Mental Illness In Kids: The Surprising Warning Signs

I was a bit reticent in publishing this article as I don’t want to appear as if I’m exaggerating an issue (children’s mental health)  that would cause a parent to become paranoid about a non issue in the life of their child.

With that being said the sad reality is that in today’s world children’s mental health is a very real concern.  In what I present on this blog I hope to find the right balance by not exaggerating the issue but at the same time not ignoring it.

It troubles me greatly that this is a topic that even needs addressing.  Being a parent of three and grandparent of two the last thing I want to see is them experiencing emotional difficulties.  With all that being said I believe this is an article worth your time.  Allan

Taken from Everyday Health  which is located   HERE.

Just like adults, many kids — infants and toddlers included — are plagued with mental health problems. In fact, nearly one in five children has a mental illness, and for some of these youths, the disease interferes significantly with their daily lives.

But according to recent research from the American Psychological Association, young children are less likely to get mental health treatment than their grownup counterparts. Why? Too often, kids are expected to “grow out” of their emotional problems.

That means it’s up to the parents not to ignore any instinctive sense that their child’s emotional health is at risk. If you suspect any signs of mental illness such as ADHD or depression in children, it’s important to seek help from an expert in kids’ psychology.

What to Do When Something’s ‘Off’

“Most parents want to believe that their kids are doing okay,” says psychiatrist William M. Klykylo, MD, professor and director of the division of child and adolescent psychiatry at the Wright State University School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio. “But if you feel that something is going on or if someone you trust — a teacher or counselor, a minister or other clergy person, or a coach — says ‘I’ve got a feeling about your child,’ pay attention.”

The signs of mental illness in children vary by age and type of illness, with some psychiatric disorders appearing even in preschool years. However, two warning signs tend to cross over into all categories and signal that you should consult with an emotional health professional experienced in kids’ pyschology:

  • Extremes or peculiarity of behavior for the age and gender of the child, such as being significantly more hyper, aggressive, or withdrawn
  • Sudden, hard-to-explain negative changes in behavior, such as a steep drop in grades

But many children have more than one mental illness — which makes getting a diagnosis even more challenging.

Know These Signs of Kids’ Mental Illness

Here are some of the signs of mental illness during different age ranges.

Preschool/early elementary school years:

  • Behavior problems in preschool or daycare
  • Hyperactivity way beyond what the other kids are doing
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Persistent nightmares
  • Excessive fear, worrying, or crying
  • Extreme disobedience or aggression. Because it’s often within a child’s nature to disobey or intrude on a playmate’s space, an excessive degree of this behavior is what should concern you, says Dr. Klykylo, such as deliberate destructiveness or hurting peers or animals.
  • Lots of temper tantrums all the time
  • Persistent difficulty separating from a parent. Klykylo acknowledges that many children experience separation anxiety at first; there could be a problem if this goes on for months.

Klykylo adds that what you might think are signs of mental illness may in fact be symptoms of another condition entirely, such as a sleep disorder, but that you should still seek medical help.

Grade school years:

At this stage, Klykylo suggests looking at your child’s relationships as a good external barometer of well-being. A child might only have one or two friends, but it’s not the number of friends that you want to watch — it’s the type of friends and how well your child maintains those friendships. If one drops off, that’s an issue, says Klykylo.

Other possible signs of mental illness include:

  • Excessive fears and worries
  • Extreme hyperactivity
  • Sudden decrease in school performance
  • Loss of interest in friends or favorite activities
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sudden changes in weight
  • Excessive worry about weight gain
  • Sudden changes in sleep habits
  • Visible prolonged sadness
  • Substance use or abuse
  • Seeing or hearing things that are not there

Klykylo notes that from a parent’s perspective, it can be hard to figure out what type of mental illness could be threatening your child. For example, he says, “Depression in children does exist, but it is often accompanied by hyperactivity.” While depression can cause a loss of appetite, if your child is refusing to eat or only eats very limited selections, you might also be seeing the early signs of an eating disorder.

Tween and teen years:

The preceding signs of mental illness are still a concern, but the behaviors may be more pronounced as children get older. Look for:

  • Destructive behavior, such as damaging property or setting fires
  • Constantly threatening to run away or running away, which can be a precursor to self- harm, says Klykylo
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Comments or writings that suggest a desire to harm himself or others

Once you seek help, your child will be evaluated. The Child Behavior Checklist, which contains more than 100 questions related to child behavior, may be used — or the kids’ psychology expert you choose may refer to the DSM-IV with strict medical guidelines for diagnosing mental illnesses.

Your participation in both the evaluation and the treatment of your child could be essential, says Klykylo. Younger children are often treated with the involvement of their caregivers and family, he says. Medication, therapy, behavior change, modifications in the school setting, and other tools may be needed to help you and your child, depending on the diagnosis.

Service Dog Helps Iraq War Veteran In Fight Against Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Taken from myfoxdc  which is located   HERE.

An Iraq war veteran has much to be thankful for this Memorial Day.

He is alive and well thanks in large part to a golden retriever.

Luis Montalvan had hit rock bottom, suffering terribly from post-traumatic stress disorder when a dog named Tuesday saved his life.

There are many tales about dogs saving lives. Some of them a bit tall. We have heard all sorts of stories about dogs running miles for help, alerting people to dangers. It is heroic for sure.
So when one hears the story of what Tuesday has done, you tend to sit up and take notice.

“Besides all of the physical and psychological tasks he does for me, he saved me because I went from being a fit to fight warrior, sort of like a professional athlete, if you will, who gets paid to be physically fit and be ready to fight and defend our country to being the exact opposite, being broken,” said Montalvan.

Montalvan spent 17 years in the United States Army. He has gone to Iraq twice.

His troubles began in al-Waleed, a border crossing with Syria. While trying to clear tractor trailers out of a compound one day, Montalvan was attacked from behind.

“As I turned around and got up, there were a couple of men attacking me with knives,” said the former U.S. Army Captain.

It was the beginning of the end for the then-lieutenant. Although he recovered from the physical assault, the combat stress never went away.

“I had begun to experience some of the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder without knowing what post-traumatic stress disorder was while in Iraq for January, February, March of ’04,” said Montalvan.

But getting serious help would mean derailing a promising career.

“The stigma is too great,” Montalvan said.

As his life spiraled out of control, he got divorced, left the Army and fell head long into a world of addiction, drinking just to make it through the day.

And then, out of the blue, he got an offer to apply for a service dog.

“I was so excited for this loving trained dog that would help me, be more of the me I used to be,” said Montalvan.

In a new book titled “Until Tuesday, A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him,” Montalvan explains how Tuesday wakes him during nightmares, senses when he is stressed and keeps him balanced when they are out for walks.

“He’s more than my best friend, he’s more than family member, he’s more than a dog, he’s more than a service dog,” Montalvan said.

Tuesday, you could say, saved his life.

Montalvan is a big proponent of mandatory counseling for every service member posted in a combat zone. He is also hoping service dogs may eventually be offered to every veteran who needs one.

Mental Illness 101

I ran this article back in 2008.  It was taken from NAMI which is located  HERE.

What is Mental Illness?: Mental Illness Facts

Mental illnesses are medical conditions that disrupt a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others, and daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life.

Serious mental illnesses include major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and borderline personality disorder. The good news about mental illness is that recovery is possible.

Mental illnesses can affect persons of any age, race, religion, or income. Mental illnesses are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character, or poor upbringing. Mental illnesses are treatable. Most people diagnosed with a serious mental illness can experience relief from their symptoms by actively participating in an individual treatment plan.

In addition to medication treatment, psychosocial treatment such as cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, peer support groups, and other community services can also be components of a treatment plan and that assist with recovery. The availability of transportation, diet, exercise, sleep, friends, and meaningful paid or volunteer activities contribute to overall health and wellness, including mental illness recovery.

Here are some important facts about mental illness and recovery:

  • Mental illnesses are biologically based brain disorders.  They cannot be overcome through “will power” and are not related to a person’s “character” or intelligence.
  • Mental disorders fall along a continuum of severity. Even though mental disorders are widespread in the population, the main burden of illness is concentrated in a much smaller proportion — about 6 percent, or 1 in 17 Americans — who suffer from a serious mental illness. It is estimated that mental illness affects 1 in 5 families in America.
  • The World Health Organization has reported that four of the 10 leading causes of disability in the US and other developed countries are mental disorders. By 2020, Major Depressive illness will be the leading cause of disability in the world for women and children.
  • Mental illnesses usually strike individuals in the prime of their lives, often during adolescence and young adulthood. All ages are susceptible, but the young and the old are especially vulnerable.
  • Without treatment the consequences of mental illness for the individual and society are staggering: unnecessary disability, unemployment, substance abuse, homelessness, inappropriate incarceration, suicide and wasted lives; The economic cost of untreated mental illness is more than 100 billion dollars each year in the United States.
  • The best treatments for serious mental illnesses today are highly effective; between 70 and 90 percent of individuals have significant reduction of symptoms and improved quality of life with a combination of pharmacological and psychosocial treatments and supports.
  • With appropriate effective medication and a wide range of services tailored to their needs, most people who live with serious mental illnesses can significantly reduce the impact of their illness and find a satisfying measure of achievement and independence. A key concept is to develop expertise in developing strategies to manage the illness process.
  • Early identification and treatment is of vital importance; By ensuring access to the treatment and recovery supports that are proven effective, recovery is accelerated and the further harm related to the course of illness is minimized.
  • Stigma erodes confidence that mental disorders are real, treatable health conditions. We have allowed stigma and a now unwarranted sense of hopelessness to erect attitudinal, structural and financial barriers to effective treatment and recovery. It is time to take these barriers down.

Get more Mental Illness: Facts and Numbers from NAMI’s Fact Sheet.

The Lord’s Times: Streams In The Desert, May 29th, 2011

“Thou makest the outgoing of the morning and evening to rejoice”  Psalm 65:8
Get up early and go to the mountain and watch God make a morning. The dull gray will give way as God pushes the sun towards the horizon, and there will be tints and hues of every shade, that will blend into one perfect light as the full-orbed sun bursts into view. As the King of day moves forth majestically, flooding the earth and every lowly vale, listen to the music of heaven’s choir as it sings of the majesty of God and the glory of the morning.”
In the holy hush of the early dawn
I hear a Voice
“I am with you all the day,
Rejoice! Rejoice!”
The clear, pure light of the morning made me long for the truth in my heart, which alone could make me pure and clear as the morning, tune me up to the concert-pitch of the nature around me. And the wind that blew from the sunrise made me hope in the God who had first breathed into my nostrils the breath of life; that He would at length so fill me with His breath, His mind, His Spirit, that I should think only His thoughts, and live His life, finding therein my own life, only glorified infinitely. What should we poor humans do without our God’s nights and mornings? –George MacDonald
“In the early morning hours,
‘Twixt the night and day,
While from earth the darkness passes
Silently away;
“Then ’tis sweet to talk with Jesus
In thy chamber still
For the coming day and duties
Ask to know His will.
“Then He’ll lead the way before you,
Mountains laying low;
Making desert places blossom,
Sweet’ning Marah’s flow.
“Would you know this life of triumph,
Victory all the way?
Then put God in the beginning
Of each coming day.”


Praise & Worship, May 28th, 2011

Song List

1.  Glory Defined-  Building 429

2.  Rooftops-  Kim Walker/Jesus Culture

3.  Your Love Never Fails-  Chris Quilala/Jesus Culture

4.  The Wedding Song-  Noel Paul Stookey

5.  Hallelujah-  Heather Williams

6.  Wait And See-  Brandon Heath

7.  Lift Me Up-  The Afters

8.  Creator King-  Kathryn Scott

9.  My Everything-  Vineyard

10.  No Matter What-  Kerrie Roberts

11.  Faithful One-  Andy Park/Vineyard

Prayer Requests & Praise Reports, May 27th, 2011

Father, The world reels with disasters, but You are still, watching, waiting for the call.
We call on the Name of the Lord God Almighty. Save now.

There is no peace without our Prince of Peace. But our hearts are calm, hidden in the palm of Your hand. We shall fear no evil.

Be the Gift of Salvation for the seeking. Be the strong tower for the overwhelmed. Be the Hiding Place from the enemy. Be I AM, for You are Who You say You Are and we worship You.

Have mercy on those being tested. Strengthen the hearts of the faint. Stay our feet on the narrow Way. Use our desire to serve You and succor Your people. Let us be content in all circumstances knowing You are with
us providing for every need. You are our help in time of need.

Do as You will to prosper Your purpose for eternity’s sake. We know we sojourn like pilgrims through toils and snares. But Your hand guides us, Your voice comforts us, Your Word establishes our hope. We shall overcome.

For those faltering, steady their steps. For the hungry who crave a word from You, feed their souls. For those under pressured attack, surround them with songs of deliverance.

We wait on You in trust. Come Lord Jesus come.

Amen my All       ~clean hands pure heart~

Praise Report
c–  God helped me graduate from college and get an A- on my senior thesis. I am very glad he got me through it b/c I struggled a lot w/ anxiety, depression, loneliness, fear, and feeling like I wouldn’t make it. I hope this encourages others who deal with mental struggles and don’t think they’re going to get through college. Also, recently I had an encounter with Jesus where I envisioned I was at his feet and I felt him VERY close to my heart as I had never felt before. I hope this encourages others who are asking, seeking, knocking to feel closer to Jesus!
New Prayer Requests
Allan–  Our nephew’s wife was recently hospitalized as her Multiple Sclerosis has been very aggressive.  She has blurred vision and trouble walking.  Also, they found a new lesion on her brain. Please pray that God would touch her with His healing hand.
Allan- My brother’s wife LeeAnn has completed her chemotherapy and is now undergoing radiation treatments.  Please pray that after treatments she will be cancer free.
Past Prayer Requests

Okie Preacher–  The doctor who operated on my back, has taken us on. After some time he believes that I may have a very rare condition. So rare, there are only a handful of doctors in the U.S. that deal with it. I would rather not say what it is at the time, but I am grateful that we may be getting to the end of this journey. And, it is treatable. Thank you for your continued prayer. And Captain Kevin, I’ll keep you posted…

Dorci–  She is still having physical problems related to surgery that removed a cyst from her spine. Please pray for Dorci to experience relief from her pain.

Nonnie–  Please pray for a man at my church. He is such a nice and gentle man, but has been on panic disorder meds for years and has now read a book that said it is lack of faith if he takes the meds. He went off of them suddenly and now it is affecting his body and he is a wreck. He was prayed for today by the elders and he reacted violently…I believe he was just panicking but he is afraid now that he is demon possessed. We have tried to assure him that he is not. My heart just breaks for him. I encouraged him to go to his dr. and see about his meds.. Please pray for this kind, gentle man.

Lynette–  Pls free Lynette from depression

Cyndie- I have been having SEVERE panic attacks. Yesterday, I was out in the parking lot bent over retching. I lost my job, my mentally ill mother (who refuses to take medication or get help) lives with me along with my son who has ADHD. Between my mother and my son, something gets broken in my rented apartment often. Someone is even peeling the paint off of the walls. I’m a Christian and I pray for God to help me EVERYDAY, but now I am starting to have severe panic attacks. Also, I have a slight case of OCD and God took it away years ago, but since I lost my job, it has come back again. I just needed someone to vent to. I really don’t have a comment. Just pray for me.

Captain Kevin–  Been going through a lot of pain and depression lately. So much want to exercise and get rid of these extra 40 pounds I’ve put on in the last 2 years, spend time studying scripture and improving my vocal and keyboard abilities, but I just can’t seem to get started. Sleep is my favorite pastime lately, but I don’t really want it to be..

Allan–  A woman e-mailed me tonight asking for prayer. She is struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts. She will be seeing someone tomorrow to apply for emergency Medicaid. She has been without insurance for two years. Please pray for her.

Set Free–  I appreciate that you still have our request for a building. Some opportunities have been presented to us but nothing yet. We did move out from our previous location but we are trusting and believing God for a place of our own hopefully before the year is out.

Mom–  Thank you for keeping my request on your prayer list. Our son is doing better and is now able to work and is hoping to return to school next semester.

He’s been through different combinations of medications and we are hopeful that the current combinations will work for him in the long term.

He is still discouraged and is beating himself up for disenrolling from school. We try to encourage him, but he doesn’t receive it.. We are praying that God would allow him to live a rewarding life and that he see God’s hand in all this the last 5 months. Thank you for your continued prayers.

Long Term Prayer Requests

Allan–  Please pray for Rachel as she is battling bipolar disorder.
Allan– Please pray for Natalie Tan as she has had a setback in her battle with her eating disorder.

Angela–  Keep Angela in prayer as she continues on her road of recovery from Anorexia.

White Horses- Prayer for anxious thoughts and worrying.

PK Sweet–  please pray for a bipolar son with brain damage also…that he may know and love and follow Christ, be free of all addictions and self destructive behavior, get the help he needs and be @ peace…also that God help us all in the family to be filled with the Spirit and bear luscious fruit, and be filled with joy rather than despair