Monday, June 30, 2008

Oppositional Defiant Disorder Treatment

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is an extremely common disorder of behavior. The difficult behavior of children with ODD causes them problems both at home and at school. These children behave aggressively and make efforts to intentionally bother or irritate others


Oppositional defiant children show a consistent pattern of refusing to follow commands or requests by adults. These children repeatedly lose their temper, argue with adults, and refuse to comply with rules and directions. These children become annoyed easily and they blame the mistakes they make on other people. Children with ODD show a pattern of stubbornness and frequently test limits, even in early childhood.

These children can be manipulative and often induce discord in those around them. Commonly they turn attention away from themselves by inciting parents and other family members to fight with one another.

Behavioral Symptoms

Normal children occasionally have episodes of defiant behavior, particularly during ages of transition such as 2 to 3 or the teenage years where the child uses defiance in an attempt to assert himself. Children who are tired, hungry, or upset may be defiant.

Oppositional defiant behavior is a matter of degree and frequency. Children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder display difficult behavior to the extent that it can interfere with learning, school adjustment, and, sometimes, with the child's social relationships.

Common behaviors seen in Oppositional Defiant Disorder include:

-Losing his temper

-Arguing with adults

-Actively defying requests

-Refusing to follow rules

-Deliberately annoying other people

-Blaming others for one's own mistakes or misbehavior

-Being touchy, easily annoyed

-Being easily angered, resentful, spiteful, or vindictive

-Speaking harshly, or unkind when upset

-Seeking revenge

-Having frequent temper tantrums

Many parents report that their ODD children were rigid and demanding from an early age.


The diagnosis of ODD is not always straight forward and needs to be made by a psychiatrist or some other qualified mental health professional after a comprehensive evaluation.

If you feel your child may have ODD, there is a quick screening test. Go to: ODD Screening Test


It is not clear what causes Oppositional Defiant Disorder. There are currently two theories.

The developmental theory suggests that ODD is really a result of incomplete development. For some reason, ODD children never complete the developmental tasks that normal children master during the toddler years. They get stuck in the 2-3 year old defiant stage and never really grow out of it.

The learning theory suggests that Oppositional Defiant Disorder comes as a response to negative interactions. The techniques used by parents and authority figures with these children bring about the oppositional defiant behavior.


Oppositional Defiant Disorder usually does not occur alone.

50-65% of ODD children also have ADD ADHD 35% of these children develop some form of affective disorder 20% have some form of mood disorder, such as Bipolar Disorder or anxiety 15% develop some form of personality disorder Many of these children have learning disorders

Any child with Oppositional Defiant Disorder must be evaluated for other disorders as well. If your child has ODD it is imperative to find out what are the co-existing problems. This is the key to treating the condition, as we shall soon discuss.


So what happens to these children? There are four possible paths.

Some will grow out of it. Half of the preschoolers that are labeled ODD are normal by the age of 8. However, in older ODD children, 75% will still fulfill the diagnostic criteria later in life.

The ODD may turn into something else. 5-10 % of preschoolers with ODD have their diagnosis changed from ODD to ADHD.

In some children, the defiant behavior gets worse and these children eventually are diagnosed with Conduct Disorder. This progression usually happens fairly early. If a child has ODD for 3-4 years and he hasn't developed Conduct Disorder, then he won't ever develop it.

The child may continue to have ODD without any thing else. This is unusual. By the time preschoolers with ODD are 8 years old, only 5% have ODD and nothing else.

The child develops other disorders in addition to ODD. This is very common.


Medical Intervention

There have been some recent studies that have examined the effects of certain medications on Oppositional Defiant Disorder. All the research is preliminary and just suggests that certain treatments may help.

One study examined the use of Ritalin to treat children with both ADHD and ODD. This study found that 90% of the children treated with Ritalin no longer had the ODD by the end of the study.

The researchers skewed the results a bit. A number of children were dropped from the study because they wouldn't comply with the treatment regimen. Still, if these children are included as treatment failures the study still showed a 75% success rate.

Two separate research studies explored the use of Strattera in children with both ODD and ADHD. One study showed that Strattera helped with ODD, one study showed it did not help.

There was a large Canadian study that showed that Risperdal helped with aggressive behavior in children with below normal intelligence. It did not matter if the child had ADHD or not.

There was study showing that 80% of children with explosive behavior improved when given the mood stabilizer, divalproex.

Another pilot study looked into the effects of giving Oppositional Defiant Disorder children Vitamin E and Omega-3 fatty acids. Both helped the ODD behavior to some degree.

Psychological Intervention

Parent management training is still viewed as the main treatment for Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Our program, How to Improve Your Child's Behavior which is available online, or some other parent training program is still considered essential if you want to help your child. Also, the younger your child is when you enroll in such a program, the better the results.

Conclusion: Advice to Parents

Currently, there is still far too little research on this very common disorder.

Medically, the most important consideration is to treat other disorders that come along with ODD. Considering that Ritalin may help alleviate the problem in 75-90% of ODD children who have ADHD, and considering that most children with ODD also have some degree of ADHD, I feel that it is very worth your while to try your ODD child on Ritalin unless you know for sure that he does not have ADHD. Depending upon your child's nature, the other treatments could be worth trying.

I feel that using Omega-3 supplements and a vitamin E supplement should be tried in all children. The reason is that most children have deficiencies in these nutrients. Even if it does not help with the ODD, it should make your child healthier.

Parent training is still the most effective means of dealing with Oppositional Defiant Disorder. The two main drawbacks of most of these programs are the expense and the availability.

Some practitioners charge $100 or more per visit and considering the program will take several months costs add up. Insurance usually will not pay for such programs. Many parents complain to me that they can not afford the program that their child so desperately needs.

In addition, these programs are not available everywhere. Over the years, numerous parents have told me that where they live there are no programs for Oppositional Defiant Children.

I created How to Improve Your Child's Behavior to address these two problems. It allows parents to help their children regardless of where they live and at a cost that is less than one office visit.

Even though it was an experiment to try to administer such a program online and to date no one else is doing this, over the past two years How to Improve Your Child's Behavior has proven time and again to help parents gain control of their defiant children.

It is tough to live with children who have ODD. However, if you make sure that your child has his other problems addressed and you improve your parenting skills by enrolling in a parent training program, you can do a great deal to improve your child's condition and his future.

Anthony Kane, MD ADD ADHD Advances

Anthony Kane, MD has been helping parents of ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder children online since 2003. Get help for your Oppositional Defiant Disorder child. Go to to learn about How to Improve Your Child's Behavior. Get help with defiant teens and ADHD treatment and ADHD information at

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Schizophrenia Naturally

Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabling brain disease. Approximately one percent of the population develops schizophrenia during their lifetime - more than two million Americans suffer from the illness in any given year. Although schizophrenia affects men and women with equal frequency, the disorder often appears earlier in men, usually in the late teens or early twenties; women are generally affected in the twenties to early thirties. People with schizophrenia often suffer terrifying symptoms such as hearing internal voices not heard by others, or believing that other people are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts, or plotting to harm them. These symptoms may leave them fearful and withdrawn. Their speech and behaviour can be disorganised and strange to the extent that they may be incomprehensible or frightening to others.

How is Schizophrenia Diagnosed?

There is currently no physical or lab test that can conclusively diagnose schizophrenia - a psychiatrist usually makes the diagnosis based on clinical symptoms. Physical testing can rule out many other conditions (seizure disorders, metabolic disorders, thyroid dysfunction, brain tumour, the effects of street drug use, and so on) that sometimes have similar symptoms.

What causes Schizophrenia?

Although the exact cause of schizophrenia remains unknown, experts agree that schizophrenia develops as a result of interplay between biological predisposition (for example, inheriting certain genes) and environmental factors. These lines of research are beginning to converge: brain development disruption is likely the result of genetic and/or environmental stressors early in development (during pregnancy or early childhood), leading to subtle alterations in the brain. Environmental factors later in development can either damage the brain further and further increase the risk of schizophrenia, or lessen the expression of genetic or neurodevelopment defects, thus decreasing the risk of schizophrenia.

Treatment for schizophrenia

The American Psychiatric Association publication 'Guidelines for the Treatment of Patients with Schizophrenia' states: "Antipsychotic medications are indicated for nearly all acute psychotic episodes in patients with schizophrenia."

There is also a significant overlap in terms of the medications for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (Manic Depression).

There are two main classifications of medications (from a layman's perspective); the traditional antipsychotic medications (Haldol, etc.), and the newer, 'atypical' antipsychotic medications that have come out in the past decade (Clozapine, Geodon, Seroquel, Risperdal, Zyprexa, Abilify, etc.). It is recommended that sufferers or their carers speak to online support groups to get in touch with others, and to hear about their personal successes and problems with the different medications. It is also a good idea to read as much as possible regarding the medications available, and talk with a psychiatrist, to identify the medications that may be appropriate. It should be kept in mind that whilst both the older and newer medications can greatly help a person with schizophrenia, they all have significant side effects that vary according to the individual. No medication available, unfortunately, constitutes an actual cure for schizophrenia.

A natural treatment for schizophrenia?

While the conclusions drawn range from the positive to the negative, research does suggest that people with schizophrenia may benefit by a reduction in symptoms when they take fish oil capsules that are high in the EPA (a type of Omega-3 fatty acid) form of oil. It is important to be careful about the type of fish oil you are using, as not all fish oils are effective. Researchers at the University of Sheffield tell us: "What people really need to be looking at is the amount of EPA in the fish oil they are buying. Our data from previous studies suggests that DHA is of little use in the treatment of schizophrenia, but EPA is the substance that yields the best results. Dosage wise it is suggested that about 2,000 mg/day to 4,000 mg/day (2 to 4 grams/day) should help."

A research review article from 2005 in the journal Drugs states: "The evidence to date supports the adjunctive use [i.e. in addition to antipsychotic medications] of omega-3 fatty acids in the management of treatment unresponsive depression and schizophrenia. As these conditions are associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease and diabetes mellitus, omega-3 fatty acids should also benefit the physical state of these patients." (Drugs, 2005; 65(8):1051-9).

Fish fats, and the oils extracted from them, contain two biologically-active omega 3 fatty acids, DHA, EPA. There are good theoretical reasons why both might be important in the brain. However, with regard to schizophrenia, evidence is accumulating that it is the EPA which is really helpful, whereas DHA may not be beneficial in this context.

The strongest evidence comes from a study at Sheffield University by Dr Malcolm Peet and his colleagues. They did a study in patients with chronic, partially treatment-resistant schizophrenia. These patients continued on their existing medications. They were then randomised on a double-blind basis to receive either a placebo, or high EPA fish oil from sardines or anchovies, or high DHA fish oil from tuna. In other words, all the treatments were coded so that neither the patients nor the doctors knew which patient was receiving which treatment until the trial had been completed and the code broken. When the code was broken, the results were very clear. The placebo patients, as is usual in such experiments, showed a small improvement. The DHA patients also showed a small improvement, but in fact a lesser one than was evident in the placebo group, raising the possibility that DHA may not be helpful. In contrast, the patients on EPA showed a significant improvement which was comparable to that seen with the newer antipsychotic drugs, yet without the side effects.

Other studies have also shown that the same EPA rich oil as was used in the Sheffield study is very helpful in improving symptoms even in those who have a shorter history of schizophrenia. It therefore seems that the best fish oils to use are those which are high in EPA.

These findings have been fully embraced by the Schizophrenia Association of Great Britain, which recommends EPA fish oil along with other nutritional supplements on a daily basis to help treat this condition.


The current evidence points towards this natural essential fatty acid being beneficial for schizophrenia especially when run alongside current antipsychotic medication.

Any good doctor or nutritionist will tell you that the best way to get any nutrient is to eat a very balanced diet. In the case of Omega 3 oil this would be in the form of fish. Sadly due to the pollution levels found in our oceans today eating large portions of fish every day is not advisable.

Therefore anyone with schizophrenia who wants to supplement their diet with omega 3 oil must purchase fish oil capsules that are high in EPA. Make sure at point of purchase that the capsules are free of toxins and contaminates and that they also have a high EPA to DHA ratio, as these types of capsules were found to be more effective by some leading doctors in the UK.

Copyright 2005 David McEvoy

The author Dave McEvoy has CFS and bipolar disorder with a history of schizophrenia in his family. Dave also runs a high quality supplement site

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Value of a Relationship Approach to Autism

In aiding children with developmental challenges, we must first realize that this requires a team effort and a strengths based approach. It is necessary to not focus on what the child cannot do but look at what the child can accomplish and build upon this. Parents can enlist the support of professionals but must realize that it is they who are the most important persons in the child's life and that furthering the development of their child is not just the work of professionals but is a collaborative effort from everyone involved with the child. It is necessary that for any interventions to truly be effective and helpful, that they must be consistent and constant. The interventions must be the same throughout all domains that the child is present in.

It is crucial for us to understand the environmental responses that children have, whether they have developmental concerns or even if they do not. If a teacher, parent, or other person has a hostile tone, a poor demeanor, a loud voice, etc. All of these things can be overwhelming to the child and can provoke a behavioral response. All behavior is purposeful and should be looked upon as so, even negative behaviors. Behaviors are a way of the child speaking to us about a distressing situation or an apparent need or desire when they may not be able to convey this to us verbally. Light, sound, and other sensory stimuli can also produce distress for a child. We need to create awareness of what in the environment may serve as triggers to distress and seek to modify the environment to make it a more comfortable and safe place for the child. We must also be cautious in how we view children. If we look at a child displaying negative behavior as a 'monster' or feel that because a child may be rambunctious at times that we must automatically resort to medicating them, then we have taken a negativistic attitude that will surely be passed on to the child. Children are keenly aware, even those with communication struggles, of adult's perceptions of them. We should look at our children through the eyes of delight and address behavioral difficulties not in terms of how we can subdue, but rather how we can meet needs and resolve conflict and remove distress.

The floor time model is of particular usefulness in working with children with communication and social struggles. For those children who are non-verbal, we can begin to introduce hand signals, moving to use of pictures, and then gradually encouraging the child to make use of words or phrases to indicate desires. It is not important initially whether the verbalizations are correct but rather that a verbal attempt was made. When a child displays such a behavior as spinning objects, in the floor time model, we would not be aversive, but rather gently introduce a new toy or object and seek to divert the child to a more productive activity. In situations of echolalia, we can say such things as 'that's TV talk', and provide means to divert this to a different means of conversing. It is important to provide the child with understandable signals and meaningful statements and phrases when we are desiring them to behave in a different way.

In order for children with developmental concerns to be able to integrate more into the social sphere, it is necessary that they not be isolated into situations where they are labeled and shuffled away from typical peers. Rather, they should be included as much as possible with typical peers. They may need additional support and accommodations, but how will they begin to learn important skills unless they have frequent and continuous exposure to the world around them. I have developed the use of what I term 'real life rehearsals', where we may set up a particular social scenario for a child. It may be such a thing as being able to make a purchase at the grocery store. The therapist and parents guide and coach the child ahead of time in how to go about such an activity and then have them actually demonstrate it. Social stories and comic strip conversations are very useful in conveying information as these children tend to be visual learners. Social stories can be simply made booklets that the child helps to create where a particular task or scenario is outlined with what behaviors are expected. The comic strip conversation is helpful in building empathic skills as well as reflective thinking as we ask the child to develop captions for what different individuals may state and think in various situations.

Lastly, I think it is crucial, though it may appear controversial to some, to state that children with developmental concerns can and will be benefited from a psycho-social and relationship based approach alone. Some have decided to resort to medications, and I am placing no blame or condemnation on those who have made this decision, however making a suggestion that there are alternatives and informing of these alternatives as well as the hazards of psychotropic medication usage. First, I will not argue that medications can 'work' in the sense of subduing behavior. However, strapping a child to a chair would also work in regards to subduing behavior. This would be aversive and quite possible illegal. I see little difference between such an approach and that of using psychiatric medication. The difference is that one is a physical restraint, the other a chemical restraint. When we say that something 'works', often we are not looking at the mechanism by which it works. Dr. Peter R. Breggin, MD compared the use of anti psychotic medications in children to 'chemical lobotomy' as it blunts the functions of the frontal lobes. The risk of tardive dyskinesia, a permanent disfiguring neurological impairment exists with these drugs. In addition, such drugs as Risperdal are prescribed off label and are not indicated for anyone below the age of 18 but continue to be prescribed.

It may require more diligence, effort, and patience, but I remain convinced after working with over 40 children with developmental challenges, that relationship based approaches, rather than chemical restraint, prove to be a true means to teach our children skills, to focus on their strengths, to build on their development, and to help address challenging behaviors and to address the real source of conflict and distress rather than just blunting it.

Dr. Dan L. Edmunds is a noted therapist and advocate of relationship based approaches for children with autism/developmental differences. His website can be found at

Friday, June 27, 2008

Child's Play - Treating The Insanity of the Mental Health System

In today's mental health system there is a pattern of fraud and coercion that takes way the freedoms and dignity of children and their families. Children are receiving stigmatizing labels and being prescribed psychotropic drugs with many untoward effects. Psychiatrist Thomas Szasz, MD made the comment that if an individual hit us with a blackjack and robbed us of our dignity we would call them thugs, yet psychiatrists label and drug children and rob them of their dignity and nothing is said. All in the name of profit. Rarely, if never are the families given informed consent. Szasz has also stated, "From a sociological point of view, psychiatry is a secular institution to regulate domestic relations. From my point of view, it is child abuse." Families are provided with literature that appears so matter of fact but is funded by the pharmaceutical companies and tainted with their bias. According to the Poughkeepsie Journal, the 'support' or should it be said front group for Children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder received substantial funds from the pharmaceutical companies: "CHADD received $315,000 from drug companies in the year ending June 2000, about 12 percent of its budget."

Children are being beaten, improperly restrained, physically and sexually abused, and emotionally scarred in residential treatment programs. Juvenile probation officials are failing to understand the emotional distress of our children, they are submitting to this "psychiatric Gestapo". Educators rather than finding new methods of shaping our children's learning are falling into the trap of psychiatric 'solutions' as well. Never could it be that a school has simply failed to help a child learn, rather it is always the child denigrated and labeled as 'disordered'. There are loving and concerned parents, and there are others who lack love and compassion towards their children. There are loving and concerned parents who become duped by the 'professionals'. Below are some actual stories of experiences in my work as a therapist with children as well as one story submitted to me by a concerned and struggling parent. I share them to give some perspective as to what is occurring.

I share this scenario because sadly it is becoming a frightening reality: A child is considered overly active and has behavioral issues at school. The school staff may recommend psychiatric intervention and even go as far as to say that medication is necessary, even designating which one. The child sees the psychiatrist for a brief session- it is never examined if the child has any physical conditions, allergies, etc. Immediately the child is labeled and given a dose of psychostimulant. The child develops side effects such as weight loss, insomnia, and possible tics. In order to counteract the insomnia, a new drug such as Klonidine is added. The child develops emotional lability and has crying episodes and manic behaviors. The psychiatrist is seen again for a brief time, and on this visit its determined that 'bipolar is emerging'. The child is then given Depakote or some other mood stablizer. The child now must receive regular blood tests to insure that liver toxicity does not arise. The child is not overly active, he is quite docile, so it is reported that improvement has occurred. However, with the combination of drugs, he develops some psychotic like symptoms where he feels something is crawling on him and has some hallucinations. The psychiatrist is consulted again, and its determined that bipolar with psychotic features exists or maybe even the possibility of childhood schizophrenia. The child is then given Risperdal or another neuroleptic. Strangely, the child begins developing unusual jaw movements and muscle rigidity. The parents are concerned and ask the psychiatrist if this is medication related and if the child is overmedicated. The psychiatrist brushes off the question and prescribes Cogentin (used for Parkinson's) to alleviate the neurological problems but fails to remove the offending agent. The child's behavior becomes more unusual and bizarre leading to hospitalization where medications are raised and adjusted and new ones added. Then the recommendation comes from the psychiatrist that it would be better for the child to be moved to a residential treatment facility. While in the residential facility, the child is frequently restrained and is injured, he is placed with other children with serious emotional and behaviorla distress. he is discharged home having absorbed alot of new negative behaviors from peers, lacking knowledge of the outside world, and with few skills. So, once the child nears adulthood, it is recommended that he live in a group home where he can be cared for and the psychiatric regiment can be maintained. The child has been 'treated.'

Names have been changed to preserve confidentiality:

I worked with a teen who had experienced sexual trauma by a relative. The relative was arrested and sentenced. The teen was asked to attend the setencing hearing and prior began acting out at school. She had an incident where she left the classroom to de-escalate after an argument with a teacher. She was restrained by a rather obese school staff. The teen explained to me that sher was frustrated with the school because a number of boys were exposing themselves to her and knew about her sexual trauma and that school staff did not respond. She was charged with disorderly conduct and had to appear before a juvenile judge. The judge was made aware of her sexual trauma and her need to be at the sentencing hearing. He locked her in juvenile detention for 10 days and said, 'we will transport her from detention to the hearing." The teen ahd no previous juvenile arrests. In this situation, Attorney Jana Markus was also became involved and after consulting with the District Attorney's office was able to secure her release and to encourage that she be recommended for homebound education. The school district has agreed not without some contention, particularly trying to continue to charge the teen with truancy for the time between her leaving the school and obtaining the recommendation of homebound education.

I received a call from a mother who had a very young child who was displaying some aggressive behaviors which caused the day care to have the child removed until therapeutic services could be provided. The mother took the child to one agency and was told, "you better medicate this child before he tries to kill someone." The mother was appalled. I later spoke to this mother by phone and explained my therapeutic approach. She told me her situation and the response she had received. As I spoke with her at length, she said, "You really care about children." I appreciated this comment but at the same time was saddened as I thought, shouldn't this be said about every person in the mental health profession? What has gone wrong?

A client who is a physician and his wife related that they sought assistance with their child diagnosed with autism and wanted assistance in aiding him with communication skills. They saw a psychiatrist who visited with them fr less than 10 minutes and began writing a script for antipsychotic medication. When the parents noted that they were not there for medications, the psychiatrist became belligerent and asked, 'then what do you want and why are you here?"

A staff of a agency working with mentally challenged adults related to me that the supervisors insisted that a client in the residential program was non-verbal and unable to communicate. This client was left frequently to sit and watch television for hours and privided with no real attention or work on skills development. The staff stated that she sought to engage the client in dialogue and found that he was far from non-verbal and after some work was able to write his name and other words.

In visiting an agency working with mentally challenged youth, I discovered that many of these youth's needs were completely ignored. I recall two incidents of seeing a young girl seated in a chair, the staff gave her paper and markers, and she would sit in the same chair for hours. Every visit she would be seated in the same spout with no one providing attention. Staff would walk past her and she would try to reach for them or hug them. I always made sure to stop and hug her and comment on her drawings. In addition, a young boy would pace incessantly around the building, once again being provided no attention, and no real work being done to aid this child in skill development.

I was presented with a child who was having some serious behavioral issues at school. I began to examine the situation and my assessment was that this child was in conflict with his teacher and this was the only cause for the behavioral issues. This child had been previously placed on Ritalin which was actually cpurt ordered. The child had a very adverse reaction and fortunatelt was removed. As I have mentioned about the fraud of ADHD, this child I was convinced had no brain disorder as the biological psychiatrists would like us to think. This child was actually quite bright and was on the borderline for qualifying for MENSA. I began to look at the dynamics at school, as it was only here that he posed a problem. I learned as well that this child was witness to abuse and trauma. So, as I thought further I saw that the teacher was only aggravating this by his actions. The teacher showed hostility to this child and made him a target, even writing in a journal that the child was 'fat and ignorant." Was it any wonder that the child exhibited behavioral issues in a classroom where he was treated with no dignity? As I suspected, this child was moved to a different school environment where he excelled. The "ADHD" symptoms all disappeared, so much for theories about a brain disorder.

I received a call from a mother who explained to me that her child was in a residential facility and only recently was determined to have a diagnosis of Pervasive Developmental Disorder after years of being labeled with 20 assorted diagnoses. She was given Risperdal as well as Ritalin. The mother reported that the child has tardive dyskinesia and was experiencing tremors. The response was to eliminate Risperdal and replace it with a different neuroleptic. This child is now permanently disfigured, and will probably never fully recover from the damage done in the name of 'help'.

I was doing an observation of one of my clients in a school setting when I took note of another child who began a conversation with me and in the process was showing facial grimaces and constant repetitive blinking. I pulled the teacher aside and asked her to examine the child for a minute and tell me if she witnessed anything out of the ordinary. "Well, he keeps making faces and twitching." I asked her, "Why may that be?" "Well, um, I do not know!". I asked her to see what medication the child was taking and if it might be a 'blue pill'. She asked the child and indeed he was taking Adderall, the cause of all his grimaces and contortion. What a price to pay to get a child to 'function' in class!

I was presented with a child who the teacher insisted was ADHD. The school guidance counselor was called in and told the mother, "without a doubt, he is ADHD and could benefit from Ritalin. It helps with academic improvement." I asked the school guidance counselor if he had actually met the child or was going on reports. "No, I have yet to meet him." I then asked him if he could name a study that proved that academic performance could be enhanced and how he was so sure of the ADHD diagnosis." He responded that he knew of no such study and that such diagnosis was based on teacher reports. Where is the science in that? I explained further that studies have actuallt shown that short term improvement in rote learning does occur, but that no long term improvement has ever been shown. The family sought a second opinion from a different psychologist who stated he saw nothing and sent the boy on his way. In this situation, I saw that the child was bright and that he learned in a way that the teacher just plainly was not providing. This idea was reinforced when the following year with a different teacher his academic performance dramatically increased with no intervention.

I worked with a delightful 5 year old child. Prior to him being referred to me, he had been on Risperdal. He had convulsions in the classroom and was taken to the emergency room. I happened to read the hospital report and it was deemed that these convulsions were a direct effect of the Risperdal. The mother was unfortunately an unconcerned parent, and there were frequent calls made to Child protective Services regarding abuse by herself and her paramour. I found it immensely difficult to work in the home with this mother, and after seeing the child with brusing, I too called the Child Protective Services but each time they found the cases unfounded. I would take the child into the community for my sessions. The mother had described him as a 'little brat', a 'monster', and a kid 'who didnt deserve sh-t'. She described all these negative behaviors in the home and yet I never saw one of them in his time with me. Occassionally he would have some difficulty in the classroom, but with some guidance and redirection, problems were always averted. It broke my heart to see that within 5 minutes of me dropping him off at home he would be in tears. The mother requested me to leave this case, and I reluctantly agreed and transferred it to a colleague and friend. My colleague informed me that the paramour was caught sexually abusing the child, and the child was taken to foster care. I feel that foster care should certainly be a last option, but here it was a blessing. I recommended that at least one member of the therapeutic staff he was familiar with continue to work with him in the new setting and I offered to go and visit him to help with his adjustment. Though it will take some time for him to adjust, I think it will be a fresh new start, as he is in a place where maybe for once he will receive love and compassion.

I was presented with a very difficult child who had received multiple psychiatric diagnoses and who had been in residential mental health treatment for the majority of his life. This child had been heavily medicated and was exhibiting slurred speech, poor motor coordination, inner feelings of agitation, and unusual jaw motions and tics. The family was told of the possibility of tardive dyskinesia. This also became a concern of a psychologist who observed him. Unfortunately, the parents stated they were never given informed consent about potential side effects and had never heard of the term 'tardive dyskinesia'. This neurological problem is a significant problem affecting individuals taking neuroleptic medications.

It is challenging to speak the truth in a corrupt system motivated frequently by greed. I have heard that "if you challenge psychiatry, the doctors will not refer to us anymore'. Or, as just as is done with patients, if you see a behavior or idea that you disagree with, label them and suppress them. Among the labels are "weird ideas", "non-mainstream", "un-orthodox", 'radical", or "Scientologist." The Church of Scientology has been active in tackling psychiatric abuse, so it is assumed that anyone who would dare speak out must be affiliated with the Church of Scientology. It is very easy to try to look at the problem as a "Scientology issue' rather than for what it is. For me, it would not matter if Hasidic Jews, Muslims, or any other group were speaking out on the corrupt mental health system. The issue should be whether there is validity to what is being said and there most certainly is.

Many are unwilling to take any stand or confront anything because it is more to their advantage to sit behind a desk, make money, and pretend they are helping.

First, we must stop looking through the eyes of a medical model, where we see children as broken and disordered and attempts are made to attributing their behaviors and emotions solely to a malfunctioning brain. There is no evidence supporting the psychopathology of a number of disorders. The linkage between the pharmaceutical companies and psychiatry needs to be evaluated as well as the information that is disseminated via the research and materials provided by pharmaceutical company money. The goal should be to examine the underlying factors of a child's behavior, looking at the child with dignity and respect, and seeing the child as one in conflict rather than a person who is disordered. Such stigmatization remains indefinitely, and labels can often become a self fulfilling prophecy and will follow our children for years to come and shape the way that they view themselves and also the way others view them, particularly the educational system. We cannot look to solely the most cost effective solution when our children's lives are at stake. Indeed, providing a prescription may control aspects of behavior and be though to have a 'therapeutic effect' but never gets to the root cause, and whereas it is far less expensive to medicate than to provide ongoing psychotherapy, it is appropriate and compassionate counsel that will make the difference. Second, the realm of psychotherapy must return to its orginal roots. The word psychotherapy literally means the healing of the soul. We must return the soul to therapy, encouraging therapists to instill within themselves the principles of compassion and empathy that are crucial for any therapeutic relationship to blossom forth. Therapists need to be compassionate and creative, and willing to give additional time and effort to see that a child's needs are met and to also provide community linkages and ongoing support within their environment and to encourage the least restrictive setting for our children. The coercion of parents and families into forced 'treatments' needs to be eliminated. Third, the educational system must be willing to accomodate to meet the various learning styles of children and not seek to place them in a box of rote learning or limit them to one particulat style. Some children may falter in a visual setting and need a hands on approach, whereas others may need other methods of encouraging their effective learning. We must return time, attention, and individuality to the classroom. Fourth, parents need to continue to take an active role in the lives of their children, providing ongoing guidance, validating emotions and not taking a dismissive, disapproving, or hands off approach. Rather, parents must be involved in helping the children develop their own sense of being, and being able to assess themselves. Parents need to avoid nagging their children and becoming entrapped in the propaganda that their children are disordered and need drugs to function. Fifth, our society must change in it attitudes. We are a society where we try to find our answers to ailments within a simple pill. We are a society that has unfortunately lost sight for the welfare of our children. We are a societry where we are prosperous, yet greed often blinds us. Such disorders such as ADHD can be looked upon as a social construct. 90% of Ritalin sales are in the US. This tells us that there is something to be examined within our society that needs correction. Somewhere along the line we have failed our children. We need to rely less on psychiatry and its devices to solve our problems and more on what we can do within ourselves- to take a holistic approach, to understand the child as a whole person- physical, emotional, and spiritual, and to examine in each of these areas where there may be difficulties that can be alleviated. We need to rely less on others dictating the course of our own and our children's lives and develop workable plan within our own family structure. Nothing will ever be perfect, but even in the most serious disturbances, love and compassion can heal much. We must realize that in some situations within society and within our own lives, we may never be able to evoke complete change. This is the cause of much distress, not problems themselves but how we respond to them. To battle those things beyond our control can lead us to emotional distress, but if we seek live as principled individuals, we can make a difference.

Dr. Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D. is a noted counselor, scholar, theologian, and lecturer. Edmunds has been a vocal critic of bio-psychiatry and an advocate for a more humane and dignified mental health system.Edmunds' website can be found at http://www.danedmunds.comYou can listen to Dr. Edmunds' on the nationally syndicated radio program "Take America Back" at

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Conquering Restless Legs: Victory Over Defeat

Do your legs have the heebie-jeebies and creepy-crawlies, especially at night? Do you just have to move them? Do these symptoms play heck with your sleep? Then you just might have restless legs syndrome (RLS), a condition for which treatment is available.

While I was still in training to become a neurologist, I got excited when I made a diagnosis of Ekbom's syndrome, as RLS was then known. In those days, the condition seemed rare and exotic, something a doctor almost never encountered.

Nowadays, in my community practice of neurology, I see cases of RLS almost every day. So where were all these people 25 years ago? Unless the disease has suddenly started propagating like mad, one has to conclude that previously the patients weren't talking, the doctors weren't listening-or both.

Estimates of the prevalence of this condition vary widely, but in a large study conducted in five European countries, 5.5% of the population over the age of 14 had this condition. RLS occurs in both genders, but is slightly more frequent in women. RLS occurs at any age-including in childhood-but becomes more common with advancing years.

Although there is now much more awareness of restless legs syndrome among doctors and patients alike, it is still often underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed. For example, a child's symptoms might get misdiagnosed as due to growing pains or attention deficit disorder, and an adult's symptoms might get interpreted as due to nerve damage or poor circulation.

What are the usual symptoms? In 1995 an international conference of experts agreed upon the following four features:

#1. There is a desire to move the legs in association with unusual or uncomfortable sensations deep within the legs;

#2. There are overt restless movements in a response to or in an effort to relieve the unusual sensations or discomfort;

#3. Symptoms are worse or exclusively present at rest (inactivity or relaxation) and might be temporarily improved by voluntary movements of the affected limbs; and

#4. Symptoms occur most frequently during the evening or early part of the night.

In addition, most people who have restless legs syndrome also have "periodic leg movements of sleep" or PLMS, previously abbreviated as PMS, but this was, uh, confusing. PLMS refers to abrupt, brief leg movements, generally affecting both legs, and which occur repeatedly during the first several hours of sleep.

The person with PLMS might know only that their bedclothes are a mess the next morning. However, the spouse or other sleeping partner might experience disruption of their own sleep by the movements. Sometimes they relocate to another bed because of them.

The usual course of RLS is that the condition is present for life, and can worsen over time. RLS and PLMS are among those conditions described as due to a "chemical imbalance" in the brain. The abnormality does not show up on MRI scans, CT scans, electroencephalograms (EEGs), spinal taps or blood tests.

Although no cure yet exists, treatment can reduce symptoms and improve function. While medications are the mainstay of treatment, many patients find that physical maneuvers improve their symptoms, like rubbing their legs or periodically getting up and walking around.

Choice of medication depends on what else is going on with the patient. In some cases the RLS is due to another condition in need of its own treatment, like iron deficiency, anemia, diabetes, nerve damage or advanced kidney disease. Pregnancy can also induce RLS, though in this situation the symptoms usually resolve after the woman delivers.

The most common form of RLS occurs without evidence of a second, underlying condition, except for a possible genetic link to relatives with RLS. In these patients drugs that boost dopamine-one of the brain's chemical transmitters-are the first choice. These are the same drugs used in Parkinson's disease, another condition in which dopamine is in short supply. However, for the most part, the two diseases are otherwise unrelated.

Dopamine-blocking drugs-comprising most of the anti-nausea and anti-psychotic medications-can have the unintended consequence of worsening symptoms. For example, in the author's practice, a young woman with RLS went to an emergency room because of a migraine attack. She received an intravenous dose of the dopamine-blocker promethazine (brand name Phenergan) and this made her legs acutely restless and uncomfortable. In another case, an elderly woman with memory loss and agitation received risperidone (Risperdal) and this caused RLS symptoms that had not been present previously.

Certain drugs that also serve as anticonvulsants, like gabapentin (Neurontin) and clonazepam (Klonopin), can help. Painkillers also work, and probably do so by interacting with a specific set of painkiller receptors in the brain, rather than just dulling symptoms. However, because treatment is generally needed over a long period of time, painkillers are not the usual treatments of first choice.

This essay only brushes the surface of this fascinating condition. To learn more, visit the website of the aptly named We Move organization.

(C) 2005 by Gary Cordingley

Gary Cordingley, MD, PhD, is a clinical neurologist, teacher and researcher. For more health-related articles see his website at:

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Drug Rehab May Be the Only Way Out for America's Future Generations

Organized psychiatry and major pharmaceutical companies, with the help and blessing of the Bush administration, are busy turning America's future generations into drug-addicts with shattered self-images and life-long labels as mentally defective. If they can survive the common psychiatric drug side-effects of suicide, some may live long enough to recover their lives through drug detox and drug rehab programs.

The criminal assault on children in the name of profit began in earnest when the psychiatric-pharmaceutical lobbies pushed the Bush government into recommending the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health (NFC) in 2003, which, among a host of changes to the mental health system, adopted universal mental illness screening and prescribing of psych drugs where allegedly needed for all Americans from the age of zero up to the oldest living citizen. This just adds to the problem of 22 million Americans already needing drug rehab.

The most controversial recommendation is screening school children in all 50 states under the TeenScreen program, and the adoption in many states of programs like the Texas Medication Algorithm Project (TMAP), a treatment plan that orders the use of new, expensive and mostly untested psychiatric drugs on all kids "diagnosed" with mental disorders - but only on kids who's families are covered by public health care programs such as Medicaid. In other words, if they can pay, they gotta play. It's doubtful Medicaid will cover the drug rehab they need later.

The result has been massive, forced and wholesale drugging of millions of children across the country with addictive and dangerous drugs, all but one of which have never received FDA approvals for use on children. Only one - Prozac - has ever scraped through an FDA approval for kids, but it's been associated with destructive behavior since the 1980s. This cannot help but mean that millions of young people actually require drug rehab to achieve a normal life. But the label of mental illness cannot be erased - it will stick forever.

TeenScreen is not free, either. It's costing tax payers a big bundle. On November 17, 2004, the University of South Florida announced the receipt of a grant of $98,641 from the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to expand the TeenScreen program in the Tampa Bay area. Florida Medicaid is also being hijacked. The St. Petersburg Times reported earlier this year that, in the last 7 years, the cost to taxpayers for psych drugs prescribed to kids soared nearly 500%, and cost Medicaid $1,800 per child in 2006. Of course, the program isn't paying for all the drug detox and drug rehab programs for those who wake up and try to escape the psych-drug collar and leash.

Drug detox for a whole rainbow of drugs?

It's well documented that both TMAP and TeenScreen have been heavily funded by the pharmaceutical industry. And the list of drugs being pushed on kids are enough to give a drug detox or drug rehab counselor a migraine. Kids are being force-fed new generations of SSRI antidepressant drugs including Prozac and Cymbalta by Eli Lilly; Paxil marketed by GlaxoSmithKline; Zoloft by Pfizer; Celexa and Lexapro from Forest Laboratories; Effexor by Wyeth, as well as generic versions sold by Barr Pharmaceuticals, Ranbaxy Labs and Genpharm. New atypical antipsychotics include Zyprexa by Eli Lilly; Risperdal marketed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subdivision of Johnson & Johnson; Abilify by Bristol-Myers Squibb; Clozaril sold by Novartis, and Geodon by Pfizer.

Dr Fred Baughman, a recognized authority on psychotropic drugs, says that psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry "married and launched the joint market strategy of calling all emotional and behavioral problems 'brain diseases', due to 'chemical imbalances', needing 'chemical balancers.' He calls the use of the chemical imbalance theory the "biggest health care fraud and mass character assassination" in human history, and says it must be abolished. There is no scientific basis for what is merely a theory, but that doesn't take away from the need for drug detox and often drug rehab after being exposed to these drugs for any length of time.

What's worse, many of the drugs are statistically associated with suicidal behavior in children, and parents are not receiving full disclosure of the risks. If your kids or the kids of a friend are being "TeenScreened" and prescribed psychiatric drugs, call a drug rehab program counselor right away to see if drug detox and rehab are needed.

Rod MacTaggart is a freelance writer who contributes articles on health.

Dissociative Disorder is Often Diagnosed as Bipolar Disorder

The number of children diagnosed with bipolar disorder has risen dramatically. A study of mentally ill children in community hospitals, published recently in the Archives of General Psychiatry, found the proportion of children diagnosed as bipolar shot up from less than 3 percent in 1990 to 15 percent in 2000 and this rate is still climbing.

Before 1995 we believed that bipolar disorder was exceedingly rare in children. Then psychiatrists at the Massachusetts General Hospital published research that showed 16 percent of the children referred to their psychopharmacology clinic fit the diagnosis. That observation suggested that perhaps 1 percent of all children might be affected. Recent studies document a steep increase in prescriptions of antipsychotic drugs to children of all ages and this is probably due to the increasing diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Many psychiatrists question whether the disorder really affects so many children and whether the benefits of the diagnosis outweigh the risks of the drugs in many cases.

One factor in the increased use of the diagnosis is the availability of new, potentially effective drugs, particularly antipsychotic and mood stabilizers. As the bipolar diagnosis gained popularity in recent years, so did prescriptions for powerful antipsychotic drugs such as Risperdal and Zyprexa, which have been approved for use in adults, but are also prescribed for children. A concern is that if you have kids on these medications for long periods of time they may develop major medical problems as adults.

Unfortunately the bipolar diagnosis is being applied to children and adults whose condition arises from serious childhood trauma that results in symptoms very similar to the depression and mood swings of bipolar disorder. Therapists estimate that about one-third of dissociative patients referred to the specialty clinics of the Trauma Recovery Institute and the Intensive Trauma Therapy Inc. center carried a past diagnosis of bipolar disorder. The differentiation between the two diagnoses when rapid mood swings are present is sometimes difficult and sometimes both disorders are present. A major researcher in the field of dissociative disorders, Dr. Paul Dell, has developed reliable evaluation instruments that these specialty clinics use to make this differentiation with confidence. Adults, adolescents, and children with dissociative disorder often report that:

- They have an emotion (e.g., fear, sadness, anger, happiness) that feels like it is not their own.

- They hear the voice of a child in their head.

- They have another personality that sometimes takes over.

- They experience blank spells or blackouts in their memory.

- They feel like they are only partially 'there' (or not really 'there' at all).

- They feel strong impulses to do something - but the impulses don't feel like they belong to them.

- They feel like they are often different from themselves.

- They feel that pieces from their past are missing.

- They feel like some of their behavior isn't really theirs.

- They feel distant and removed from their thoughts and actions.

- They feel that they have multiple personalities.

- They feel that they have another part inside that has different memories, behaviors, and feelings

Sometimes people with bipolar disorder experience some of these symptoms but at a much lower degree than those with dissociative disorder. I recommend that parents of children who demonstrate any dissociative symptoms find a psychiatrist or therapist who will at least consider childhood trauma and therapy for it as a possibility. If the diagnosis of childhood bipolar disorder is made I recommend seeking another opinion before agreeing to medication as treatment.

Children and adults with dissociative disorder can respond rapidly to psychotherapy alone, particularly the so-called exposure therapies that focus on childhood traumas.

Louis W. Tinnin, MD,

Psychiatric Consultant to Intensive Trauma Therapy, Inc.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Effects of Glyconutritional Supplements in Children With Bipolar Disorder

The following is a synopsis of a research study completed with 20 children diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, examining the benefits of glyconutritional supplements:

Bipolar Disorder is diagnosed with increasing frequency in children and adolescents. Approximately 20% of all Bipolar patients experience their first episode during adolescence. Challenges in diagnosis include differentiation from ADD and other child behavioral disorders. The intensity and severity of mood swings and unprovoked behavioral outbursts create undue suffering for both the children and their families.

Treatment includes both medications and therapy. Mood stabilizers and a newer class of medication, atypical antipsychotics, are used with increasing frequency. While meds are more of a last resort clinically, the option becomes higher priority when a youngster's outbursts become a risk to hurt self or others, even accidentally.

Caution with medication is always indicated, due to risk of side effects and the lack of research of many of these medications in children.

The study examined the potential benefits of glyconutritional supplements for a period of 5 months.

The results of this study were promising. Of 15 children who completed the study, 14 exhibited considerable improvement after 20 weeks on glyconutritional supplements. One child exhibited mild improvement on glyconutritional supplements.

Children who experienced side effects from the medications for Bipolar Disorder displayed considerable improvement in their tolerability to medication.

Examples included: near elimination in sedation from Risperdal and elimination of migraines while on Seroquel and Trileptal. One youngster who had been very fatigued from his medication regimen, which included Trileptal, Lexapro, Ambien, Abilify and Seroquel, experienced elimination of daytime fatigue by week 12.

It was also clear to the researchers and study volunteers that the children looked happier, healthier, calmer and more stable as the study progressed.

At the onset of this study, all parents expressed interest in the potential benefits of the supplements, particularly in offsetting side effects; however, all parents were clear that it had take quite along time for their children to become stable on their medications and they wished not to make changes in their medications prematurely. Many of the children had been hospitalized at least once. All families were highly invested in their childrens' well-being and each felt their child's condition was the single largest stressor in the family, including for the child who suffered from the condition.

Our initial study results speak to the need for larger clinical trials over longer periods of time.

Along with use of psychotropic medications in children, augmentation strategies with natural supplements, particularly glyconutritionals, warrant further consideration to improve childrens' overall health, augment mood stabilizing effects of medications and improve tolerability of medications. Longer term studies may determine if medications could be successfully weaned, at least in part, over a longer period of time.


Mary F. Zesiewicz, MD is a Board Certified Clinical Psychiatrist, practicing for the past twenty years. She is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in the fields of Adult Psychiatry as well as Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. Mary is also certified by The American Society of Addiction Medicine.

Mary F. Zesiewicz, MD is the Chief Medical Officer of INTEGRITY HEALTH SOLUTIONS, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the transformation of health care through research, relief and education. She is also the author of the book "Hippocrates MD The Transformation of Healthcare.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Brief Psychotic Disorder Causes Symptoms Information With Treatment

Brief Psychotic Disorder illness usually begins abruptly and disappears within a month. Brief Psychotic Disorder is a psychosis that has a rapid onset, generally following a major stressor. The most Brief Psychotic Disorder symptoms include is delusions, hallucinations, grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior, or disorganized speech. Hallucinations involve experiencing sensations that have no corresponding objective reality. Hallucinations can occur in various forms that parallel the human senses. Visual hallucinations involve the sense of sight, or "seeing things."

Auditory hallucinations generally involve hearing voices, and are the most common of the hallucinations. Delusions are also a classic psychotic feature. These are false beliefs that the person refuses to give up, even in the face of contradictory facts. Delusions are strongly held irrational and unrealistic beliefs that are extremely difficult to change, even when the person is exposed to evidence that contradicts the delusion. Catatonic behavior or catatonia involves both possible extremes related to movement.

Catalepsy is the motionless aspect of catatonia-a person with catalepsy may remain fixed in the same position for hours on end. Rapid or persistently repeated movements, frequent grimacing and strange facial expressions, and unusual gestures are the opposite end of the catatonia phenomenon. Peculiar speech is also seen in some cases of brief psychotic disorder.

Causes of Brief Psychotic Disorder

Common Causes and Risk factors of Brief Psychotic Disorder

Genetic vulnerability to brief psychotic disorder.



Postpartum psychosis.

Cultural factor.

Changes in eating or sleeping habits, energy level, or weight.


Inability to make decisions

Signs and Symptoms of Brief Psychotic Disorder

Sign and Symptoms of Brief Psychotic Disorder



Grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior.

Disorganized speech

Treatment of Brief Psychotic Disorder

Common Treatment of Brief Psychotic Disorder

Group Therapy: These meetings are somewhat like a support group session, allowing patients to share coping strategies. The meetings are run by medical staff.

Individual Therapy: This is a time for you to meet alone with your therapist to discuss ways of dealing with the illness.

Family Meetings: In these sessions, medical staff will prepare you and your family for your return home.

Antipsychotic drugs may be prescribed to decrease or eliminate the symptoms and end the brief psychotic disorder. Conventional antipsychotics include: Thorazine, Prolixin, Haldol, Navane, Stelazine, Trilafon and Mellaril. Newer medications, called atypical antipsychotic drugs, include: Risperdal, Clozaril, Seroquel, Geodon and Zyprexa. Tranquilizers such as Ativan or Valium may be used if the person has a very high level of anxiety (nervousness) and/or problems sleeping

Psychotherapy helps the person identify and cope with the situation or event that triggered the disorder.

Electroconvulsive (e-LEK-tro-kun-VUL-siv) Therapy. It known as ECT or shock therapy, it applies a mild electric current to the brain. Although the treatment temporarily disrupts the memory, full recall typically returns within 2 weeks.

Juliet Cohen writes health articles for health diseases and disorders. She also writes articles on women beauty tips.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Schizoid Personality Disorder - Causes, Symptoms, Information with Treatment

People with schizoid personality disorder are in touch with reality unless they develop schizophrenia. Genetics and environmental factors both come into play of Schizoid Personality Disorder. Some mental health professionals speculate that a bleak childhood where warmth and emotion were absent contributes to the development of the disorder. Environmental factors later in development can either exacerbate or ameliorate expression of genetic or neurodevelopmental defects. The onset and course of schizophrenia are most likely the result of an interaction between genetic and environmental influences. Evidence for neurodevelopmental disruption are starting to converge: neurodevelopmental disruption may be the result of genetic and, or, environmental stressors early in development, leading to subtle alterations in the brain.

Symptoms of Schizoid Personality Disorder is Lacks close relationships other than with immediate relatives, Indifferent to praise or criticism ,Shows emotional coldness, detachment or flattened affect and Exhibits little observable change in mood. People with the disorder rarely seek treatment. Individual therapy that successfully attains a long-term level of trust may be useful in certain cases of schizoid personality disorder by giving patients an outlet to transform their false perceptions of friendships into authentic relationships. Group therapy is another potentially effective form of treatment. Comprehensive treatment, including services existing beyond the formal treatment system, is crucial to ameliorate symptoms, assist recovery, and redress stigma

Causes of Schizoid Personality Disorder

Common Causes and Risk factors of Schizoid Personality Disorder

Genetic factors.

Environmental factors.

Chromosomal or nervous system disorders.

Family history - such as having a parent who has any of the disorders on the schizophrenic spectrum.

Signs and Symptoms of Schizoid Personality Disorder

Sign and Symptoms of Schizoid Personality Disorder

Lacks close friends or confidants other than first-degree relatives

Appears indifferent to the praise or criticism of others.

Shows emotional coldness, detachment, or flattened affectivity

Exhibits little observable change in mood

Difficulty relating to others.

Treatment of Schizoid Personality Disorder

Common Treatment of Schizoid Personality Disorder

Psychotherapy. Cognitive behavior therapy - which focuses on adjusting the thinking and behaviors that cause problems - can help a person with schizoid personality disorder develop social skills and increase sensitivity to interpersonal cues.

Group therapy can be more effective when people with the disorder can interact with others in practicing new interpersonal skills. Group therapy may also offer people with schizoid personality disorder a support structure and increase social motivation.

Self-help programs, family self-help, advocacy and services for housing and vocational assistance complement and supplement the formal treatment system.

Medications-The psychological inability to experience pleasure can be treated with bupropion (Wellbutrin). Risperidone (Risperdal) or olanzapine (Zyprexa) can help with flattened emotions and social problems.

DSM-IV-TR, a widely used manual for diagnosing mental disorders (Schizoid Personality Disorder).

Juliet Cohen writes articles on diseases and conditions and skin disorders. She also writes articles on herbal home remedies.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Tips For Coping With Aggression In Your Autistic Child

One of the common symptoms in children with autism is aggressive behavior. Aggression can occur in many different ways. Physical aggression can be directed toward you, other children, the child him or herself, or even toward inanimate objects. Furthermore, aggression in autistic children isn't limited to physical behaviors but also extends to verbal aggression too.

Whether physical or verbal, aggression in an autistic child can be very upsetting and potentially dangerous. For this reason, autistic children who display aggressive symptoms require more supervision in order to prevent them from injuring others or themselves.

Naturally, parents don't want to simply let this aggression continue and have to deal with it as it occurs. Therefore, efforts are being made on many levels to discover different ways to cope with aggression in autistic children and to decrease or at least curb its incidence.

Often, the first options to reduce aggression suggested by doctors is medication - particularly if the aggressive episodes seem especially hazardous to the child or those around him or her. Keep in mind that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved any medication that specifically treats autism. However, success has been witnessed in using drugs designated for other conditions in order to lessen the aggressive symptoms of autism.

It should be noted, though, that every individual reacts differently to medications, and while some children may respond very well to a certain dose of a drug, others will have a completely different reaction. The process is highly individualized and takes careful observation, measurement, and work with a health care professional in order to avoid any of the potential side effects or interactions.

Recently, it has been the anti-psychotic medications - specifically those which have been approved for schizophrenia treatments - that have produced the most favorable results in autism aggression reduction. For example, a 2002 study called "Risperidone in Children with Autism and Serious Behavioral Problems" (McCracken, J.T, M.D., McGough, J, M.D, et al.), published in the New England Journal of Medicine, examined the impact of Risperdal (Risperidone) on aggression in children with autism. At the end of this 8 week study, 69 percent of the children given Risperdal were said to have either "much improved" or "very much improved", in comparison to only 12 percent within the placebo group.

However, many parents do not wish to medicate - or further medicate - their children with anti-psychotic drugs. These drugs do come with potential negative side effects and can be dangerous if overdosed. Therefore, alternatives are often sought. Working with your child's doctor can be very important in this process. To try to alter behavior, parents should pay very close attention to exactly what is happening before and during an aggressive episode. It is important to try and identify trends that lead to an outburst of aggression.

For example, some parents find that their children will suddenly become upset while having their teeth brushed. There are many activities that go on during tooth brushing and each should be considered when assessing what caused the aggressive reaction. Is it opening the mouth wide? Is it the feeling of bristles against the teeth, gums, cheek, roof of the mouth, or tongue? Has the toothbrush gone in too far and hit the gag reflex? Is saliva pooling near the back of the mouth (causing a drowning sensation)? Is it drooling? Is it the smell, texture, or taste of the toothpaste? Is it the foaming of the toothpaste? Is it the sensation of spitting or swallowing saliva and toothpaste?

Every element needs to be examined and tested to see if the situation can be improved. For example, trying different kinds of toothbrushes with softer bristles, a different shaped head, or different textured bristles, or different flavors of toothpaste or gels. Different brushing techniques should also be tried to avoid various sensations, and saliva levels in the mouth should be carefully monitored.

Similarly, other children react not to a sensory sensitivity, but as a result of feeling upset or frustrated from something that they cannot verbalize. For example, a child who tries to tie his or her shoes but who has not yet developed the skills with which to do so might feel very frustrated and become unable to express the root of the frustration and instead react aggressively. When under stress, speaking clearly can be a huge challenge for autistic children and they often revert to the behaviors of younger children instead of saying what they want.

It should also be considered that if aggression has suddenly developed or worsened, there might be an allergic reaction to foods, environmental conditions, medications or a change in home or school environment. Drugs may have potential side effects including aggression. They may also interact with other drugs being taken by the child. Furthermore, seasonal allergies or food allergies may cause discomforts in an autistic child to which he or she is very sensitive and cannot properly verbalize, leading to aggressive behaviors. It is important to examine all possibilities to root out the problem.

The most important thing to remember once your child has become aggressive is for you and those around you to stay calm and talk quietly.

If appropriate, remove objects that your child could hurt themselves or others with. Ask other people present to leave the room or give your child space, but make sure you or another responsible adult stays. Never leave your child alone.

Should your child be in an appropriate environment try to avoid saying anything as this can be inflammatory and can prolong the aggressive behavior. By staying calm and quiet your child may stop their behavior more quickly.

Of course, it is also possible for a child to be displaying autistic symptoms and traits without truly being autistic at all. It is important to make certain that a misdiagnosis has not occurred by considering alternative mental disorders that can present with the same or similar behaviors.

Grab your free copy of Rachel Evans' brand new Autism Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you and your family find out about coping with autism symptoms and for information on coping with autism aggression please visit The Essential Guide To Autism.

What Is The Schizophrenia Disorder About?

Schizophrenia was ranked the "third most disabling disorder" - mostly because it not only involves hallucinations and delusions, but also leads to depression, confusion, lack of motivation and strained personal relationships. In recent years, the importance of behavior therapy and support nets has been stressed, in addition to the continuous dosage of a schizophrenia drug like Clozapine. Career counseling, housing assistance and education are extremely helpful to a schizophrenic's integration into society.

The symptoms of schizophrenia vary from person to person, depending upon the chemical imbalance of Dopamine, Seratonin and Norepinephrine. One sufferer, Robert Bayley, recounts: "The visions are extremely vivid. Paving stones transform into demonic faces, shattering in front of my petrified eyes.

When I am in contact with people, they can become grotesquely deformed, their skin peeling away to reveal decomposing inner muscles and organs. Buildings and rooms spin and weave and their walls close in as I look on, paralyzed by fear.

The voices either ramble in alien tongues or scream orders to carry out violent acts. They also persecute me by way of unwavering commentary and ridicule to deceive, derange, and force me into a world of crippling paranoia."

The initial schizophrenia drug was Thorazine, but the side effects were daunting. Often patients would develop a gaunt look and the facial muscles would become rigid and legs and arms would sometimes become immovable. While these "neuroleptics" were effective in treating symptoms like severe hallucinations, delusions and psychotic episodes, they affected the nervous system so much that many patients stopped taking the drugs.

Today, atypical anti-psychotic drugs are popular to treat schizophrenia. These drugs include: Clozapine, Zyprexa and Risperdal. The side effects are far less and it is recommended that white blood cells be monitored to ensure optimal health while on these drugs. Clozapine is said to be one of the most effective drugs on the market, though it's not as aggressively marketed because it's not on patent.

Family members sometimes have the hardest time understanding schizophrenia. Parents may feel guilt, denial or anger. Siblings may feel jealousy at the attention their sibling receives, fear or embarrassment.

The schizophrenic will often feel isolated, depressed, fearful and confused. A snide remark or harsh tone can send a schizophrenic into a psychotic episode. Parents also have a tendency to want to do everything for the sufferer, but schizophrenia research suggests that including the schizophrenic in daily chores and gradually increasing the patient's independence are effective treatment methods.

A free audio gift awaits you at our portal site, where you can enrich your knowldege further about schizophrenia. Your comment is much appreciated at our mental illness blog.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Stuttering Medication

Stuttering remains one of the unsolved mysteries in the world of medical science. Many theories have shown different causes and effects for this problem of speech disorder though none of it has been proved thus far. Because of the uncertainty of its causes, appropriate medication has thus far not been discovered by the speCialists. Research is going on in this area to effectively find remedy for the stuttering problem.

In spite of all this, there are a few medicines which are capable of reducing the stutter to a certain extent. But these medicines seem to have different effect on different people and were able to lessen the stutter only by 50%. Because of the uncertain effects of theses medicines on different sets of people much has been left to chance. The stutterers have to take the risk of consuming the medicine to check if it personally works for them.

Dopamine antagonist medicines are known to suppress stuttering. This is because it is observed that the brains of stutterers are found to contain high levels of dopamine. Haldol, Risperdal and Zyprexa are just some of the dopamine antagonist medicines which are known to work on a majority of stutterers. As mentioned above, they have different effects on different people. While for some people, the reduction in stuttering is well noticed for some others it worsens and in some cases it has also shown unpleasant side-effects. Also, stutterers who could be on medication for other problems need to be wary of taking these medicines because when taken with other medicines, these ones could cause severe side-effects on reaction with the other medicines.

On top of having to take so many precautions, stutterers must also be cautious against some other medicines which are known to trigger or worsen stuttering. Prozac and Zoloft are two drugs which are dopamine agonists and hence increase the dopamine level which are reasonable for aggravating stuttering.

Before taking up any medication, stutterers must consult their speech pathologists or therapists and only with their acknowledgement should they consume it. The stutterers must also realize that the medications do not work unless they are taken along with the speech therapy treatment. This means that the intake of just a pill will not cure stuttering and speech exercises are essential to ensure complete recovery from stuttering. And as always a patient mind and a calm persona can always help the stutterer in achieving a speedy recovery.

Click here for more information on Stuttering, Stammering and Stuttering treatment.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Cyclothymia Causes Symptoms Information With Treatment

Some theories posit that the hypomanic episodes have meaning in the context of a person seeking to achieve goals or to avoid depression. Symptoms of cyclothymia include periods of hypomania. Depressive symptoms are also present as the hypomania fades. These symptoms. However, are not meet the criteria for a major depressive episode, in other words, are not as severe as those found in Bipolar Disorder. The hypomanic and depressive episodes of cyclothymia generally don't prevent people with the disorder from engaging in their normal activities at work or school or in social situations. However, the unpredictable nature of cyclothymia, the sudden shift to a hypomanic or depressive period, and behaviors associated with these moods can significantly disrupt your life.

The constant cycling between stable and symptomatic mood states often leads to short-lived or strained relationships, insecure self-identity, job instability, uneven performance in school, a history of ambitious but unfulfilled endeavors, or patterns of risky behaviors in sexual encounters or drug and alcohol use. Treatment for cyclothymia can include a variety of Cognitive and behavioural techniques. Additionally, Mood stabilizers, such as Lithium and anticonvulsants, are often prescribed in low doses to treat cyclothymia.

Causes of Cyclothymia

Common Causes and Risk factors of Cyclothymia

Genetic contribution.

Psychosocial factors.


Alcohol and drugs.


Signs and Symptoms of Cyclothymia

Common Sign and Symptoms of Cyclothymia

Irritability or angry outbursts

Inflated self-esteem or grandiosity

Decreased need for sleep

Nearly constant talking

Racing thoughts

Difficulty concentrating or making decisions

Physical agitation or physical slowing down

Treatment for Cyclothymia

Common Treatment for Cyclothymia

Individuals may prefer no treatment or supportive psychotherapy alone.

Family therapy is often sought to help with the problems in relationships brought on by the disorder.

Additionally, Mood stabilizers, such as Lithium and anticonvulsants , are often prescribed in low doses to treat cyclothymia.

Medications may help some people with cyclothymia to regulate their moods and prevent periods of hypomania and depression.

Anticonvulsants, such as valproic acid (Depakene), divalproex (Depakote) and carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol) also useful for Cyclothymia.

Antipsychotics, such as risperidone (Risperdal), olanzapine (Zyprexa) and quetiapine (Seroquel also useful for Cyclothymia.

Juliet Cohen writes health articles for health diseases and disorders. She also writes articles on women makeup tips.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

How To Overcome Paranoid Schizophrenia

Paranoid schizophrenia is one of the most terrifying psychiatric disorders. Sufferers may not only encounter auditory and visual hallucinations, but they also feel overwhelming waves of terror, the feeling that people are trying to harm them, or that they are going to die or do something terrible.

Frequently, there are stories in the media portraying paranoid schizophrenics as ax murderers, baby killers, uni-bombers, or people with a severe mental illness. However, behavior therapy and medication can help many people with this disorder to blend in with society.

Frederick Frese had his first breakdown at age 25, while working as a Marine Corps captain guarding atomic weapons in Florida. He developed a delusion that enemy nations were trying to take over US weapons, while American leaders stood by -- hypnotized. A year later, Frese believed he could shape-shift into animals and he became extremely nervous that he was inside an atomic bomb that was being loaded and ready to launch.

He became homeless for an entire year before cops found him, threw him in jail and finally diagnosed him with paranoid schizophrenia. How does this story end? Did Frederick Frese become an ax-murderer, a serial rapist, a uni-bomber, or suicidal? In fact, Frederick Frese became a Chief Psychologist at an Ohio mental institution and is now married with four children and a doctorate degree!

The first step for Frese was going on Risperdal, a schizophrenia drug, to control his powerful delusions. Frese defines his paranoid schizophrenia as "inherited vulnerability to breakdown" -- triggered by stress, conflict, substance abuse, death or loss. While undergoing treatment of schizophrenia, he went to school and held several jobs.

He met his future wife, Penny, while in graduate school. Though she was initially unaware of his condition, she wound up making a terrific companion - always eager to learn more about mental health treatment and coping with the medical symptoms. She also says that she trained herself to not feel personally offended if her husband couldn't maintain eye contact or finish a complete thought.

She adds that it's important to avoid making accusations or causing heightened emotions if her husband begins to describe a delusion. Instead of reacting harshly, she will say something like "Tell me more" or ask him if he would like another Risperdal to ease his fears.

As it turns out, a genetic link was found in the family, with Frese's first cousin diagnosed for paranoid schizophrenia as well. None of the four children have been found to have the illness, but they are all currently on anti-depressant medication and their parents are always on the look out for signs of early psychosis.

Frederick Frese says that denial is common and that many sufferers don't understand their emotions, or feels responsible, and as a result, don't get the help they need. "As you get older, you are better able to spot the symptoms and to cut them off," he adds.

Fred Frese stresses that learning to communicate with a loved one suffering from paranoid schizophrenia is paramount to preventing a relapse and assisting their transition to a productive life. "It is my experience that those of us with schizophrenia are indeed very sensitive to hostile criticism and other forms of expressed emotion.

But it is not only in the family context," he writes. "Whenever persons with schizophrenia encounter criticism, insults, or other forms of psychological oppression, we tend to be damaged in a manner that increases the likelihood of our relapsing into psychosis." Instead, he urges friends and family to use a positive tone, open-ended questions, and nonjudgmental statements, and to be careful not to worry over minute details that may lead to unnecessary stress.

A free audio gift awaits you at our portal site, where you can enrich your knowledge further about paranoid schizophrenia. Your comment is much appreciated at our mental illness blog.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Are There Bipolar Medication Treatment Options?

Treating bipolar disease is usually accomplished through a bipolar medication such as antidepressants, anticonvulsants and antipsychotic meds used in combination or alone. Such medications may also be coupled with psychotherapy to provide optimum results.

Because bipolar disorder, also known as bipolar disease or depression, is so difficult to identify and treat, it's important to know that the disease can strike any gender or age group. Normal high and low moments are experienced on a daily basis by millions of Americans every day, but bipolar disorder takes such feelings to an extreme. Ongoing and recurring episodes of both depression and happiness are often the first signs of the disorder, coupled with extreme feelings on both ends of the spectrum.

Mood stabilizing agents are the most common types of bipolar medication treatments. Antidepressants such as Lithium, Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil and Valium are used to treat various levels of depression and offer mood-stabilizing benefits, though in some cases, they can cause mania. For more severe episodes, Haldol or Thorazine are used to control mania. However, such drugs as Haldol and Thorazine, known as neuroeptics, can cause side effects such as muscle spasms, difficulty speaking and tremors.

Lithium is the most commonly prescribed bipolar medication and is used for ongoing treatment, though its full effects may not be experienced for weeks, and sometimes, months. Lithium is also the oldest drug used to treat bipolar disorder. It may take four to ten days to achieve a therapeutic level within the bloodstream, and is not as effective on 'rapid-cyclers', or those who experience frequent and chronic episodes of depression coupled with mania. For 'rapid-cyclers', a bipolar medication known as Valproate is often prescribed.

In some cases, antipsychotic drugs such as Clozaril have been used as a preventative treatment in some bipolar patients, though it tends to cause a rapid heart rate, hypotension, weight gain and constipation. Risperdal is also a common antipsychotic medication that has been successful when used in low doses, and since 2004, it has become the drug of choice in a vast number of bipolar patients. Side effects associated with Risperdal are mild compared to the side effects of other bipolar medication choices used in the past.

Another antipsychotic drug known as Zyprexa, used in combination with lithium or valproate for severe manic episodes, may cause low blood pressure and dizziness. Another very common antipsychotic known as Seroquel has a long-term mood stabilizing affect, while its side effects may include dizziness and elevated blood sugar levels.

Most bipolar medication antidepressants may cause manic episodes in those suffering from bipolar disorder, so they are used only on a short-term basis. More often, the class of drugs known as Selective Serotonin reuptake Inhibitors, more commonly known as SSRI's, are prescribed, and include such drugs as the aforementioned Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil anti-anxiety drugs.

The most important aspect of treating bipolar disorder is to first recognize the symptoms of the disease and seek treatment. A doctor will decide which medication is right for each individual. However, it's good to know that bipolar medication is available which may aid thousands of people diagnosed with bipolar disorder to live relatively happy, normal lives.

For more information on bipolar, try visiting - a website that specializes in providing bipolar related tips and resources to include information on bipolar disorder