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Newsletter February 2012


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Newsletter February 2012

  1. 1. `xÇàtÄ [xtÄà{ TááÉv|tà|ÉÇ Éy fÉâà{ãxáà YÄÉÜ|wt Educating Southwest Florida on Mental Wellness since 1957 55 Years ofproviding Services February 2012 throughout SWFL Join us in Celebrating 55 Years of Service to Southwest Florida!!Coming Events:♦ February 11, 2012Putting Children First♦February 24th, 2012 Monarch Therapy The Mental Health Association of Southwest Florida would like to Open House 4-8PM Thank those dedicated, foresighted founders and dynamic volunteers♦ February 25, 2012 whose energetic efforts and activities that have resulted in our 55Putting Children First years of service to the community.♦ March 3, 2012 Diversity Festival A small group, concerned over the lack of mental health resources in♦ March 10, 2012 our community, met for the first time in January 1957.Putting Children First The twenty-nine Charter members had a dream… a dream of adequate and affordable mental health services for citizens of all♦ March 24, 2012 Putting Children First ages. In order to reach their goal, it would necessitate educating the public about mental health. It would mean taking on the role ofSupport Groups: advocates and it would require an all out effort to gain support and• Here for Life involvement of others in the community. 1st Tuesday every Month The Mental Health Association of Southwest Florida identifies unmet 7:00 PM needs and develops culturally sensitive services and programs to• Veterans Wednesday improve the lives of those facing the many challenges of today’s 7:00 - 8:30PM world in our community. We pride ourselves on being the “link”• Depression for mental health and mental wellness. Thursday 10:30AM - Noon “We’re Making A Difference”
  2. 2. Page 2 Mental Health Matters
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  4. 4. Page 4 Mental Health MattersAttention Deficit? Has concentration been a problem since before age 10?Attention Deficit Disorder also called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD) is common.It is caused by a relative absence of the neurotransmitter dopamine in certain pathways in the front part of the brain.This neurochemical defect can be demonstrated using PET Scan (Positron Emission Tomography) technology.ADD/ADHD is genetic. If a parent has it, it is likely that one or more children will have it. If a child has it, it is very likely that abrother or sister will also have it. Most patients with ADD/ADHD are never diagnosed. They go through their entire life withoutever being diagnosed. Most of them are quite successful.They succeed in spite of real problems with concentration. Most have figured out ways to counter the concentration defect.For some, the effort they expend to overcome the difficulty concentrating can be exhausting. The key to the correct diagnosis ofADD/ADHD is recognition of a defect in concentration first appearing before age 10. Patients do not have to be hyperactive orimpulsive to have the diagnosis.The crucial element in making the diagnosis is the concentration problem first appearing before age 10 years.Diagnosis:Though all patients are required to have the concentration element for the diagnosis, hyperactivity and impulsivity componentsmay or may not be present in the early school years. Even if hyperactivity and impulsivity are present in childhood, they maydisappear in adulthood.Hyperactivity causes children to be unable to sit still for more than a few minutes. It causes them to fidget, spontaneously get upduring class, move about, touch things, etc. The impulsive component causes children to blurt out answers in class without waitingtheir turn and to have great difficulty standing in line.In clinical practice there is no blood test, CT scan or other physiologic test to make the diagnosis. Paper and pencil listsof symptoms can be useful but the essential characteristic is concentrationdifficulty starting before the age of ten.Treatment: Only a few treatments have shown significant, enduring benefit. The effective treatments are stimulants. They correctthe deficiency of dopamine in the frontal areas of the brain for a period of hours. Non stimulant medications (Strattera andWellbutrin) can be somewhat useful. However, in general they are not very effective. They take weeks to exert their modestinfluence. Talking treatments and behavioral strategies can be supportive and somewhat helpful but in general do not providerobust benefit that lasts. Drug companies continually modify stimulant medications 1) to obtain new patents and 2) generatelarge profits.In general, these time release stimulants are no better than the original generic stimulants methylphenidate (Ritalin) andamphetamine salts (Adderall). These expensive agents may save a child a trip to visit the school nurse for his/her dose ofmedication. On the other hand, the time-release preparation may not fit the child’s needs! If 20% of the medicationreleases early when the child needs 35% for good effect he may spend his time during a math test starring into spaceinstead of focusing on his work.My preference is to use the short acting stimulants dosed to meet the child or adult’s specific needs morning, noon and ifnecessary late afternoon. Stimulants can decrease appetite. For this reason they are best dosed during or after a meal.Stimulants can also interfere with sleep. Taking a dose early enough in the afternoon can preserve sleep. The effects ofundiagnosed, untreated or inadequately treated ADD/ADHD can be devastating. Children who are capable of A’s andscholarships to college may not finish high school or may opt for a technical curriculum not because of a preference forthe subject but because of inability to perform academically. Adults with untreated ADD/ADHD may show a higher inci-dence of job changes, divorce, under employment, etc. If you or someone you know has had concentration difficultiesstarting before age 10, consider that ADD/ADHD may be present. Concentration problems first appearing later in life are gener-ally caused by other conditions (depression in children and adults and depression and dementia in the elderly).Contact a mental health professional. Let them explain the specific criteria that identify ADD/ADHD and recommend treatment.References:Cooper WO, Habel LA et al, ADHD Drugs and Serious Cardiovascular Events… N Engl J Med. 2011, Nov 17; 365(20):1896-904.Levin, A, Stimulant Treatment Doesn’t Appear to Raise Drug-Abuse Risk, Psychiatric News Dec 17,2010, V45 #24 pg 5-5Wolfe J, Parental Behavior Training Reduces ADHD Symptoms. Psychiatric News Dec 16, 2011, V45 #24 10-33.Geller B, Zimmerman B, et al; DSMIV Mania Symptoms….Compared to ADHD…; Focus 2004; 2:586-595. By Dr. Daniel A. Deutschman
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  6. 6. Page 6 Mental Health Matters Gollee’s Tip What is Conduct Disorder? Conduct disorder is a repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior in children and adolescents in which the rights of others or basic social rules are violated. The child or adolescent usually exhibits these behavior patterns in a variety of settings—at home, at school, and in social situations—and they cause significant impairment in his or her social, academic, and family functioning. What are the signs and symptoms of Conduct Disorder? Behaviors characteristic of conduct disorder include: • Aggressive behavior that causes or threatens harm to other people or animals, such as bullying or intimidating others, often initiating physical fights, or being physically cruel to animals. • Non-aggressive conduct that causes property loss or damage, such as fire-setting or the deliberate destruction of others’ property. • Deceitfulness or theft, such as breaking into someone’s house or car, or lying or “conning” others. If you have about a Serious rule violations, such as staying out at child’s concerns about night when prohibited, running away from home his/her behavior or overnight, or often being truant from school. Many emotions, contact a youth with conduct disorder may have trouble feeling mental health profes- and expressing empathy or remorse and reading social sional at school, your cues. These youth often misinterpret the actions of oth- community mental ers as being hostile or aggressive and respond by esca- health center, or lating the situation into conflict. Conduct disorder may MHASWFL at also be associated with other difficulties such as sub- 261-5405. stance use, risk-taking behavior, school problems, and physical injury from accidents or fights.
  7. 7. February 2012 Page 7 Putting Children First Classes for parents who are going through a divorce.Putting Children First is a four hour, court mandated, educational support group for parents who areabout to embark on divorce. The program recognizes that loving, caring parents may lose sight of howdeeply their children may be affected by their decision to obtain a divorce. The thought is that if parentsare more informed about the pitfalls of families in divorce, they may be more responsive to theirchildren’s needs during this time.Some of the topics that are covered during the session include, co-parenting, dealing with children’sanger, dealing with an unhappy spouse, etc.The idea is to facilitate a discussion within the group that will put all parents on a more positive levelwith their children and the spouses they are divorcing.The goal is to empower the parents and to stress how important it is to share with their children thatthe divorce is not their fault. The hope is that these parents will walk away from the class with betterknowledge and, therefore; create a better atmosphere for themselves and their children during adifficult time.For children, as well as adults, there is no pain more awful than being left or forced to leave someone youlove.For more information please call our offices (239) 261-5405 or visit our web-site
  8. 8. Page 8 Mental Health Matters Mind Your Stress--On the Job Most of us have felt “stressed out” at one time or another. When this feeling persists day after day, stress becomes chronic. Chronic stress can take a toll on our careers, on our quality of life and on our bodies, making us susceptible to a host of illnesses. In fact, what many of us don’t realize—and what medical researchers are confirming in study after study—is that our stress levels are directly linked to our physical well-being. Seventy-five percent of our visits to the doctor’s office concern stress-related ailments.Common Sources of StressFor many of us, stress is at an all-time high level. Some common sources of stress include financial worries,concerns about job security, heavy workloads and responsibility, job burnout, personality conflicts at work,the demands of work and family, troubled relationships, as well as caregiving for a sick loved one or an agingparent.How Stress Affects Us at WorkWe all know that stress affects us at work. In fact, one in four people say they’ve missed work due to work-related stress. When we are under chronic stress, we often have trouble meeting deadlines, concentrating andmaking decisions. Our productivity and performance decrease as our stress levels increase. We also may be-come easily irritated and overwhelmed, and have relationship problems with colleagues. Many people who areover-stressed at work are unable to leave their job-related issues behind at night or they feel immobilized onthe job. Stress can also mean more headaches, backaches and colds—and more sick days.Did you know that one in four people report they’ve missed work as aresult of work-related stress?How Stress Affects Our Health and WellnessAlmost half of us suffer physically due to stress. Chronic stress can affect the body in a number of ways: Itweakens the immune system, which can cause fatigue and make us more susceptible to colds and flus. It canalso trigger a variety of ailments from gum disease to osteoporosis; cause premature aging; and lead to life-threatening illnesses like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.Strategies for Managing StressWhether the stress originates at the office or at home—or a little of both—wetake it with us wherever we go. The good news is that we now know that caringfor our minds as well as our bodies can keep us healthier, happier and moreproductive in all aspects of life. Here are some strategies you can use to bettermanage stress. These tips may seem like common sense, but few of us applythem to our daily lives. They will help if you use them.
  9. 9. February 2012 Page 9• Treat your body right. Eating right and exercising can increase your tolerance to stress.• Set realistic goals. Do what’s possible and carry on.• Set and re-set your priorities. Take care of important and difficult tasks first, and eliminate unessential tasks.• Take one task at a time. Divide large projects into smaller tasks, and make “to do” lists.• Take five. Taking a short break can help slow down your mind long enough to improve your ability to deal with stress later.• Learn to relax or meditate. Studies show that just 10 to 20 minutes of quiet reflection or meditation a day can bring relief from chronic stress and increase your tolerance to it.• Give yourself a break. No one is perfect. Striving to be the best in everything will lead to worry, anxiety and failure.• Learn to say “no.” Slow down and be honest about what you can comfortably do.• Be flexible. Make allowances for other people’s opinions and be prepared to compromise.• Avoid excessive competition. Excessive competition can be dangerous emotionally and physically—not to mention damaging to your job.• Go easy on criticism. You may expect too much of yourself or others. Try not to feel let down or frustrated when your expectations aren’t met.• Manage your anger. Retreat before you lose control. Allow time for you both to cool down. You’ll both be better equipped to handle the problem constructively later.• Be honest with colleagues. Make it plain you feel you’re in a bind. Chances are others feel the same. Don’t just complain—make practical suggestions for improvement.• Talk it out with a loved one. Talking it out can help you see things more clearly, release negative feelings and get emotional support.Did you know that chronic stress can:• Double your heart attack risk?• Increase your likelihood of developing serious illnesses like diabetes and cancer?When to Seek HelpIf you experience some or all of these signs of stress, and they persist, it may be time to seek help.Asking for help is not a sign of weakness—taking care of yourself is a sign of strength.• Constantly overwhelmed• Strained relationships• Poor work performance• Overly emotional• “Little things” set you off frequently• Insomnia• Fatigue• Headaches and backaches• Rise in blood pressure
  10. 10. Page 10 Mental Health MattersThe Story of Our Symbol - The Mental Health BellCast from shackles which bound them, this bell shall ring out hope for the mentally ill and victory overmental illness.—Inscription on Mental Health BellDuring the early days of mental health treatment, asylums often restrained people who had mental illnesseswith iron chains and shackles around their ankles and wrists. With better understanding and treatments,this cruel practice eventually stopped. Maryland Gov. Theodore McKeldin and Mrs. A. Felix DuPont in 1953 pour the metal made from melted chains used to restrain people with mental illnesses to create the Mental Health Bell. Today, the Mental Health Bell rings out hope for improving mental health and achieving victory over mental illnesses.
  11. 11. February 2012 Page 11Donate Now to Continue Our WorkThank you for supportingThe Mental Health Associationof Southwest Florida!The Mental Health Association of Southwest Floridacelebrating 55 years of serve to the communitydedicated to helping all achieve wellness by livingmentally healthier lives. With our more than 55years of educating and advocacy , we touch thelives of many in our community—Advocating forchanges in mental health and wellness policy; Educating the public & providing criticalinformation; & delivering urgently needed mental health and wellness Programs and Services.Without your help, over a half century of service to those in need would not have been possible. Please Make Your Tax Deductible Donation Now to Help Continue Our Work!The Mental Health Association of Southwest Florida identifies unmet needs and develops culturally sensitive services and programs to improve the lives of those facing the many challenges of to- day’s world in our community. We pride ourselves on being the “link” for mental health and mental wellness. “ We Are Making A Difference” 55 Years of providing Services throughout SWFL
  12. 12. February 2012 Mental Health Matters Page 12 To Advocate for Mental Wellness through Education, Prevention, and Support The Mental Health Association of Southwest Florida identifies unmet needs and develops culturally sensitive services and programs to improve the lives of those facing the many challenges of today’s world in our community.If you are interested in becoming a member, e-mail us at Or Simply fill out the application and mail a checkpayable to MHASWFL or donate online using a credit card. Your contribution is tax-deductible and crucial to helping us continueour work. If you have any questions about Membership please contact our office by phone at (239) 261-5405or mail The Mental Association of Southwest Florida 2335 Tamaimi Trail N, Ste 404, Naples FL 34103.