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Mental Health in the News: October 13, 2022


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Mental Health in the News

Welcome to Madison Avenue TMS & Psychiatry’s Mental health in the News weekly update. Below are some current news events relating to mental health and mental health treatments.

Free Resources for Mental Health Support

In the past few years, the rate of mental health issues and, therefore, the demand for mental health support has increased. The increase in the demand for mental health services means that people seeking mental health support from a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist may have to wait. Another obstacle to care that patients have experienced is cost. Appointments with a professional therapist can be expensive, especially if they’re not covered by your insurance plan. 

Free mental health support resources can help eliminate obstacles to finding and getting support. There are dozens of free resources available, some focused on specific needs for a particular goal, situation, or condition. Below is a list of mental health support resources, each focused on a particular group, for:

  1. People with suicidal ideation (988 Suicide & Crisis Hotline)
  2. People looking for a mental health counselor (7 Cups)
  3. People who want to get sober from alcohol (Alcoholics Anonymous)
  4. People with a loved one who is an addict (Herren Project)
  5. Teens who want to practice mindfulness (Mindfulness for Teens)
  6. Teens who identify as LGBTQ (The Trevor Project)
  7. People with an eating disorder (National Eating Disorder Association)
  8. Active duty Reserve and National Guard service members and their loved ones (Military OneSource)
  9. Active soldiers and veterans (Soldiers’ Angels)
  10. First responders (Responder Strong)
  11. Physicians in need of mental health support (Physician Support Line)
  12. Women suffering from postpartum depression or anxiety (Postpartum Support International)
  13. People with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) (International OCD Foundation)
  14. People with schizophrenia (Schizophrenia and Related Disorder Alliance of America website)

No matter what your specific need is, there is a mental health resource for you. 

To read the original news article, click here.

How Parents Can Support Children with OCD

In the middle of the pandemic, Alex Brown* noticed that her child Jordan* was engaging in rituals related to hygiene: Jordan constantly washed their hands until they bled and every day after school they would take off their clothes and put them in a plastic bag, walk up the same side of the stairs, and take a shower for a half-hour. These symptoms turned out to be signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder, often referred to as OCD.

OCD is an anxiety disorder where people suffer from obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. Obsessions can be related to a variety of issues like germs, personal safety, or doing things the “right way.” The thoughts are intrusive and unwanted, and cause the person a lot of worry and distress. In order to manage, or in the hopes of getting rid of, these unwanted thoughts, people with OCD develop compulsions–rituals that they must repeatedly perform. 

While OCD can develop in people of all ages, when it occurs in childhood, it often develops between the ages of 8 to 12. It can be difficult for a parent to notice whether their child is showing signs of OCD. However, if treated early on and properly, OCD symptoms can improve and in some cases even disappear.  

Here are some guidelines parents can follow to support children with OCD, in addition to taking them to a qualified therapist: 

  1. Don’t enable rituals: While this can be hard to do, it’s recommended that parents do not accommodate or assist in carrying out a child’s ritual. Instead, try to distract them by offering them an alternative activity or encouraging them to spend less time performing the ritual.
  2. Avoid over reassuring: Anxious children will repeatedly ask for reassurance. While it is tempting to provide that reassurance, consider giving the child a chance to practice self-calming techniques so that they can learn how to manage their feelings on their own. 
  3. Separate OCD from the child: Externalizing the OCD can help a child not over-identify with the condition. For example, give it a name like the “OCD dragon” and say things like, “Here are some things we can do to fight the OCD dragon today.” 

While OCD can be a challenging diagnosis, there is hope. Today, Alex Brown says that Jordan is improving with a combination of talk and equine therapy. 

*The names used in this summary are not the real names of the persons discussed

To read the original news article, click here.

Dr. Woo has been seeing patients in private practice since 2002, always with the goals of combining evidence-based medicine with psychodynamic psychotherapy and collaborating with other mental health professionals to ensure the best possible outcomes for his patients. He has been certified to administer TMS at his practice since 2017. His greatest clinical interests include helping patients suffering from depression, anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorder.


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