Friday, April 17, 2015

April is Autism Awareness Month


April is Autism Awareness Month. 
Every day, the millions people living with autism and their families face unique and daunting challenges that many of us will never fully appreciate. During National Autism Awareness Month, we renew our commitment to better understand autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and improve the lives of individuals living with it.
A recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 68 children in the United States has been identified with ASD. This latest estimate makes it clear that autism affects the lives of millions of Americans – our friends, neighbors, colleagues and family members.
ASD is a developmental disability characterized, in varying degrees, by persistent difficulties in social communication and restrictive and repetitive behaviors, interests, or activities. We know that early screening and intervention at younger ages helps children get the most effective treatments earlier in life.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month


Sexual Assault Awareness Month is observed in April in the United States, and is dedicated to making a concerted effort to raise awareness about and prevent sexual violence. In the time it takes to read this paragraph, 3 individuals somewhere in the United States will have become a victim of sexual violence.

The first observation of Sexual Assault Awareness Month occurred in 2001, where the National Sexual Violence Resource Center provided resources to advocates nationwide to help get the word out about sexual assault. This awareness day has gained momentum over the years, especially at high school and college campuses.

Research states that prevention programs and awareness days help educate the public about sexual assault and sexual violence. So for those who want more information, link here





Sunday, March 15, 2015

Brain Awareness Week is March 16-22, 2015



I'm a big fan of my Brain.

It's such a totally cool organ. Without it, I couldn't do anything, really.

No doubt you feel the same way.

Brain health is vital to our mental and physical well-being. And as time marches on, exciting research and technologies will bring us even greater understanding of how our Brains work and offer insight into illness and disease.

So, now that you know it's Brain Awareness Week, go out and celebrate your Brain.

I'm going to attempt some super difficult crosswords puzzles. Make sure I eat green leafy vegetables and take my Brain for a longer walk than usual.

For more Brain tips go here and here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

March 1st is Non-Suicidal Self-Injury Awareness Day



Non-Suicidal Self-injury (NSSI) – is any deliberate, non suicidal behavior that inflicts physical harm on one's body to relieve emotional distress.

People who engage in
NSSI usually do not involve a conscious intent to die by suicide, though many believe that people who harm themselves are suicidal. There are also numerous myths that surround NSSI, which create a stigma for those struggling with kind of coping behavior. 

Individuals who use NSSI are often trying to:

* Distract emotional pain
* End feelings of numbness
* Calm overwhelming feelings
* Maintaining control
* Self-punish
* Express thoughts that cannot be put into words
* Express feelings for which there are no words

Who engages in Non-Suicidal Self-Injury?

There is no simple portrait of a person who intentionally self-injures. This behavior is not limited by gender, race, education, age, sexual orientation, socio-economics, or religion. However, there are some commonly seen factors:

* NSSI  more commonly occurs in adolescent females.

* Alexithymia is often a characteristic of those who struggle with NSSI.

* Many self-injurers have a history of physical, emotional or sexual abuse.

* Many self-injurers have co-existing problems like depression, substance abuse, obsessive-compulsive disorder or eating disorders.

* Self-injures tend to have been raised in families that discouraged expression of anger, and tend to lack skills to express their emotions.


What are the types of self-injury?

* Cutting
* Burning
* Picking at skin
* Interfereing with wound healing
* Hair-pulling
* Hitting
* Scratching
* Pinching
* Biting
* Embedding

Treatment 

NSSI is often misunderstood, and those seek medical or mental health treatment frequently report being treated badly by emergency room doctors and nurses, counselors, police officers and even mental health professionals.

Finding professionals who specialize in working with Non-Suicidal Self-Injury is IMPERATIVE. With proper treatment, new ways of coping will be learned and slowly the cycle of hurting will end.


Resources

If you need help and are not sure where to turn?
Call the S.A.F.E. Alternatives information line at (800) 366-8288 for referrals and support for non-suicidal self-injury. 

In the middle of a crisis?
If you’re feeling suicidal and need help right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the U.S. at (800) 273-8255

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Adult vs. Child Depression



           
Did you know that depression presents differently in children than it does in adults?
Though the disorder of depression can occur in in kids, teens - and even babies, the symptoms don’t always look like adult depression. Take a look at the differences below so you can learn how to detect this serious, but treatable disorder.

 
Signs of Depression in Adults
Signs of Depression in Children
Depressed mood
Irritable, fussy or cranky
Anhedonia (Decreased interest/enjoyment   in once-favorite activities)
Negative thinking, helplessness
Boredom, lack of interest in play,    giving up favorite activities
Blames self for failures, misperceives peer interactions, socially isolates, resists new experiences
Significant weight loss or weight gain
Failure to thrive, fussy eating,  overeating and weight gain especially in adolescence
Insomnia or Hypersomnia (Excessive sleeping)
Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, difficulty emerging from sleep, hard to awaken, frequent napping.
Psychomotor agitation, restlessness or slowness
Difficulty sitting still, pacing, very slow movements, clingy, little or no spontaneity, overly aggressive or sensitive
Fatigue or loss of energy
Persistently tired, appears lazy, sluggish, reports aches and pains, frequent absences from school 
Low self-esteem, feelings of guilt
Whiny, cries easily, self-critical, feels stupid, unloved or misunderstood
Inability to concentrate, indecisive
Sulks, appears foggy, distractible, poor school performance, forgetful, unmotivated
Recurrent suicidal thoughts or behavior
Worries about death, talks about running away, writing or drawings about death, giving away favorite toys or belongings 
 
 
 

 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Paperback Launch of "Depression and Your Child"


                                        My award-winning book
"Depression and Your Child: A Guide for Parents and Caregivers"
is now available in paperback!

Depression and Your Child by Deborah Serani