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Tag Archives: Depression

A Plan for Summer

As Spring Break comes to an end, the count down to summer begins. Summer means family trips, summer school, camps, and lots of unstructured time. This leaves parents with the daunting task of figuring out what to do to fill three months of freedom. Proper planning is the key to a great summer.

Summer is a great time for kids to spend focused on areas they are interested in. There are a wide range of summer experiences out there for every area of interest. From theater to robotics, summer is a prime time to allow your child to explore their passion.

For some kids, summer vacation is a time to expand or rebuild a weak transcript. There are a wide variety of academic summer experiences ranging from the local public school to college campuses all over the country. Not only is this a way for students to enjoy time away from home working on their academics, it also allows them to begin dreaming of what college life may be like.

For others, summer is a focused time that can be spent giving back through community service based summer programs. The experiences available to kids is vast. If you are looking to plan your child’s summer, Prepare To Bloom, LLC may be able to help.  Please contact us at (650)888-4575 or on the web at PrepareToBloom.com.  We hope you have a wonderful stress free summer.

 

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What we do at Prepare To Bloom, LLC

Prepare To Bloom, LLC

Prepare to Bloom was formed in 2011 by Shayna Abraham, M.A., who has over a decade of experience in the therapeutic and educational consulting industry. She is well known for her work with another reputable consulting firm based in California. Shayna brings a unique set of skills, knowledge, experience, and expertise to her new company. Shayna has worked with hundreds of families and successfully assisted in the placement of clients in academic and therapeutic settings.

What is a Therapeutic and Educational Consultant?
A therapeutic consultant, sometimes called a therapeutic placement consultant, is someone who assesses a family’s needs and helps to create a plan for intervention. Adolescents and young adults who work with therapeutic consultants may be struggling with anxiety, depression, disrespect to authority, identity issues, academic failure, substance abuse, anger or aggression, poor choice of friends, oppositional defiance disorder, eating disorders, and/or learning disorders.

Consultants create individualized plans for adolescents and young adults. Sometimes the client needs an out-of-home placement in a program that is designed to meet their precise needs. In other situations, local treatment professionals may be recommended for the client and/or family. In all cases, however, the consultant coordinates with all of the appropriate professionals, schools, and/or programs.
How do you choose the right consultant?
Choosing a consultant is similar to choosing a therapist. It is a very personal process as you will be sharing some private information with the consultant.
Comfort – First and foremost, you need to feel comfortable speaking openly with your consultant. Don’t be afraid to ask your consultant pointed and straight forward questions during your interview process.
Background and Training – Consider the consultant’s background and training. It is important that the consultant participates in ongoing training. This training should include ongoing visits to the programs and professionals that s/he recommends.
Specialty – Consider the consultant’s specialty. Make sure that the consultant has experience working with your family’s set of concerns.
Customer Service – Consider the consultant’s customer service – Customer service is essential in a field that is built around individualized counseling and relationship building. Find a consultant who is readily available and is willing to meet on an unlimited basis.

Click the image above to view our brochure

For additional information about Therapeutic and Educational Consulting and Prepare To Bloom, LLC please call us at (650)888-4575 or check us out online at PrepareToBloom.com.
 
 

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Warning Signs for Teen Depression

All alone in a vast expanseTeens experience lots of emotional ups and downs, but it is important for parents to know the warning signs when depression persists.  Most parents know when something is “off” with their child, so it is important to trust your gut and take action.

  • The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry recommends watching for the following signs of depression in kids and teens:
    • frequent sadness, tearfulness, or crying
    • decreased interest in activities or inability to enjoy previously favorite activities
    • hopelessness
    • persistent boredom; low energy
    • social isolation; poor communication
    • low self-esteem; guilt
    • extreme sensitivity to rejection or failure
    • increased irritability, anger, or hostility
    • difficulty with relationships
    • frequent complaints of physical illnesses such as headaches and stomachaches
    • frequent absences from or poor performance in school
    • poor concentration
    • a major change in eating and/or sleeping patterns
    • talk of or efforts to run away from home
  • Take any suicidal threats seriously.  Any comments or actions your teenager makes about suicide are cries for help, and it is important that parents respond.
  • Being informed is key to addressing these type of concerns.  Times of transition are particularly risky, so be vigilant.
  • If you need assistance finding local or residential resources for your struggling teen Prepare To Bloom can help.  You can reach us at (650)888-4575 or PrepareToBloom.com.
 
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Posted by on April 13, 2011 in Families, Mental Health

 

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Blood Tests to Diagnose Schizophrenia

The diagnosis of schizophrenia and other mental health disorders is increasingly becoming a more scientific process.  A new blood test from veripsych looks at biomarkers found in the patients blood that are associated with schizophrenia.  The company partnered with Cambridge University in creating the new blood test.  While the blood test alone is not intended to diagnose schizophrenia, it can assist a psychiatrist in making the determination.  The plans are to continue research and develop blood tests to help identify markers for depression and bipolar disorder as well.  It is clear that the way we think about mental illness will continue to evolve as a result of these new tools.

 
 

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Ameliorating loneliness through the use of technology

Loneliness seems to be here to stay. Although western civilization has allowed us to connect with more people faster  and more frequently than ever before, many of us find ourselves suffering from feelings of abject solitude. Perhaps stimulating our sense of community over long distances through text, pictures, and video simply isn’t enough to deliver that feeling of well-connectedness. Shaking hands, giving a hug, or getting a real pat on the back are all impossibilities when we’re sitting at our computers, talking to someone many hundreds of miles away. What if we could use technology to help fill this seemingly impossible chasm pulling us apart?Well, a new Stanford research paper titled “Intimate Heartbeats: Opportunities for Affective Communication Technology” aims to point us in the right direction.

The research attempts to tackle the disparaging lack of a physical connection over long-distance communication by inserting the heartbeat of the communicating partner into the auditory stream. In a way, they wanted to know “What if you could hear how someone else is feeling”.  They used virtual reality to simulate how physically close participants were to each other when they communicated. How close do you stand to someone when you first meet them?  They tracked eye contact as well as responses to questions. They found that self-reported intimacy was higher when the participants could hear the other person’s heartbeat than when they couldn’t. Furthermore, the effect was equal to that of physically looking the other person in the eye.

The heartbeat doesn’t even need to be heard, either. It can be a sensation felt on the skin. The authors mention a ring, but one can also imagine something of a “heartbeat headphones” type of device that might be connected to a bracelet or even be a part of regular headphones. This is very promising research and raises many questions; Does this work equally well for all people? Can this be used as a therapeutic mechanism for people who exhibit antisocial behavior or who may have disorders with symptoms that parallel loneliness? Maybe we’ll know some of these answers soon, as the authors seem to be on the right track.

Here is their conclusion:

In this age of the Internet in which people interact more and more with their computers and less and less with each other,we need new ways to communicate emotions and maintain close connections. Decades of research have shown the importance of physiological signals for our own emotional experiences. This study presents evidence that physiological signals can be important communicative tools as well. Heartbeats are shown to be a powerful intimate nonverbal cue. Because of the intimate nature of heartbeat communication, it could potentially prove to be beneficial for social connectedness. Similarly, heartbeat communication might also improve emotion recognition and communication. This opens up a future in which we augment our natural emotion communication by new technologies that share the biosignals carrying our emotions.

Loneliness is obviously a very important topic for many of us. Google returns over 24 million results for the search term. There are countless blog articles devoted to the subject. Here are some written by people who experience or think about loneliness: Dreaming of Quiet Places, A Poem on Loneliness, Comparing Loneliness to AlonenessThe Complicated Simple Life. And a good professional read by Dr. Booth.

 

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Second Hand Smoke can Lead to Mental Health Concerns

We have heard for years now that second hand smoke can be physically deadly.  Now in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine has published research looking at the links between second hand smoke and mental health disorders in children and adolescents.  The study included nearly 3,000 kids between the ages of 8-15.  Researchers looked at the levels of cotinine and screened for mental health disorders.  The research showed that increased levels of cotinine was associated with symptoms of depression, ADHD, anxiety and conduct disorders.  The conclusions of this study are limited due to the inability of researchers to control psychiatric history of their participants, but it does add to the mounting case regarding how second hand smoke negatively effects children’s health.

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2011 in Mental Health, News, Research

 

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Major Depression and the Premature Aging of Immune Cells

A new UCSF led study, published in PLoS ONE, found that people who suffer from certain cases of major depression may have an elevated risk of suffering from serious illness. Important to note is that it’s the length of time the individual goes untreated that seems to be the critical factor. People with long-term depression who go untreated for a long period of time have a higher risk of getting sick from other physical diseases because their immune cells age faster. More specifically, individuals who were tested whom had been untreated for their chronic depression for 9 years had a corresponding 7 years of “accelerated cell aging”.

As a next step, UCSF researchers plan to replicate these preliminary findings in a larger sample of depressed individuals in order to explain why certain people develop shortened telomeres and physical disease, and how that process can be combated. Depressed individuals not taking antidepressants are currently being enrolled for this ongoing study, and interested participants may inquire at (415) 476-7254 or mood@ucsf.edu.

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Posted by on April 7, 2011 in Articles, News, Research

 

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