The Fiery Furnace: Streams In The Desert, June 30th, 2012

“Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ”
2 Corinthians 2:14
 
God gets His greatest victories out of apparent defeats. Very often the enemy seems to triumph for a little, and God lets it be so; but then He comes in and upsets all the work of the enemy, overthrows the apparent victory, and as the Bible says, “turns the way of the wicked upside down.” Thus He gives a great deal larger victory than we would have known if He had not allowed the enemy, seemingly, to triumph in the first place.
The story of the three Hebrew children being cast into the fiery furnace is a familiar one. Here was an apparent victory for the enemy. It looked as if the servants of the living God were going to have a terrible defeat. We have all been in places where it seemed as though we were defeated, and the enemy rejoiced. We can imagine what a complete defeat this looked to be. They fell down into the flames, and their enemies watched them to see them burn up in that awful fire, but were greatly astonished to see them walking around in the fire enjoying themselves. Nebuchadnezzar told them to “come forth out of the midst of the fire.” Not even a hair was singed, nor was the smell of fire on their garments, “because there is no other god that can deliver after this sort.”
This apparent defeat resulted in a marvelous victory.
Suppose that these three men had lost their faith and courage, and had complained, saying, “Why did not God keep us out of the furnace!” They would have been burned, and God would not have been glorified. If there is a great trial in your life today, do not own it as a defeat, but continue, by faith, to claim the victory through Him who is able to make you more than conqueror, and a glorious victory will soon be apparent. Let us learn that in all the hard places God brings us into, He is making opportunities for us to exercise such faith in Him as will bring about blessed results and greatly glorify His name.
–Life of Praise
***
“Defeat may serve as well as victory To shake the soul and let the glory out.
When the great oak is straining in the wind,
The boughs drink in new beauty, and the trunk
Sends down a deeper root on the windward side.
Only the soul that knows the mighty grief
Can know the mighty rapture. Sorrows come
To stretch out spaces in the heart for joy.”
Persistent Prayer
***
“Men ought always to pray and not to faint” (Luke 18:1).
“Go to the ant.” Tammerlane used to relate to his friends an anecdote of his early life. “I once,” he said, “was forced to take shelter from my enemies in a ruined building, where I sat alone many hours. Desiring to divert my mind from my hopeless condition, I fixed my eyes on an ant that was carrying a grain of corn larger than itself up a high wall. I numbered the efforts it made to accomplish this object. The grain fell sixty-nine times to the ground; but the insect persevered, and the seventieth time it reached the top. This sight gave me courage at the moment, and I never forgot the lesson.–The King’s Business
***
Prayer which takes the fact that past prayers have not been answered as a reason for languor, has already ceased to be the prayer of faith. To the prayer of faith the fact that prayers remain unanswered is only evidence that the moment of the answer is so much nearer. From first to last, the lessons and examples of our Lord all tell us that prayer which cannot persevere and urge its plea importunately, and renew, and renew itself again, and gather strength from every past petition, is not the prayer that will prevail. –William Arthur
Rubenstein, the great musician, once said, “If I omit practice one day, I notice it; if two days, my friends notice it; if three days, the public notice it.” It is the old doctrine, “Practice makes perfect.” We must continue believing, continue praying, continue doing His will. Suppose along any line of art, one should cease practicing, we know what the result would be. If we would only use the same quality of common sense in our religion that we use in our everyday life, we should go on to perfection.
The motto of David Livingstone was in these words, “I determined never to stop until I had come to the end and achieved my purpose.” By unfaltering persistence and faith in God he conquered.
***
Sorrow, God’s Plowshare
“Sorrow is better than laughter; for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better” (Eccles. 7:3).
When sorrow comes under the power of Divine grace, it works out a manifold ministry in our lives. Sorrow reveals unknown depths in the soul, and unknown capabilities of experience and service. Gay, trifling people are always shallow, and never suspect the little meannesses in their nature. Sorrow is God’s plowshare that turns up and subsoils the depths of the soul, that it may yield richer harvests. If we had never fallen, or were in a glorified state, then the strong torrents of Divine joy would be the normal force to open up all our souls’ capacities; but in a fallen world, sorrow, with despair taken out of it, is the chosen power to reveal ourselves to ourselves. Hence it is sorrow that makes us think deeply, long, and soberly.
Sorrow makes us go slower and more considerately, and introspect our motives and dispositions. It is sorrow that opens up within us the capacities of the heavenly life, and it is sorrow that makes us willing to launch our capacities on a boundless sea of service for God and our fellows.
We may suppose a class of indolent people living at the base of a great mountain range, who had never ventured to explore the valleys and canyons back in the mountains; and some day, when a great thunderstorm goes careening through the mountains, it turns the hidden glens into echoing trumpets, and reveals the inner recesses of the valley, like the convolutions of a monster shell, and then the dwellers at the foot of the hills are astonished at the labyrinths and unexplored recesses of a region so near by, and yet so little known. So it is with many souls who indolently live on the outer edge of their own natures until great thunderstorms of sorrow reveal hidden depths within that were never hitherto suspected.
***
God never uses anybody to a large degree, until after He breaks that one all to pieces. Joseph had more sorrow than all the other sons of Jacob, and it led him out into a ministry of bread for all nations. For this reason, the Holy Spirit said of him, “Joseph is a fruitful bough…by a well, whose branches run over the wall” (Gen. 49:22). It takes sorrow to widen the soul.  –The Heavenly Life
***
The dark brown mould’s upturned
By the sharp-pointed plow;
And I’ve a lesson learned.
My life is but a field,
Stretched out beneath God’s sky,
Some harvest rich to yield.
Where grows the golden grain?
Where faith? Where sympathy?
In a furrow cut by pain.
–Afaltbie D. Babcock
***
Every person and every nation must take lessons in God’s school of adversity. “We can say, ‘Blessed is night, for it reveals to us the stars.’ In the same way we can say, ‘Blessed is sorrow, for it reveals God’s comfort.’ The floods washed away home and mill, all the poor man had in the world. But as he stood on the scene of his loss, after the water had subsided, broken-hearted and discouraged, he saw something shining in the bank which the waters had washed bare. ‘It looks like gold,’ he said. It was gold. The flood which bad beggared him made him rich. So it is ofttimes in life.”

 

Praise & Worship: June 29th, 2012

Song List

1.  Where I Belong- Building 429

2.  Love Came Down-  Kari Jobe

3.  Holy-  Nichole Nordeman

4.  Everything I Need-  Kutless

5.  Overcome-  Jeremy Camp

6.  Counting On God-  Desperation Band

7.  Worshiping You-  Deluge

8.  Shadow Of Your Wings-  Jason Upton

9.  The Hurt And The Healer-  Mercy Me

10.  You Love Me Anyway-  Sidewalk Prophets

11.  Sing My Love-  Kim Walker

Dental Phobia: 7 Common Fears And How To Conquer Them

Taken from the  Huff Post   which is located   HERE.

 

The loud whirr of the dental tools.

Your dentist’s eyes, peeking out over the sterile (some may say ominous-looking) green mask.

Leaning back in the seat, pinned down by the heavy protective bib that protects your body from radiation during dental X-rays.

Scraping with sharp tools to chip away at the stains on your teeth. Then the dentists’ toothbrush, followed by suctioning and sprays of water from the mini water jet.

It sounds like a typical visit to the dentist. But for many people with some degree of dental phobia — technically called dentophobia or odontophobia — it’s the worst experience in the world.

People with dental phobias have a reflex to feel a fight-or-flight response when they visit the dentist, explained New York City-based dentist Dr. Louis Siegelman, D.D.S., who works in private practice and also is a clinical assistant professor in pediatric dentistry at New York University.

“It’s life or death, it’s fight for your life or run for your life,” he told HuffPost. “That’s really what the core of this mechanism is.”

Siegelman’s dental practice isn’t typical — he specializes in people who have extreme dental phobias. He said the phobias can be a result of a multitude of things, including having a previous traumatic experience at the dentist (maybe a previous anesthetization wasn’t done properly), feeling extreme discomfort while having a dental procedure done (maybe the person has trouble breathing while having work done), and having an accident where maybe a person needed stitches in or near the mouth, imprinting that scary moment in memory.

Siegelman said he sees patients who haven’t been to the dentist in years because they’re so afraid of coming in. For some people, this just reinforces their negative view of the dentist — because they hadn’t been in for their regular checkups, their teeth are in bad shape, just making the dental work they have to have done more extensive.

Even though Siegelman’s patients are on the more extreme end of dental phobia — “I’ve met people out in the hallway hugging the wall, I’ve had people I’ve had to meet outside the office because they couldn’t bring themselves in,” he said — a lot of tips and tricks he uses with his patients can also apply to people who are more mildly anxious about the dentist.

About five percent of people have severe dental fear, according to researchers from the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. Those researchers found five strategies that people use to get over their fear of the dentist; their findings are published in the journal Acta Odontologica Scandinavica.

Their study showed that common coping practices include distracting yourself (counting to yourself or playing mental games so that you think about something else), distancing (telling yourself the pain feels like something else), prayer (praying that the dental treatment will end soon), self-efficacy (telling yourself to be strong), and optimism (telling yourself that everything will be OK after the dental treatment.

Of course, the best way to avoid having to have scary procedures done at the dentist is to practice prevention, Siegelman said. If you know that you’re someone who’s afraid of the dentist, it would best serve you to “be hyper-vigilant about taking care of your teeth to make sure there’s less for them [the dentists] to do,” he said.

Here are some common things that people are afraid of during a dental visit, and what you and the dentist can do to help soothe those fears:   Click   HERE    to finish article.

Common Myths Concerning Selective Mutism

Taken from the  Selective Mutism Foundation   which is located   HERE.

E. Steven Dummit, III , MD
Advisory Board Member, Selective Mutism Foundation, Inc.

The Therapy Center
333 Adams Street
Bedford Hills , NY 10507
914-241-0758

In the course of my experience evaluating and treating children with Selective Mutism, both in research and clinical practice, the
following concepts have evolved in my thinking as the answers to questions that I have often been asked, both by the families of
my patients and by professionals. In talking to parents and teachers, as well as in assessments of children, I have found that
misconceptions are widespread about what Selective Mutism is and how children develop this problem. These misconceptions are
prevalent even in professional educators, physicians and mental health providers. I believe they reflect both confusion in the
professional community and a general misunderstanding of the problem in our culture. Because these misconceptions are so
widespread, I refer to them as “common myths”.

“The child is just being stubborn and controlling by not talking.” This belief is so pervasive that the disorder was called
“Elective mutism” for over 50 years, as if these children made a conscious decision, or “elected” at some point, to quit talking. It is
assumed that such “controlling” behavior is a result of conflicts in the parent-child relationship, with the child attempting to win the
struggle by resorting to mutism. In this view of the problem, parents, usually the mother, are assumed to lack parenting skills, or
character strength or such, and are thus blamed for the child’s disorder. Fortunately, modern child psychiatry is moving away from
such outmoded theories. Most of the reports of Selective Mutism published in the past decade recognize the disorder as
stemming from severe social anxiety and excessive inhibition, not from bad parenting. The developmental history of children with
Selective Mutism is usually that they always had a problem with the shyness and fear of talking to strangers, even before they
entered school, with parents describing an insidious onset of the mutism, rather than a sudden change in behavior where a child
decides to act in a certain way. Behavior that was described in the past as “controlling” may now be seen as trying to avoid very
anxiety-provoking and distressing situations, driven by fear rather than by anger.

“Children who are mute must have been traumatized.” This is what I call the Hollywood version of mutism. It makes for
good drama, such as in the rock opera Tommy and the movie The Piano, but it does not correspond to the usual reality of the
children I have seen. While cases of mutism have occurred as a result of a child being abused or emotionally or physically
traumatized, it seems to be very rare. I have not yet seen such a case, where a child spoke normally until a traumatic incident
and then stopped speaking. Such cases are documented in the medical literature case reports, but in the two systematic studies,
including 50 children evaluated by our group at Columbia and 30 evaluated by Drs. Black and Uhde at NIMH, no children were
found to have such a history. A report in 1980 by Hayden described “traumatic mutism” as a subgroup of cases reported in a chart
review study, but in the paper it is stated that where police or social service reports could be found to document child abuse, the
reports always indicated that a child was abused because they were not speaking, not the other way around. Why the author
considered this “traumatic mutism” is a mystery. Like so many other psychiatric disorders, it seems that being excessively shy
and mute makes a child vulnerable to being taken advantage of or abused. This is a general problem in the mental health field and
in our society, confusing cause and effect between bad experiences and mental disorders. Many parents have reported to me that
they were suspected of child abuse, some even have been investigated by child welfare agencies, because their child did not talk
in school. It is assumed that such children “must be hiding some deep, dark secret” about the family, or an abusive situation, as
the reason for mutism.

“Don’t worry, it’s just shyness that they will outgrow.” Many parents have told me that they hear this often from doctors and
educators. While there are undoubtedly many normally shy children who may talk little or none when they first enter a new social
situation, it is not normal to remain silent in a classroom indefinitely. We do not have good estimates for the prevalence of
Selective Mutism in this country, as the few epidemiological studies that have been done on childhood mental disorders in
community-based populations have not included Selective Mutism as a disorder to be studied. A school survey in Britain 30 years
ago found a rate of about 7 per 1000 children entering an urban school system, at age 5, were not speaking in the classroom.
When surveyed again after a year in school, that number had dropped by a factor of 10, to slightly less than 1 per 1000. The study
was confounded by including high rates of immigrant children who may not have learned English yet at the time of the first survey,
and thus might not have met modern diagnostic criteria for Selective Mutism. However, the second figure, of about 1 per 1000, is
likely to be a truer estimate of the prevalence of Selective Mutism and matches the finding of a similar survey in Canada done
soon after. It would appear that some children do “outgrow it” soon after entering school. However, the consensus now amongst
professionals who have seen many children with this disorder is that, if it lasts beyond the first few weeks of entering school, it
tends to be persistent. I have also come to believe, based on review of the professional literature and personal experience with
patients and their parents’ descriptions of previous treatments, that children with Selective Mutism do not improve quickly with
conventional psychodynamic psychotherapy aimed at uncovering and working through emotional conflicts.

Current thinking is that social anxiety disorders are more of a biologically-based abnormality than a neurotic problem based on an
emotional conflict. Further, our studies and my clinical experience indicate that older children, who have suffered longer with
Selective Mutism, are more resistant to all forms of treatment, taking a much longer time and more intensive combination of
behavioral and pharmacologic treatment to get improvement. Therefore, I recommend starting treatment as soon as one sees
impairment in school that lasts more than the first few weeks. Begin treatment when the child is young and the disorder is easier
to treat. Do not wait to see if a child will outgrow it when it has persisted beyond the first few weeks of school.

“If the child does not speak, they must have a language or speech delay.” Many parents report that schools and
professionals recommend speech therapy for mute children. While about 10% of the children seen in our research program did
appear to have a language or learning delay, or speech articulation problem, needing special educational or speech treatment,
most had normal or above average speech and verbal skills when carefully evaluated. However, it is rather difficult to evaluate a
child’s verbal skills when they do not speak to teachers, professionals and other unfamiliar adults. Social anxiety causes people
to be reluctant to guess or respond if even a little bit unsure of the answer, from fear of embarrassment at making a mistake. Even
when children respond non-vocally to tests of receptive language, which measure the ability to understand language, rather than
the ability to express oneself, the test result can be an underestimate of true ability because of fear of guessing wrongly. Hence,
socially-anxious children tend to do less well with such assessments performed by strangers than they would when speaking with
family, resulting in test scores which could be an underestimate of a child’s true verbal skills. I have seen this effect in children I
examined before and after pharmacologic treatment of the social anxiety, their performance on verbal measures often improved.  

However, there are a small minority of children who have both a language or speech problem and social anxiety, and all children
deserve very careful assessment of verbal and academic skills before educational or treatment recommendations are made.
Unfortunately, educators are often frustrated and bewildered by children who do not speak to them, and special educational
placement or speech therapy are their main forms of help to offer, so they often recommend such even when it is not clear that it
can help. I believe that smaller classrooms with specially trained teachers can help some children with Selective Mutism to be
less anxious and more likely to begin speaking. But when such classrooms are composed predominantly of aggressive and
disruptive children, as is often the case, it is unlikely to be an environment in which a child will conquer their anxiety and shyness
and probably should not be recommended in the absence of clear evidence of learning delay.

What Can Be Done to Help Children with Selective Mutism

Seeking help from a clinician who has experience treating children with this uncommon disorder is important, since most
therapists and psychiatrists have little or no experience with it and many are not aware of recent research which has improved our
understanding of the problem.

I have seen a large number of children who suffer from Selective Mutism, both during my work as a research fellow, and since, in
practice and clinical teaching settings. Recent research, including the program at Columbia University in which I managed the
systematic evaluation and treatment of more than 50 such children, has shed important new light on the disorder (Dummit et al,
May 1997, J Am Acad Child Adol Psychiatry). Essentially all selectively mute children our team studied clearly suffer from an
excessive and impairing degree of social anxiety, far beyond normal shyness, which affects not only their ability to converse in
public, but also interferes with academic and social development. We call this Social Phobia, and studies of socially phobic
adults suggest that some medications can be very helpful to reduce social anxiety and excessive social inhibition, leading to
change of avoidant behavior. A core feature of Social Phobia is an irrational fear of embarrassment or humiliation in the presence
of unfamiliar people. Our current view of Selective Mutism is that it usually represents a form of avoidant behavior that is a
consequence of social anxiety. In these children, an overwhelming irrational fear of speaking to strangers has become generalized
to most non-family settings during early childhood.

Prozac (fluoxetine), a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, is useful for socially anxious adults. Based on this new understanding
of mutism as a consequence of social anxiety, Prozac has been used in three studies with selectively mute children: an
uncontrolled trial (Dummit et al, May 1996, J Am Acad Child Adol Psych), a small placebo-controlled trial (Black & Uhde, 1994, J
Am Acad Child Adol Psych), and a crossover-discontinuation placebo-controlled study (Dummit et al, reported as New Research,
AACAP Annual Meeting, 10/96). All three studies support efficacy and safety in this use. This is the only treatment with
scientifically proven efficacy for this disorder, although a small literature of uncontrolled case reports (lacking the experimental
methodology needed to prove effectiveness scientifically) of various behavioral treatments suggests they may also benefit some
children. Unfortunately, the methodology of case reports precludes comparison to medication trials, as there is no systematic
means of ascertaining which
children, and how many, respond to which treatment. It is exceedingly rare that someone publishes
a “negative” case report of treatment, where the treatment failed. Case reports are only the treatment successes; whereas,
systematic medication trials report how many patients were treatment successes and how many were failures. Systematic
medication trials with placebo controls can also provide further scientific analysis of what characteristics predict good or poor
response to medications and the probability of response. No case report series can provide that level of scientific analysis.

There is no evidence to date that play psychotherapy, family therapy or other forms of insight-oriented therapy are effective for
improving either the social anxiety or the mutism. Indeed, in my clinical experience, many families report having tried these forms
of therapy, sometimes for years, without success. Granted, I would likely never see the children who did get cured with such a
treatment, but it is my impression clinically, as well as from reviewing the world literature, that success rates are extremely low
with these forms of treatment for Selective Mutism. 

The typical picture of the selectively mute children I have seen (well over 100 cases now), includes clear features of Social Phobia
and social avoidance, often with other anxiety problems and diagnoses also present, and otherwise normal language development.
True language delays, speech pathology or learning problems are only present in about 10% of cases.  However, because their
language and academic skills are hard to evaluate due to the mutism and schools have no other help to offer, such children are
frequently placed in speech and special educational services, aimed at improving language or speech skills, without needing or
benefiting from them. Selective Mutism has erroneously in the past often been classified as a speech or communication disorder,
but it is clear now that this is inaccurate. While language disorders can exacerbate the anxiety problem in some children, they
should be viewed as a separate clinical problem when present.

My recommendation has generally been against speech or language remediation in the absence of clearly documented (i.e. by
formal testing) language or speech abnormalities. However, there are times in which a special educational classroom with a lower
student to teacher ratio might be of help to a child with anxiety, and classification for special education based on emotional
disorder might be of benefit. However, if such classification would place a shy and anxious child in a classroom composed
primarily of disruptive and aggressive children, I doubt it would be of benefit to the child and would not recommend it. Of most
benefit in the school, in my experi­ence, would be a teacher who is sympathetic to the anxiety-based nature of the disorder and
can apply behavioral principles in the classroom in a way which promotes increased speech and social interaction, but does not
exacerbate the child’s social anxiety by exposing them to greater public scrutiny in a way the child would perceive as
embarrassing.

Regarding clinical treatment, I have had much success using Prozac (fluoxetine) with these children. The other Selective
Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (Zoloft, Paxil, Luvox, Celexa, Lexapro) also all appear to benefit people with social anxiety, but
Prozac is the one with the most research studies in children to demonstrate effectiveness and safety. It generally takes 3 to 6
months to see the full benefit of this treatment on both social anxiety and speech behavior in children who have persistent
mutism. Children aged 10 and older, who have typically been mute for many years, may take even longer to respond, and often
need addi­tional behavioral treatment to overcome the mutism. My success rate with adequate medication treatment in young
children is around 80-90%, but the rate drops considerably in older children and adolescents. Therefore, I recommend early
intervention, in kindergarten or first grade if the problem has been persistently present for at least a year. I believe it is not a good
plan to wait to see if a child will “outgrow it” before trying medication, if other approaches (e.g., behavioral treatment) have failed to
alleviate the mutism in the first year or two of school. I have yet to hear of a case with this typical presentation (preschool onset
and persistence past the first few months of school) where the disorder remitted spontaneously, i.e. the child “outgrew it” without
treatment.

A Prayer For Us

I made the decision some time ago to stop posting weekly prayer requests.  Quite often I included prayers from a woman who goes by  clean hands pure heart  as I believe they are anointed by God.  Today I thought I would post a prayer from her.  Be blessed.  Allan

 

Hiding Place,

You are the filter of every wrong doing. You finished it on the cross. Who can appease the Father’s will but You. Thank You for covering me.

Push us past current events. We know the times and ways of the wayward. Even so Lord Jesus, come quickly. There is none but You.

Revive us. The weight burdens us, but You raise us higher. Fill us with the Spirit. Tame our inclinations. Set our sights above the circumstance. Reveal Yourself moving in and through us. Confound the enemy and curtail the flow of wreckage due their decisions. Be for us.

Today and forever we pay full respect to Your Word of Truth. Blur the distinction of our human heritage until we resemble only You. Let us project the purest love and cleanest motive. Your will is our deepest breath.

Single us out for Your intention. Utilize us to save now as Your ambassadors of genuine faith and hope. Deepen the seal of righteous living into our actions that You will be known. Give us the strength.

Humbly we seek,
toward the rest, amen

Stress-Induced Depression Confirmed in Breakthrough That May Lead to New Treatments

 

 

Taken from Medical Daily  which is located   HERE.

Chronic stress blocks a gene that protects the brain from mood disorders, according to a new study that may provide novel insights into the mechanisms behind depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that chronic stress can create brain changes associated with mood disorders by blocking a gene called neuritin in rats.

A team of scientists from Yale University studied how rats reacted to chronic, unpredictable stress by subjecting laboratory rodents to food and play deprivation, isolating them from other rats and switching around their dark and light cycles for three weeks.

Researchers found that afterwards the rats had little interest in food, enjoyed sweetened drinks, and didn’t swim when placed in water, which were all signs of rodent depression.

Researchers then looked at the rats’ genetic activity and found that the neuritin gene, which is also present in humans, became significantly less active compared to rats in the control group.

More importantly, scientists observed that while the rats in the stress group quickly recovered after being treated with antidepressants, rodent depression improved just as well when the rats were injected with a virus that promoted neuritin gene expression and protected the rats from brain cell atrophy and other structural brain changes associated with mood disorders, even when the rats were exposed to stress-inducing environments.

“Neuritin produced a response that looked exactly like an antidepressant,” said researcher Ronald Duman, a neurobiologist at Yale University, according to Science Magazine. “I was surprised to find this molecule was sufficient, by itself, to block the effects of stress and depression.”

To confirm their findings that neuritin can protect the brain from depression, researchers blocked the activity of the gene in another group of rats that did were not put in stressful environments and found that the rodents exhibited the same depression symptoms of the rats in the stressed group.

Researchers said that the results support past findings that implicate stress in the development and advancement of mood disorders, and may also offer a new therapeutic target for treating mood disorders like depression.

Previous postmortem studies and brain scans have shown that the brain’s hippocampus that responsible for memory can shrink and atrophy in patients with a history of mood disorders and patients who live with these disorders have also been found to have lower levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a crucial growth factor that maintains the health of neurons.

Past findings have also suggested that low neuritin gene expression, which codes for another protein of the same name, may also protect the brain’s ability to reorganize and change in response to new experiences.

Canada: Teens With Anxiety And Depression Can Skip Referrals

Taken from   CBC News   which is located    HERE.

Teens and young adults in Ontario with depression and anxiety disorders are gaining faster access to psychiatric care in a program that is drawing national attention.

Up to a quarter of teens and young adults experience depression, anxiety and substance abuse disorders but many go undetected and untreated, in part because of long waiting lists to see specialists.

“I would spend days by myself in my room, I wouldn’t want to leave the apartment,” recalled Jodie, who was 16 when she said her life first began to feel out of control. “I’d get this overwhelming anxiety.”

Jodie, which is not her real name, missed school and used drugs and alcohol to try to make herself feel better when she believed she was in a “really dark and awful place.”

Jodie was helped by a unique program at London Health Sciences Centre that involves a team of mental health specialists including psychiatrists, psychologists and an addictions specialist. People aged 16 to 26 can pick up the phone and get a mental health assessment, bypassing the need for a doctor’s referral or enduring a long waiting list.

Young people are seen within a week or two and if they need treatment, they get it within weeks instead of months.

Dr. Elizabeth Osuch, a psychiatrist at the hospital, created the program to help get young patients get back on track as soon as possible.

“If you take those formative years and let’s say you impair them for a year out of that, you’re really going to mess up the foundation on which they’re going to build the rest of their work life, their relationship life, their career life,” Osuch said.

It’s hoped that approach will help the mental health care system to save money by reducing emergency room visits, hospitalizations and disability benefits.

Early treatment can prevent mild or moderate mental illnesses from becoming chronic and derailing lives, agreed Dr. Stan Kutcher, an internationally known specialist in adolescent mental health at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

“If we really want to make substantive inroads in improving mental health care and improving the mental health of Canadians we have to make investments in the early ages,” Kutcher said.

Osuch’s program now treats up to 250 young people a year, but its funding is tenuous.