulted.
If you think that you have been drugged or raped, go to the hospital or police station
right away to get medical help, even if you do not want to press charges against your attacker or know who your attacker is.
Do not clean up, change your clothes, or urinate (pee) before getting help.
Find someone you can talk to; you may
feel guilty, afraid, ashamed, or shocked, but it is important to talk to someone you can trust about what happened to you.
Call a crisis center or hotline to talk with a counselor. The number for the National Domestic Violence Hotline is 800-799-SAFE
or 800-787-3224 (TDD).
If you know a teen who has been the victim of date rape drugs, be supportive, encourage
the teen to get medical help and counseling, and reinforce the idea that the victim is not at fault for what happened to her
Teens and Date Rape Drugs Sources:
* National Institute on Drug Abuse, "NIDA
InfoFacts: Rohypnol and GHB" [online]
* Nemours Foundation, TeensHealth, "Date Rape"
* U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, womenshealth.gov, "Date Rape Drugs"
TEEN PREGNANCY STATISTICS
The United States has the highest rates of teen
pregnancy and births in the western industrialized world. Teen pregnancy costs the United States at least $7 billion annually.
A review of teenage pregnancy statistics in the United States might well bring to mind a version of the old "good
news ? bad news" routine.
The good news is U.S. teen pregnancy rates have fallen to their lowest levels in
decades. The bad news is American teen girls aged 15-19 still become pregnant at a rate far higher than their counterparts
in any other industrialized country.
According to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the following are
among the consequences endured by teenage mothers, their children, and society.
* Teen mothers
are less likely to graduate from high school.
* Teen mothers are more likely than women who delay
child bearing to live in poverty and to require public assistance.
* Children of teen mothers are
more likely to be born at low birth weight, to have health and developmental problems, and to be abused and/or neglected.
* The cost of teen pregnancy amounts to an estimated $7 billion annually in lost tax revenues, public
assistance, health care, and other costs.
But despite those risks, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
reports some 900,000 pregnancies occur each year among teen girls 15-19.
In 2001, the latest year for which pregnancy
statistics are available, 84 of every 1,000 teen girls in the U.S. became pregnant, says the National Campaign to Prevent
Teen Pregnancy. That's down from a high of 117 pregnancies per 1,000 teen girls aged 15-19 in 1991, a decline of more than
That falling U.S. teen pregnancy rate may sound very good, until it's compared to the rates of teen
pregnancy in other countries. Planned Parenthood points out that American teens become pregnant at a rate 12 times higher
than that of women in the Netherlands, where only about 6.9 per 1,000 aged 15-19 get pregnant each year.
might expect, the vast majority of teen pregnancies - about 4 out of 5 - are unintended, according to the Alan Guttmacher
Institute, a non-profit organization devoted to the study of reproductive health issues.
Here are some more facts
about teenage pregnancy.
* About 25 percent of teen girls who give birth have another baby within
* Between 11 and 12 percent of all U.S. births are to teenage mothers.
* Almost one-third of sexually experienced teenage girls (31 percent) have been pregnant at least once.
* About one in eight sexually experienced teen boys (13 percent) have caused a pregnancy.
* Some 46
percent of girls who first had sex before age 15 have been pregnant, compared with 25 percent who first had sex at age 15
* About 37 percent of teen girls who have had three or more sex partners have been pregnant,
while 25 percent of those with one or two sex partners have been pregnant.
* Not surprisingly, 43
percent of girls who did not use contraception the first time they had sex have been pregnant, compared to 27 percent of those
who did use contraception the first time they had sex.
If you're a parent wondering just what percentage of American
teens have had sex, it depends on who you ask. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control says just under 50 percent of all high
school students have had sex at least once. A slightly higher percentage of high school boys have had sex than high school
girls, but both groups are just below 50 percent.
Surveying a similar population, the Alan Guttmacher Institute
reports that 80 percent of Americans teens have had sex at least once by the time they reach their twentieth birthday.
Ironically, the success of the past 15 years in bringing down U.S. teen pregnancy rates may now serve to divert resources
from that same effort, says the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. That progress - a decline of more than 28 percent
in U.S. teen pregnancy rates between 1991 and 2001 - may have inadvertently convinced policy makers that allocating resources
to prevent teen pregnancy is no longer a priority. The organization points out that a quick review of the data makes it clear
that a major prevention effort is still needed.
TEEN SELF-INJURIOUS BEHAVIOR
Self-injury is a
negative way of dealing with strong emotions, and can include cutting, scratching, burning, mutilating or hitting oneself,
or anything else that causes bodily harm.
According to CNN.com, one in five teens say they have purposely injured
themselves at some time. Some teens see self-injury as trendy, but to parents and others it can be frightening and frustrating.
It is most common in the adolescent and teenage years and affects people from both sexes and all backgrounds, though the National
Mental Health Association and S.A.F.E. Alternatives report that those who seek help for self-injury are more likely to be
teenage girls from middle or upper class backgrounds.
Teen self-injury, self-mutilation or cutting can be overcome,
but the problems causing a teen to self-injure or self-mutilate, such as cutting, need to be resolved and the teen must learn
healthier ways to deal with emotions. Some of the reasons teens give for self-injuring or self mutilating include:
* Not knowing how to deal with stress
* An unresolved history of abuse
* Low self esteem
* Feelings of loneliness or fear
* A need to feel in control
* Mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, or obsessive-compulsive disorder
* Wanting to get the attention of people who can help them
* Peer pressure/curiosity
self-injury or self-mutilation is dangerous, especially cutting, leaving physical and emotional scars and sometimes leading
to serious injury or death. Though teen self-injury or self-mutilation is not a suicide attempt, some teens who self-injure
or self-mutilate also attempt suicide, and many engage in other risky behaviors such as drinking and drug use, or suffer from
eating disorders associated with troubled teens. Because teens who self-injure or self-mutilate often do not know how to ask
for help, it is important to watch for some of these signs that a teen may be harming him or herself, or is at risk for doing
* Unexplained injuries, such as cuts, scratches, burns, bruises, etc.
* Making excuses for injuries or scars if they are discovered
* Acting embarrassed or ashamed about
* Wearing long sleeves even in hot weather
* Secretiveness or withdrawal
* Having trouble dealing with emotions
* Spending time with people who self-injure,
especially on the internet
* A history of eating disorders
* Having trouble
functioning at work, school, and in relationships
* Low self esteem
Self-injury and self-mutilation
is often addictive, and can become increasingly serious. It is possible for a teen to stop, but it usually requires help.
If you think your teen or someone you know is self-injuring or self-mutilating such as cutting themselves, here are some things
you can do:
* Talk to your teen calmly and directly; do not lecture, judge, or get angry
* Do not try to force your teen to stop?he or she needs to make that change on his or her own
* Be supportive by listening and letting your teen know that he or she is not a bad person and can find better ways to deal
with his or her emotions
* Seek help from a doctor or counselor who is comfortable helping your teen
work through the healing process
* Encourage your teen to find positive activities to relax or deal
with emotions, such as playing an instrument, journal writing, sports, dancing, reading, exercise, etc.
* Encourage your teen to avoid people, music, and internet sites that glorify self-injury, and to seek friends who share his
or her positive interests
* Educate yourself about self-injury and do not hesitate to talk to someone
yourself if you are feeling angry, guilty, depressed, or overwhelmed
Resources: If your teen or someone you know
is feeling suicidal or has a serious injury, call 911 or go to the emergency room immediately. For more information about
teen self-injury such as cutting and how to get help, go to the web site of The Center for Young Women's Health at http://www.youngwomenshealth.org/si.html,
or call S.A.F.E. Alternatives (Self Abuse Finally Ends) at 1-800-DONTCUT (800-366-8288).
1. The Center for Young Women's Health: Children's Hospital Boston [online]
2. S.A.F.E. Alternatives (Self
Abuse Finally Ends) [online]
3. National Mental Health Association [online]
5. WebMD/CBS news, "Cutting: Parents' Nightmare" [online] TeensHealth: Cutting (Nemours
6. Focus Adolescent Services: Self-Injury [online]
7. Teen Health
Youth violence is violence between adolescents or teens, including fighting,
threatening, and bullying. Teen violence is becoming a more serious problem, involving more troubled teens and leading to
more teen deaths. In many cases, there are things parents can do to help troubled teens avoid youth violence.
and perpetrators of teen violence are more often male than female, but all teenagers can be at risk. Teen violence ending
in homicide is the second leading cause of death among adolescents and teenagers. An average of fifteen young people are killed
every day, usually with firearms, and 750,000 young people are treated in emergency rooms for violence-related injuries each
year. A recent CDC study of high school students found that 33 percent had been in a physical fight in the last year and 17
percent reported that they had taken a weapon to school in the previous 30 days. 15 to 25 percent of youth experience bullying
Some factors that increase the chances that a troubled teen will be involved in teen violence are:
* Involvement in gangs or fighting
* Low parental involvement
* Discipline that is inconsistent, lax, or too harsh
* Use of drugs or alcohol by teen or parents
* A history of violence in the home
* Emotional problems/lack of self-control
* Injuring animals or people
* Lack of involvement in positive extracurricular
* Exposure to media violence
* Lack of economic opportunities
in community/low income
* Poor performance in school, especially due to learning disorders
These risk factors are not what causes teen violence, but they often put teens in situations where they are more likely
to be victims or offenders. Teens who are the victims of youth violence may have physical symptoms of violence such as injuries
or torn clothing, or may become depressed, anxious, or withdrawn. Parents should talk to their teens if they see any of these
Some things that parents can do to protect their children from violence include:
* Talk to your teen, and listen - show caring and concern
* Know where teens go, what they do, and
who they're with
* Include teens in family activities, and be home during at least one of these times:
when your teen wakes up, when he or she comes home from school, at dinner time, or when your teen goes to bed
* Be consistent and firm - but not harsh - in your discipline
* Discourage involvement with gangs,
including wearing gang-related clothing and making or drawing gang signs - talk to local police to find out more about gangs
in your area
* If applicable, help your teen or other family members get help for drug or alcohol
* Encourage positive activities, such as extracurricular school or church involvement
* Teach the importance of a good education
* Monitor and control your teen's
exposure to violence in the media, including television, movies, video games, music, etc.
* Get involved
in your community and your child's school; talk to school administrators about violence or bullying that occurs at school.
* Set a good example of non-violent ways to resolve conflicts
If your teen has been the
victim of teen violence or bullying, seek counseling for him or her. School counselors or local health clinics may offer free
If you think your troubled teen is involved in teen violence, it is important to talk to him or her.
To help a violent teen:
* Get him or her counseling from a qualified professional; if there
are issues of violence or abuse in your family, get family counseling as well.
* Remove guns and
other weapons from your home
* Limit access to violent media or influences
* Talk to local police and school counselors for additional ideas on preventing teen violence.
* Center for Disease Control, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, "Youth
Violence, Facts" [online]
* National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center [online]
* U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Stop Bullying Now! [online]
* U.S. Department of Justice,
Bureau of Justice Statistics, "Homicide trends in the U.S." [online]
* Center for Disease
Control, "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report," June 18, 1993 [online]
Tue, December 7, 2010 | link
How do you know if your teen is shoplifting? What are the reasons for teen shoplifting? Are there statistics on
shoplifting? How can you help stop teen shoplifting? This article will review these questions about teen shoplifting,
and offer tips on dealing with kleptomania.
Facts About Shoplifting - In the United States, shoplifters steal about $25 million in merchandise
from stores each day! That breaks down to an extra $300 each year that you and your family have to pay in higher prices
to cover the losses caused by shoplifting.
Teen shoplifting is one of those things that may be difficult to detect. Teenage shoplifting is
not limited to the troubled teens with problems. Many "model" teens who do their homework and get good grades,
help out around the house and lets parents know where they will be have a problem with stealing. So, while teen shoplifting
can be a sign of a troubled teen, it can also be a problem for teenagers with few problems beyond the typical behavior
of a growing teen.
for teen shoplifting
There are several reasons for teen shoplifting. Some teens do it for reasons of rebellion, and others do it for
the thrill. Being able to "get away" with something can be quite thrilling. Peer pressure is another reason
for teenage shoplifting. If their friends are doing it, some teens feel as though they have to as well, in order to "fit
in." Complex reasons for teen shoplifting include cries for help. A teenager may be in an abusive situation, or feel
a great deal of stress or anxiety. Stealing can give them a sense of control over their lives, and give them a sense of
euphoria that they do not normally get. Some teenagers steal as a way to draw attention to themselves.
Another reason for teenage shoplifting
is a desire for things they cannot afford. Some teens shoplift brand name items so that they can keep up with fads. Others
shoplift so that they can buy drugs or alcohol. In these cases, teen shoplifting serves as a sign of a teenage drug or
you can help stop teen shoplifting
If your teenager is caught stealing, it is important for you to react in a way that shows him
or her that there are consequences for such behavior without becoming overly emotional or upset with your teenager. If
engaged in teen shoplifting, bring your teenager back to the store to return the item and meet with security personnel.
Most stores do not prosecute the first time it happens, and most judges (in cases where stores do prosecute) are fairly
lenient on first-time offenders. However, teenagers should be made aware, by you, the store and the judge, that the consequences
increase with each offense. There is little sympathy and tolerance for repeat teenage shoplifting offenders.
Dealing with kleptomania
It can be difficult for
teenagers to stop shoplifting. Studies show that one third of teens caught shoplifting say that it is difficult to quit.
This, however, could be due to a great deal of factors (including the thrill, the desire for expensive items, the need
to pay for drugs). One reason, though rare, is kleptomania. This is a psychological disorder in which a person cannot
resist the impulse to steal. This is a very rare disorder, and teen shoplifters rarely have it. With kleptomania, the
items stolen are often of little value and discarded after stealing. There is usually no underlying reason for teenage
shoplifting by someone with kleptomania. In such cases, professional help is often needed to help treat the kleptomania.
Kleptomania is often accompanied by other personality or eating disorders.
Teen Shoplifting Main source material:
Bad Time of Year for Shoplifting: Also a Sign of Severity of Eating Disorders
Tue, December 7, 2010 | link
Impulse Control Disorder
Signs Of Anorexia And Effects Of Bulimia
Impulse Control Disorder, specifically
shop lifting, is linked to symptoms of eating disorders. In people with anorexia, it's connected to the habit
of hoarding food or objects and hiding them for later use or consumption.
Although it sounds like a single issue, Impulse Control Disorder is actually a 'catch-all' phrase for a collection of psychiatric disorders,
including skin picking (dermatillomania), nail biting (onychophagia), starting fires (pyromania), stealing (kleptomania), and so on.
In relation to anorexia and bulimia, the most interesting of the disorders listed above is kleptomania
Did you know that stealing
is more common in people with eating disorders than in the rest of the population? It's true!
I'm sure more studies are needed, but for the past decade (or longer), research has shown a definite
correlation to anorexia or bulimia and theft.
Impulsivity And Compulsive Stealing
A 1996 research study by Vandereycken and van Houdenhove
revealed that stealing was reported in 47% of a group of patients who all met the DSM-IV-TR criteria for anorexia nervosa
and bulimia nervosa.
The percentage of those
with kleptomania was even higher (54.8%) in individuals diagnosed with type II anorexia (the bulimic sub-type), than in
those with bulimia (48.7%) or restricting type anorexia (35.3%).
Most shoplifters say that their impulsive behaviors usually compel them into stealing something that is related
to their eating disorder in some way. These items might consist of laxatives, diet pills, money, food, and so on.
Many of those involved in the above study reported that it was their embarrassment
about having to shop for those particular items that led to the shoplifting in the first place.
Some clinicians argue about whether or not stealing is an indicator of the
severity of the eating disorder, but this notion definitely requires further investigation.
Another suggestion that is still up for debate is whether or not shop lifting
in these cases is a symptom of impaired impulse control, or just plain stealing?
A number of therapists have noted that disordered eating individuals will go to great lengths and
take enormous risks to obtain food when they can no longer afford to indulge their bulimic binges.
Impulsivity is considered to be part of the same spectrum as obsessive-compulsive
6 Dec 10
Therapy Dogs Help With Psychiatric Conditions
Mon, December 6, 2010 | link
Psychiatric Service Dogs:
A Psychiatric Service Dog is specially trained to assist individuals with psychiatric disabilities.
The dogs are covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act(ADA), as well as individual state statutes. These dogs are not
pets but are working dogs with public access rights. Public access as it applies to service dogs allows the dog to be taken
anywhere that the general public is allowed to go. This includes all forms of public transportation (including riding with
their partner in the passenger compartment of airplanes), places of worship, restaurants, stores, malls, hospitals, and
doctor and dentist offices.
Psychiatric service dogs are
specifically trained to help individuals deal with the symptoms of their disabilities. Psychiatric conditions such as Post
Traumatic Stress Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety, Severe Depression, Panic Attacks, Phobias, and Obsessive Compulsive
Disorders respond well to the work of these special dogs.
can these dogs possibly help? What do they do, you might ask? There are many answers to these questions. Dogs trained to
deal with PTSD are taught to prevent strangers from coming too close. By positioning themselves in front of their partners,
they prevent people from getting into their personal space. In the case of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, the dogs
are often trained to "watch." This takes the place of the veteran having to watch his back; a common urge that
many combat veterans share. As you can see in the photograph, Bill can concentrate on taking photos while his Service Dog,
Pax, watches for strangers approaching from behind. It is important to emphasize that these are not guard dogs. They alert
by movement or nudging their partners in situations that might be startling or upsetting.
These dogs also provide reality checks for visual and auditory hallucinations. A veteran recently
reported that while spending a quiet evening at home, he suddenly felt a strange person standing close to him. He looked
down at his Service Dog who was asleep at his feet and realized that no one could possibly be there without the dog reacting.
Psychiatric Service Dogs often alert to obsessive-compulsive behaviors by
"pawing" individuals who may not realize what they are doing. This helps to distract them from the behavior.
The dogs carry prescriptions and medical information in their vests, remind
their partners to take medications, give them reason to get out of bed and leave the house, and provide a constant non-judgmental,
loving presence. Service Dogs and their partners are together 24/7.
and panic attacks are also helped by Psychiatric Service Dogs through tactile stimulation. When a client is extremely nervous
and upset, they are encouraged to run their hands through the dog's fur and massage the dog's entire body. Through these
tactile experiences, clients learn to relieve their symptoms. This technique works particularly well in times of stress.
In fact, my wife, who is extremely afraid of flying, recently used this technique with her Service Dog, Skye, on a particularly
rough flight. She also had to remind herself that Skye would not have been contentedly dozing at her feet if the plane was
about to crash!
The presence of these dogs also relieves
isolation and encourages social interaction. People are fascinated by the work of these dogs and constantly ask questions.
This urges the client to become more comfortable dealing with strangers. Paul Dymon, a puppy raiser for Canine Companions
states: "I can't imagine a greater social tool...animals are instant conversation, instant friendships and an extra
extention of care."
One of the best things about
PTSD clients partnering with Psychiatric Service Dogs is that the presence of the dog often distracts them from focusing
on their own fears and worries. Instead, they must focus on the dog, its behavior, its safety and its care.
The list of what these dogs can be taught to do goes on and on. Each of the
dogs are taught specific tasks, depending on the needs of their partners. These can often include, but are by no means limited
to getting the phone in an emergency, calling 911 on a K-9 Rescue Phone, barking for help, providing balance support,retrieving
needed or dropped articles,opening the refrigerator to bring food or drink, alerting others in medical emergencies, finding
the car in a crowded parking lot and leading the client to safety.
the bond between Service Dogs and their partners deepens, they become more and more in tune with one another and their ability
to provide for one another's needs increases. By far, one of the best things I have heard from a Service Dog partner is,
"This dog makes me laugh. He fills my life with a sense of joy and love that I haven't been able to feel for a very
2 Dec 10
Now We Have Provided Availablility to Download List of Recovery Workbook Worksheets!
Thu, December 2, 2010 | link
30 Nov 10
Our Therapy Dog - Calley
Tue, November 30, 2010 | link
EDRC's Therapy Dog - CALLEY
Calley is a Pointer Mix who
was adopted from the Humane Society at 6 months of age. We were told Calley lived on the streets of St. Louis
until being rescued and put up for adoption. Calley developed a bond with my husband from within her cage
at the Humaine Society. When we had the opportunity to get to know Calley a bit in a visiting room she displayed
a behavior that she continues to today. Calley has the cutest attempt (for a dog) of a genuine hug.
She leans her head down on you and immediately melts your heart. So for both Calley and the receiver and the
giver of the 'hug' it is an extremely comforting experience. Calley uses her hug on a very regular basis almost
as if she knows who needs just a little extra comfort at times. It is not unusual for Calley to get up during
group and go to an individual who appears to her to be struggling - whether they are speaking about it or not!
Often Calley's recognition of distress brings tears to the eyes of the individual receiving her hugs. Calley
truly enjoys meeting new people as well as seeing individuals she has met through her work. She has a very
keen memory and everyone is unconditionally a friend to her forever!
Calley's training includes the following:
Obedience training through CGC (Canine Good Citizen). Additionally she received an AKA fun class for obedience.
Following that she was accepted into the C.H.A.M.P. Program here in St. Louis (Canine Helpers Allow More Possibilities).
That program involved 24 weeks of training prior to graduation. The classes were Once a Week for 2 1/2 hours
each. The classes involved additional review of obedience, testing for new skills learned to accommodate any
possible situation one might experience within a medical facility, grief issues, and of course Doggy Zen for increased
ability for communication with the handler (myself). She
also was expected to make supervised visits prior to receiving her Therapy Dog Vest of CHAMP. So her training is extensive and her temperament
excellent for this type of work. We are genuinely lucky to have such a loving smart dog!
There are very few of our clients who
do not appreciate Calley's attendance at group therapy sessions. Our sessions are 3 hours long and both Calley
and the clients have alot of time to interact with each other. Sometime within the first session with Calley
she will establish a relationship with the new client in group. Even those who have some fears about dogs
have been able to let go of those fears around Calley. She has visited in particular one client in the hospital.
This client explained her age-old fear of dogs to us during which Calley remained sitting quietly by my side.
In no time the client wanted Calley to lay with her in her bed and she spent the better part of an hours just petting
Calley! Because the client was in a heart hospital it was not 'usual' practice for therapy dogs to visit.
Calley's presence was appreciated by all of the staff members as well. They all made sure they came into the
clients room just to see the experience. Calley made sure she greeted each hospital employee as they came
and went. After the visit was over with our client the staff was waiting for us to leave asking if Calley
would stop by and visit with a few other patients on the unit. While we did not have a great deal of time
Calley walked through out the unit and greeted those individuals through rising up to their bedside for them to be able to
pet her! Calley can not get enough petting - and she never meets a stranger!
Unfortunately, the client I am speaking
about is quite young (20's) and as a result of her eating disorder she has significant and permanent heart issues
as well as an illiostomy from laxative abuse. Now when we visit her during one of her extensive stays in the
hospital the entire staff knows and greets Calley as we pass by on our way to the client's room! She has made
many many friends there and appears to perk up when we arrive in the parking lot. She certainly knows where
she is and who she is visiting for sure! Actually she take me to the floor our client stays on!
Ohhh I need to mention that Calley originally
had a great deal of fear when riding the elevator. She has long overcome this fear I think in order to have
the opportunity of visiting with her friends on the unit!
Deb & Calley
Our Therapy Dog 'Calley'
also works with clients who seek us out as a result of being bullied. She is just what the Doctor ordered
- a kind, non-judgemental, gentle soul who listens to the pain and begins refreshing the heart of the individual.
25 Nov 10
New PodCast Part 3 Surviving the Holidays
Thu, November 25, 2010 | link
Listen to our 3rd Part of Negotiating the Holidays
Recovering From and Eating Disorder!
24 Nov 10
Meaning We Attach to the Holidays!!!!
Let’s face it, for many people the holidays are part and parcel
with huge amounts of food. We attach a lot of social and personal value to what, and how, we eat, often through family rituals
Wed, November 24, 2010 | link
This is our culture dating back to at least the
time of the Pilgrims.
For many, family gatherings are
positive events, but for the 9 million men, women or young people who have an eating disorder, the holidays, without proper
planning, can feel like nightmares.
Three out of four American women have “disordered
eating” behavior, and 10 percent have an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder, says Cynthia Bulik, Ph.D., in the UNC School of Medicine’s department
of psychiatry and director of the UNC Eating Disorders Program.
you have an eating disorder, plan ahead. Bulik and the UNC Eating Disorders team offer the following suggestions to navigate
the food minefields of the holidays:
- Have a “wingman”
– someone you trust to help run interference at family get-togethers or office parties. This should be someone who
knows your triggers and can help distract you from temptations (or someone pushing your buttons), change the subject or
assist you while you handle the stress.
- Make up a code
signal or phrase with the wingman before going to the holiday party. If you start to feel overwhelmed give your friend the
signal so that you can both step out of the room and they can offer you some support.
- Keep your support team on speed dial and call them at any time during or after a party. Talking
relieves the pressure. You’re not overburdening them. They will undoubtedly have stories to share, too.
- Potlucks are your friends. Don’t hesitate to take a food you prepared
that feels safe enough to you so that you will have at least one manageable entrée.
- Lavish holiday spreads don’t have to be the enemy. If faced with one, channel your inner Boy
Scout or Girl Scout skills and be prepared! Before stepping in line, and before getting a plate, evaluate the options. Mindfully
consider which foods you’ll sample, portion sizes and whether you feel comfortable trying a “feared food.”
Make a decision and stick with it!
- If your treatment
team has given you a meal plan stay on track so you aren’t starving when you get there.
- Listen with your heart, not your head. Hear the happiness and caring in a person’s tone when
they tell you that you look “so much better.” They are saying they care about you. Don’t let the eating
disorder lead you to misinterpret those words in a way that deprives you of hearing that people really care about you.
- Get real! People too often have a fantasy about how “perfect” the
holidays are going to be. When family members fail to live up to unrealistic expectations, it might be tempting to restrict
or overeat in an effort to feel better temporarily. Try to anticipate some of the possible emotional traps in advance so
you can cope (and maybe even laugh) when you encounter them.
well-known HALT slogan works for any type of recovery. Don’t let yourself get too hungry, angry, lonely or tired. This
is especially important over the holidays.
the Season to Forgive, so forgive yourself if you have an eating slip.
- Try your best not to skip appointments with your treatment team. It’s an important time to stay in
touch with people who can help.
Source: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine