Jumat, 24 Agustus 2012

An Independent Consultant's View of Mental Health Disorders and Special Needs

by / // / According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, one in five children from birth to 18 has a diagnosable mental disorder. Mor

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According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, one in five children from birth to 18 has a diagnosable mental disorder. Moreover, one in 10 youths has mental health problems that are serious enough to impair how they function at home, in school, or in the community in which they live. Among the diagnosable mental disorders common in children are anxiety, mood disorder such as depression, and disruptive disorders such as attention deficit and hyperactive disorders.

Special needs, however, are a different concern. Special needs is an umbrella term under which a broad array of diagnosis can be put. Children with special needs may have learning disabilities that range from being mild to profound mental retardation. They may have developmental delays from which they may catch up quickly or some from which they may not catch up at all. Also they may have an occasional panic attack or serious psychiatric problems. Some special needs that can be clearly diagnosed include fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, dysfunction of sensory integration, autism, and dyslexia.

Problems peculiar to children with a mental disorder and special needs are not uncommon. It is not unusual for a child with attention deficit hyperactive disorder to have a learning disability such as a central auditory processing disorder and may struggle with school work regardless of their intellectual abilities.

As a independent mental health consultant, here is the distinction that I make. Mental disorders are essentially psychological problems while special needs are disabilities that affect how a child can effectively function in society. The psychological problems such as mood swings, fits of depression, and feelings of anxiety can be addressed by a competent psychotherapist using one or more approaches such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, social skills training, and parent counseling. Medication may be required, but should never be the sole therapy. It is often most effective when used in combination with a behavioral based treatment. A child will not learn socially acceptable behavior if it is never addressed in therapy. A child with special needs represent a set of different concerns and approaches. They may require specialized learning strategies to help the child to meet his potential and to avoid the loss of the child's self-esteem and reduce behavioral difficulties.

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Commonly question about An Independent Consultant's View of Mental Health Disorders and Special Needs

Question :

Do you think im getting the right mental health treatment?

im 32 and had a few bits of unhappiness, traumas, misfortunes throughout my life that ive survived so far .
years ago i was diagnosed with a severe personality disorder by a consultant psychiatrist - ive seen many throughout the years, they all more or less agree i have personality disorders

my symptoms for years have been :

racing thoughts and obsessive worries that i obsess about everyday relating to - my physical health, world events , frightening thoughts that could happen to me......my mother passing on ( we are very close ) etc etc

the obsessive scary thoughts never stop but go round and round in an unending loop everyday.

very bad agoraphobia , takes a lot of inner strength to go out and do everyday things like shopping , feel paranoid that im being socially persecuted or socially alienated at times. - had that symptom for a long time .

at times - not as bad as it used to be - severe anger problems, problems controlling conduct.

unsociable , aloof behaviour , even though im very lonely and want to develop some relationships with the type of people i like.

panic and anxiety at the thought of going anywhere outside , if i have to go out, im rushing around with an urgency to get back to my apartment.

feel like im in danger of something bad happening if i go out . - thoughts and worries race everyday , at times , mind blanks out and i forget what i was obsessing about moments before which causes me more trauma.

angry thoughts , impatience with people , trouble accepting other people and just socialising.

those are the epitome of my symptoms .

my psychiatrist has said he thinks i should work with a support worker to meet up with and go outside to conquer my agoraphobia with a view to getting some psychotherapy - he s put me on some medication which has helped slightly - and he thinks that all my symptoms can be explained by my personality disorder.

i , on the other hand feel i have a co existing anxiety disorder , possibly ; ptsd, generalized anxiety or ocd and feel it should be tested for , diagnosed and officialised along with the personality disorder .

i dont disagree with my personality disorder diagnosis , i just feel i have separate anxiety diorders co existing . but my psychiatrist thinks its part of the same disorder and that i shouldn t get to caught up in diagnosis .

what do you think ? is he right ?

should i just get on with my treatment program or go ahead and pursue another independent test to see if i have the co existing disorders ?

im worrying i have these anxiety disorders co existing and its going undetected.
Answer :
PD is a general diagnosis that covers a multitude of conditions that have combined and present themselves in the way you describe. It is a psychological issue rather than a medical one i.e you can not treat it only manage the various symptoms as they present themselves. PD is usually a result of an undeveloped personality. That means as a child something was missing, there were some issues and you didn t have the opportunity to develop emotionally as you should have. But hey, who is lucky enough to get every opportunity and the truth is we all have some PD traits, it s only a problem when they mess up they way you function in life.

Your Psych is right to suggest a support worker. Why don t you give it a try and see what you can gain from it instead of resisting it. Your support worker is going to help you manage things you find difficult in your life and is also a gateway to other services, like an OT, or a psychologist who can work on your anxiety management with you. There are lots of benefits for you here if you can bring yourself to give it a go.

I think your psychiatrist has given you the right diagnosis and in a way that you are seeking further explanation also supports the PD diagnosis. You know it really doesn t matter if you have other conditions, you can only deal with one problem at a time and as soon as you start working on one of them, it will get easier to work on any others.

Go on, do yourself a favour and just go with it.

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