Archive | Depression-Bipolar

How To Tell the Difference Between the Blues and Symptoms of Depression: 6 Tell-Tale Signs

By Sunda Friedman Tebockhorst, PhD, LPC “The opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality.” This quote from writer Andrew Solomon contains some important wisdom about the nature of the beast we call depression. It is normal to experience sadness, to have days of feeling grumpy or down. We all have days like this, sometimes […]

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Grief and Loss in Parenting

By Miki Fire, Psy.D. Clinical Psychologist As a relatively new parent, I have spent a lot of time reflecting on the experience of this new role. Like many of you, my experience in parenting has come with some unbelievable moments of joy; the feeling of holding your baby for the first time, of seeing your baby […]

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Considering Medication for Your Child’s Psychological Issues

Q: Some parents I know seem in a rush to have their children go on medication for things like depression and hyperactivity. What should parents do before making the jump to medication? A: For psychological disorders, a thoughtful and accurate diagnosis is key to developing an effective treatment plan. What elementary child does not have […]

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Leading Teens to Counseling

By Dr. Jan Hittelman Q: How do I get my unwilling teenager to talk to someone, such as a therapist? Sign me, Concerned Mom A: The pivotal challenge in creating getting your teen to meet with a counselor is getting them to willingly attend the initial session. Who wouldn’t be uncomfortable with the prospect of […]

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Teenage Wake Up Call

 By Jan Hittelman Over the last several years, this column has discussed the effects of sleep deprivation on high school students. Adolescents are usually sleep deprived for two reasons; increased metabolic rates that make it difficult for teens to get to sleep until 11pm on average and early start times for high school. Research indicates […]

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In Search of Treatment for Depression

 By Jan Hittelman Last month’s column focused on teen depression. A reader whose son has suffered from depression most of his life took exception to the following statement: “The good news is that depression is highly treatable. Talk therapy, medication or a combination of the two has been shown to be highly effective.” Her story […]

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Saying the F Word More

 By Jan Hittelman Determining the root causes of most psychological disorders can be quite challenging and complex. It can be like detective work — getting a thorough history, identifying the specific symptoms and exactly how they present, interviewing the client and family members to really try to understand it through their eyes, assessing potential genetic […]

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ADHD: Effective Diagnosis and Treatment

By Jan Hittelman Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is estimated to affect 3-7% of school-age children. For many, these challenges continue into adulthood. There are three types of ADHD; “Predominantly Inattentive”, “Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive”, and a combination of the two (“Combined Type”). Over the years there have been valid concerns that many children are inaccurately diagnosed […]

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Exercise and the Brain

By Jan Hittelman Over the last 40 years, researchers have confirmed the many benefits of physical exercise as it relates to overall health. In the 1970’s we learned that regular exercise has a significant benefit in reducing the risk of heart disease. Subsequent studies expanded this finding to a wider range of physical health issues […]

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Think Again… The Power of Cognitive Therapy

By Jan Hittelman When we experience feelings like anger, depression, and anxiety in response to situations that we encounter, we typically assume that those feelings are the result of those situations. Furthermore, we blame those external events for our resulting mood. What most people don’t realize, however, is that there’s an intervening variable that actually […]

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Mentoring: The Power of One

 By Jan Hittelman In the counseling field there are numerous schools of thought regarding the most effective therapy techniques. While the specific strategies utilized are of great importance, the success of any therapeutic approach is primarily a function of the underlying relationship between client and therapist. More specifically, the client knowing that the therapist genuinely […]

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What’s on the Mind of Middle School Youth?

By Jan Hittelman We often assume that the pressures and risk factors that impact youth begin in high school. The truth is that they begin in middle school, when youth are typically 11 to 14 years of age. Boulder County Healthy Youth Alliance partners, a collaboration of local youth-serving agencies and groups, conducted “youth summits” […]

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The Between Years

By Jan Hittelman Most parents see adolescence as their greatest challenge. Until then, we assume we can comfortably rely on the parenting strategies that have worked in the past with our younger children. This faulty logic often leaves us unprepared for the challenges of the teenage years and results in our parenting approach being more […]

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Starting with a Good Assessment

By Jan Hittelman Last month’s column on teen depression highlighted the importance of a good initial assessment. Several readers questioned exactly what an assessment is, let alone a good one. You may be surprised to know that even within the mental health field there are a range of definitions regarding a psychological assessment. It is […]

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Emotional Self-Care

 By Jan Hittelman As a result of these challenging economic times, many people are cutting costs by doing things that they previously paid others to do. Whether it’s mowing your lawn, cleaning your car, or cooking more, everyone is trying to strike a new balance. More concerning, however, is trying to do without necessities like […]

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Mental Health Diagnoses Demystified

By Jan Hittelman All licensed mental health professionals are trained in making psychiatric diagnoses. The diagnostic system is standardized, meaning that everyone uses the same criteria. The “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” or “DSM” is the accepted standard and is published and periodically revised by the American Psychiatric Association. Everything from disorders first […]

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Unique Challenges for LGBTQ Youth

 By Jan Hittelman Every two years, the Boulder Valley School District participates in the countywide Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which provide reliable local data on risk behaviors among our high school students. A variety of risk factors are considered, ranging from wearing bicycle helmets […]

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