Category Archives: Disorders

7 Things You Don’t Know About ADD That Can Hurt You

7 Things You Don’t Know About ADD That Can Hurt You

8x4-addADD is the most common learning and behavior problem in children. But the issue doesn’t end there: It is also one of the most common problems in adults, and has been associated with serious problems in school, relationships, work, and families. Despite its prevalence, many myths and misconceptions about ADD abound in our society. Here are just a few of them:

MYTH: ADD is a flavor-of-the-month illness, a fad diagnosis. It’s just an excuse for bad behavior.

FACT: ADD has been described in the medical literature for about one hundred years. In 1902, pediatrician George Still described a group of children who were hyperactive, impulsive, and inattentive. Unfortunately, he didn’t understand that ADD is a medical disorder and labeled these children as “morally defective.”

 

MYTH #2: ADD is overdiagnosed. Every child who acts up a bit, or adult who is lazy, gets placed on Ritalin or Adderall.

FACT: Less than half of those with ADD are being treated.

 

MYTH#3: ADD is only a disorder of hyperactive boys.

FACT: Many people with ADD are never hyperactive. The non- hyperactive or “inattentive” ADD folks are often ignored because they do not bring enough negative attention to themselves. Many of these children, teenagers, or adults earn the unjust labels “willful,” “lazy,” “unmotivated,” or “not that smart.” Females, in our experience, tend to have inattentive ADD, and it often devastates their lives.

 

MYTH #4: ADD is only a minor problem. People make too much of a fuss over it.

FACT: Left untreated or ineffectively treated, ADD is a very serious societal problem! Although previous research has demonstrated that ADD is associated with problems like job failures, relationship breakups, drug abuse, and obesity, recently published research in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatryconducted a systematic review of all the available evidence and confirmed the link between ADD and a wide range of health and psychosocial problems. The study demonstrates the importance of properly treating ADD early in life in order to potentially prevent these future adverse outcomes.

 

MYTH #5: ADD is an American invention, made up by a society seeking simple solutions to complex social problems.

FACT: ADD is found in every country where it has been studied. I once had a patient from Ethiopia who had been expelled from his tribe for being so easily distracted and impulsive.

 

MYTH #6: People with ADD should just try harder.

FACT: Often the harder people with ADD try, the worse things get for them. Brain-imaging studies show that when people with ADD try to concentrate, the parts of their brains involved with concentration, focus, and follow-through (prefrontal cortex and cerebellum) actually shuts down—just when they need them to turn on.

 

MYTH #7: Everyone who has ADD will get better if they just take stimulant medication.

FACT: ADD, like many other conditions, is not just a single and simple disorder; therefore, treatment is not a one-size-fits-all solution. With more than 120,000 brain scans in our database, we have identified 7 types of ADD. And each type requires a different treatment plan because of the diverse brain systems involved.

Amen Clinics has helped tens of thousands of people with ADD from all over the world and can help you, too. To learn more or schedule a comprehensive evaluation, contact the Amen Clinics Care Center today at 855-698-5108 orhttps://www.amenclinics.com/schedule-visit/.

Homelessness Increasing!

As we move across the USA on our trip, we are noticing a large number of homeless. So many men, women, and children laying on the street.  After researching, Mental Health Cuts seem to be the main culprit though the list below shares other reasons for homelessness. Check out the increase in children that are homeless. Also, look at the cuts by each state!  How many students not being educated in any format?  ~Sandy

“In 2004 the United States Conference of Mayors… surveyed the mayors of major cities on the extent and causes of urban homelessness and most of the mayors named the lack of affordable housing as a cause of homelessness…. The next three causes identified by mayors, in rank order, were mental illness or the lack of needed services, substance abuse and lack of needed services, and low-paying jobs. The lowest ranking cause, cited by five mayors, was prisoner reentry. Other causes cited were unemployment, domestic violence, and poverty.”

The major causes of homelessness include:

  • The failure of urban housing projects to provide safe, secure, and affordable housing to the poor.
  • The deinstitutionalization movement from the 1950s onwards in state mental health systems, to shift towards ‘community-based’ treatment of the mentally ill, as opposed to long-term commitment in institutions. There is disproportionally higher prevalence of mental disorders relative to other disease groups within homeless patient populations at both inpatient hospitals and hospital-based emergency departments.
  • The failure of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to provide effective mental health care and meaningful job training for many homeless veterans, particularly those of the Vietnam War.
  • Deprived of normal childhoods, nearly half of foster children in the United States become homeless when they are released from foster care at age 18.
  • Natural disasters that destroy homes: hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, etc. Places of employment are often destroyed too, causing unemployment and transience.
  • People who have served time in prison, have abused drugs and alcohol, or have a history of mental illness find it difficult to impossible to find employment for years at a time because of the use of computer background checks by potential employers.
  • According to the Institution of Housing in 2005, the U.S. Government has focused 42% more on foreign countries rather than homeless Americans, including homeless veterans.
  • People who are hiding in order to evade law enforcement.
  • Adults and children who flee domestic violence.
  • Teenagers who flee or are thrown out by parents who disapprove of their child’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Overly complex building code that makes it difficult for most people to build. Traditional huts, cars, and tents are illegal, classified as substandard and may be removed by government, even though the occupant may own the land. Land owner cannot live on the land cheaply, and so sells the land and becomes homeless.
  • Foreclosures of homes, including foreclosure of apartment complexes which displaces tenants renting there.
  • Evictions from rented property.
  • Individuals who prefer homelessness and wish to remain off the grid for political and ideological purposes. Often self-identified as Gutter Punks or Urban Survivalists. The Department of Housing and Urban Development rarely reports on this counter-cultural movement since Gutter Punks and similar individuals often refuse to participate in governmental studies and do not seek governmental assistance for ideological or political purposes.
  • Neoliberal reforms to the welfare state and the retrenchment of the social safety net.

“In 2013, a Central Florida Commission on Homelessness study indicated that the region spends $31,000 a year per homeless person to cover “salaries of law-enforcement officers to arrest and transport homeless individuals — largely for nonviolent offenses such as trespassing, public intoxication or sleeping in parks — as well as the cost of jail stays, emergency-room visits and hospitalization for medical and psychiatric issues. This did not include “money spent by nonprofit agencies to feed, clothe and sometimes shelter these individuals”. In contrast, the report estimated the cost of permanent supportive housing at “$10,051 per person per year” and concluded that “[housing even half of the region’s chronically homeless population would save taxpayers $149 million during the next decade — even allowing for 10 percent to end up back on the streets again.” This particular study followed 107 long-term-homeless residents living in Orange, Osceola or Seminole Counties. There are similar studies showing large financial savings in Charlotte and Southeastern Colorado from focusing on simply housing the homeless.”

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homelessness_in_the_United_States

Binge Eating Disorder – BED

Several eating disorders exist.  Learning about them is important when dealing with children.  A student may not be functioning well in a classroom to do a disorder.  Staying informed helps you help them. ~Sandy

Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder (BED) is an eating disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of eating large quantities of food (often very quickly and to the point of discomfort); a feeling of a loss of control during the binge; experiencing shame, distress or guilt afterwards; and not regularly using unhealthy compensatory measures (e.g., purging) to counter the binge eating. Binge eating disorder is a severe, life-threatening and treatable eating disorder. Common aspects of BED include functional impairment, suicide risk and a high frequency of co-occurring psychiatric disorders.

Binge eating disorder is the most common eating disorder in the United States, affecting 3.5% of women, 2% of men,1 and up to 1.6% of adolescents.2

The DSM-5, released in May 2013, lists binge eating disorder as a diagnosable eating disorder. Binge eating disorder had previously been listed as a subcategory of Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS) in the DSM-IV, released in 1994. Full recognition of BED as an eating disorder diagnosis is significant, as some insurance companies will not cover an individual’s eating disorder treatment without a DSM diagnosis.

BED Symptoms and Diagnostic Criteria
The DSM-5, published in 2013, lists the diagnostic criteria for binge eating disorder:

  1. Recurrent episodes of binge eating. An episode of binge eating is characterized by both of the following:
    • Eating, in a discrete period of time (e.g., within any 2-hour period), an amount of food that is definitely larger than what most people would eat in a similar period of time under similar circumstances.
    • A sense of lack of control over eating during the episode (e.g., a feeling that one cannot stop eating or control what or how much one is eating).
  2. The binge eating episodes are associated with three (or more) of the following:
    • Eating much more rapidly than normal.
    • Eating until feeling uncomfortably full.
    • Eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry.
    • Eating alone because of feeling embarrassed by how much one is eating.
    • Feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or very guilty afterward.
  3. Marked distress regarding binge eating is present.
  4. The binge eating occurs, on average, at least once a week for 3 months.
  5. The binge eating is not associated with the recurrent use of inappropriate compensatory behaviors (e.g., purging) as in bulimia nervosa and does not occur exclusively during the course of bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa.

Characteristics of BED
In addition to the diagnostic criteria for binge eating disorder, individuals with BED may display some of the behavioral, emotional and physical characteristics below. Not every person suffering from BED will display all of the associated characteristics, and not every person displaying these characteristics is suffering from BED, but these can be used as a reference point to understand BED predispositions and behaviors.

Behavioral Characteristics

  • Evidence of binge eating, including the disappearance of large amounts of food in short periods of time or lots of empty wrappers and containers indicating consumption of large amounts of food.
  • Secretive food behaviors, including eating secretly (e.g., eating alone or in the car, hiding wrappers) and stealing, hiding, or hoarding food.
  • Disruption in normal eating behaviors, including eating throughout the day with no planned mealtimes; skipping meals or taking small portions of food at regular meals; engaging in sporadic fasting or repetitive dieting; and developing food rituals (e.g., eating only a particular food or food group [e.g., condiments], excessive chewing, not allowing foods to touch).
  • Can involve extreme restriction and rigidity with food and periodic dieting and/or fasting.
  • Has periods of uncontrolled, impulsive, or continuous eating beyond the point of feeling uncomfortably full, but does not purge.
  • Creating lifestyle schedules or rituals to make time for binge sessions.

Emotional and Mental Characteristics

  • Experiencing feelings of anger, anxiety, worthlessness, or shame preceding binges. Initiating the binge is a means of relieving tension or numbing negative feelings.
  • Co-occurring conditions such as depression may be present. Those with BED may also experience social isolation, moodiness, and irritability.
  • Feeling disgust about one’s body size. Those with BED may have been teased about their body while growing up.
  • Avoiding conflict; trying to “keep the peace.”
  • Certain thought patterns and personality types are associated with binge eating disorder. These include:
    • Rigid and inflexible “all or nothing” thinking
    • A strong need to be in control
    • Difficulty expressing feelings and needs
    • Perfectionistic tendencies
    • Working hard to please others

Physical Characteristics

  • Body weight varies from normal to mild, moderate, or severe obesity.
  • Weight gain may or may not be associated with BED. It is important to note that while there is a correlation between BED and weight gain, not everyone who is overweight binges or has BED.

BED Population and Demographics
Binge eating disorder is the most common eating disorder in the United States; it is estimated to affect 1-5% of the general population.1 BED affects 3.5% of women, 2% of men,1 and up to 1.6% of adolescents.2

Demographic Information

  • Binge eating disorder affects women slightly more often than men—estimates indicate that about 60% of people struggling with binge eating disorder are female and 40% are male.
  • In women, binge eating disorder is most common in early adulthood. In men, binge eating disorder is more common in midlife.
  • Binge eating disorder affects people of all demographics across cultures.

Physical and Psychological Effects of BED
Binge eating disorder has strong associations with depression, anxiety, guilt and shame. Those suffering from BED may also experience comorbid conditions, either due to the effects of the disorder or due to another root cause. Comorbid conditions can be both physical and/or psychological.

Physical Effects

  • Most obese people do not have binge eating disorder. However, of individuals with BED, up to two-thirds are obese; people who struggle with binge eating disorder tend to be of normal or heavier-than-average weight.
  • The health risks of BED are most commonly those associated with clinical obesity. Some of the potential health consequences of binge eating disorder include:
    • High blood pressure
    • High cholesterol levels
    • Heart disease
    • Type II diabetes
    • Gallbladder disease
    • Fatigue
    • Joint pain
    • Sleep apnea

Psychological Effects

  • People struggling with binge eating disorder often express distress, shame and guilt over their eating behaviors.
  • People with binge eating disorder report a lower quality of life than those without binge eating disorder.
  • Binge eating disorder is often associated with symptoms of depression.
  • Compared with normal weight or obese control groups, people with BED have higher levels of anxiety and both current and lifetime major depression.

BED Treatment
Effective evidence-based treatments are available for binge eating disorder, including specific forms of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy (IPT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), and pharmacotherapy.

All treatments should be evaluated in the matrix of risks, benefits, and alternatives. Decisions regarding treatments should be made after consulting with a trained medical professional and eating disorder specialist.

To find a treatment provider who specializes in binge eating disorder, please visit NEDA’s Treatment Options database.

Social Stigma of BED
Many people suffering from binge eating disorder report that it is a stigmatized and frequently misunderstood disease. Greater public awareness that BED is a real diagnosis—and should not be conflated with occasional overeating—is needed in order to ensure that every person suffering from BED has the opportunity to access resources, treatment, and support for recovery.

NEDA’s shareable binge eating disorder infographic offers an easy way to spread the word about BED. It is important to underscore that BED is not a choice; it’s an illness that requires recognition and treatment.

Sources
1. Hudson, J.I., Hiripi, E., Pope, H.G. et al. (2007)The prevalence and correlates of eating disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Biol.Psychiatry, 61, 348–358.
2. Swanson SA, Crow SJ, Le Grange D, Swendsen J, Merikangas KR. Prevalence and correlates of eating disorders in adolescents. Results from the national comorbidity survey replication adolescent supplement. Archives of General Psychiatry. 2011;68(7):714–723

https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/binge-eating-disorder