The Child Mind BlogBrainstorm
FDA May Downgrade the Risk of Electroshock Devices
Jan. 24, 2011 New York Times
The FDA may downgrade the risk classification of electroshock devices to medium-risk, placing them in the same category as syringes and surgical drills. Long believed to be safe by psychiatrists, the move to reconsider electroshock devices reinforces what many consider to be a widening acceptance of Electroconvulsive Therapy.
ET can be used to treat major depressive disorder as well as other conditions. Click here for more information about the treatment of depression from our mental health guide.View Comments | Add Comment
Many Severe Disorders Never Receive Treatment
Jan. 21, 2011 MSN
New research reveals troubling results: many American teens with severe psychiatric disorders will never receive treatment. Of the teens studied, only 36.2 percent of those with a disorder received treatment, and only about half of those with severe psychiatric disorders were treated. According to the study disorders most likely to be treated include ADHD, conduct disorder and ODD.
Click here to read about the dangers of ignoring children's mental health.View Comments | Add Comment
Skins: MTV's New Hit Parent Nightmare
Jan. 21, 2011 ABC News
Monday nights just got more provocative with the premier of MTV's newest teen drama, Skins. The controversial show is earning the ire of many parents due to its gratuitous depiction of rampant sex and drug use. Many are worrying that the show gives teens unrealistic expectations. ABC consulted family therapist Terry Real for his take:
"If you look at the kind of sexuality that's portrayed its often in fact not mutual, it's about girls feeling they need to service boys in order to keep them," Real said. "I think this a direct, in some ways, backlash to the empowerment of girls." The show isn't great for boys either, according to Real. It sets up the expectation that boys should be "up for sex anywhere, anytime with anyone."
With a first episode that attracted three million and a viewership that promises to increase, what's a parent to do? It's important to help your kids create realistic expectations about drugs and sex and, in Real's words, help them become "media literate."
Click here for practical advice on talking to your teen about sex.View Comments | Add Comment
Vaccine Fears Are Old News
Jan. 21, 2011 New York Times
One in five Americans still believe that vaccines cause autism, even in the aftermath of the Wakefield scandal that effectively debunked the alleged connection. Should we be surprised by the number of people still holding on to the myth? Not according to Michael Willrich, who's writing here for the New York Times. He reminds readers that fears surrounding vaccines are nothing new, and goes on to detail past historical panics—some legitimate and some not. Willrich also includes goverment efforts to combat the people's fear, the most successful being public education. It's a strategy that health officials would do well to resume today.
Click here for more from CMI about the autism and vaccine panic.View Comments | Add Comment
Parent-Child Interaction Therapy Relieves Depression In Preschoolers
Jan. 21, 2011 Washington University in St. Louis
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT) is effective at relieving depression in preschoolers. Findings are preliminary, but the results were unanimous in the small sample size. Another study has been conducted with a larger, more randomized group and the data will be available shortly.
The therapy was adapted for toddlers, focusing on emotional development and attempting to regulate feelings of guilt and sadness. The need to intervene early is crucial, children as young as three can suffer from clinical depression, and early intervention and PCIT might prevent relapse.
For information on our PCIT program click here.View Comments | Add Comment
Brain Injuries Haunt Football Players Years Later
Jan. 20, 2011 NPR
Chris Nowinski, founder of the Sports Legacy Institute, is raising awareness about concussions and head injuries in football players. According to a 2009 study commissioned by the NFL, former players have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and other memory problems 19 times more than the normal rate for their age group. Nowinski is advocating for a change in the way football is practiced as 75 percent of hits happen outside of a game.
For more on concussions and sports injuries, click here.View Comments | Add Comment
52% of People Believe Vaccines Don't Cause Autism
Jan. 20, 2011 US News & World Report
An alarming new poll shows that only 52% of Americans believe that autism is not caused by vaccinations. 18% do believe that vaccines are to blame, while 30% are unsure. The poll was conducted while the public eye was turned again to the now-discredited study that fraudulently linked the MMR vaccine with the onset of autism. The study, which was retracted by the journal that published it, has been blamed for panicking many parents, causing some to choose not to vaccinate their children.
For more information on autism visit our mental health guide here.View Comments | Add Comment
Identifying Troubled Students Is Easy - Getting Them Help Is Not
Jan. 19, 2011 Notes from the School Psychologist
In the wake of the Tucson shootings, Dr. Branstetter at Notes from the School Psychologist discusses how schools struggle to get their students the mental health care they need. "I see kids all the time that could grow up to be Jared Lee Loughners," Branstetter notes ominiously. She does her best to recognize these students, doing everything from meeting with parents, confiscating weapons and even getting kids involuntarily commited when necessary. But when it comes time to actually find the resources to help these kids—that's when things get complicated. In Branstetter's words, "Identifying troubled students is easy. Providing them resources and follow up care is hard."
Click here for more from CMI about mental illness and the recent shooting in Arizona.View Comments | Add Comment
Can Cigarette Ads Really Lure Kids to Smoke?
Jan. 19, 2011 Reuters
Researchers have long tied cigarette advertisements to teen tobacco use, however a new study shows that there is a correlation between level of exposure to such advertisements and the likelihood of taking up smoking. The study shows that specific exposure and brand recognition had a much greater impact than ads for other, non-tobacco products. Exposure to tobacco ads increased the risk of use by nearly 50 percent as compared with the control group.
For more information on substance abuse, click here.View Comments | Add Comment
Why I Love My Strict Chinese Mom
Jan. 18, 2011 New York Post
Amy Chua's daughter Sophia weighs in in her mother's defense—and grabbing her own 15 minutes of fame—in the New York Post today, testifying that it wasn't nearly as harsh as people think to grow up the daughter of a Tiger Mother. "Having you as a mother was no tea party," she writes to her mom. "There were some play dates I wish I’d gone to and some piano camps I wish I’d skipped. But now that I’m 18 and about to leave the tiger den, I’m glad you and Daddy raised me the way you did."
Why? Because, "I think your strict parenting forced me to be more independent." And she wants you to know that her mom wasn't as unrelenting as she portrayed herself in her own book. I remember walking on stage for a piano competition. I was so nervous, and you whispered, 'Soso, you worked as hard as you could. It doesn't matter how you do.' "View Comments | Add Comment