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What to do when your child is afraid of Santa

Written by Behavioral Health Team on 12/9/2014 6:00:00 PM

Child with SantaThis time of year, malls are packed with families anxiously waiting to see Santa. But what do you do when your child is scared of the man in the red suit? Should you encourage them to take a picture and face their fear, or will doing so cause mental harm?

We asked licensed mental health counselor, Kimble Richardson, to weigh in on this issue.

Here is what he had to say: continue reading ...


Therapy can be more effective than antidepressants in treating social anxiety

Written by Behavioral Health Team on 10/1/2014 7:00:00 PM

Female having panic attack outside officeOver seven percent of Americans suffer from social anxiety disorder. For most, antidepressants are used to treat their anxiety. However, a recent study revealed that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be more effective than anti-depressants when treating the disorder - and effects are long-term.

"Cognitive behavior therapy stems from the theory that thoughts and perceptions drive emotions," explained Kimble Richardson, a licensed mental health counselor at Community Health Network. "Emotions can become overwhelming and can lead to difficulty coping and/or functioning in one’s personal life, work life or both. If a person’s thinking is irrational, incorrect or untrue, it can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression and/or anger."

CBT is used to recognize the irrational beliefs and perceptions the individual may have, challenge their accuracy or truthfulness and then transform the irrational beliefs into rational beliefs and perceptions. 

"This therapy doesn’t make feelings disappear, but does help to put things into perspective for the individual so that they don't feel overwhelmed and dysfunctional," said Richardson. continue reading ...


Robin Williams death puts spotlight on depression, suicide

Written by Behavioral Health Team on 8/12/2014 7:00:00 PM

Mental health illnesses, like depression, affect millions - even those who seem happy and outwardly successful.

"The recent suicide of Robin Williams reminds us that we need to continue to raise awareness about mental illness," said Kimble Richardson, a licensed mental health counselor at Community Health Network.

Depression and bipolar disorder affect upwards of 19 million people in the United States each year, and about 100 Americans die from suicide per day. However, suicide can be prevented. Almost 90 percent of suicides are committed by individuals who suffer from treatable mental health illnesses.

According to Richardson, recognizing the signs and symptoms of depression is the first step to getting an individual the help they need.

"If feelings of sadness or grief persist for two or more weeks, or if any of the symptoms render an individual unable to function at work or in their personal life, this could indicate a medical condition called Major Depressive Disorder (also known as clinical depression)."
 
Common symptoms of depression include:continue reading ...


What you need to know about anxiety disorders

Written by Behavioral Health Team on 5/26/2014 7:00:00 AM

According to the National Institute for Mental Health, anxiety disorders affect about 40 million American adults age 18 years and older in a given year.

"Unlike the relatively mild, brief anxiety caused by a stressful event (such as speaking in public or a first date), anxiety lasts at least six months and can get worse if not treated," said Community licensed mental health counselor, Kimble Richardson

Anxiety disorders commonly occur along with other mental or physical illnesses, including alcohol or substance abuse, which may mask anxiety symptoms or make them worse. continue reading ...


Cycle your way to better mental health

Written by Behavioral Health Team on 5/21/2014 7:00:00 AM

May is National Bike Month! Cycling and physical activity can not only improve ones physical health, but their mental health and mood. Only a few lifestyle choices have as large an impact on your health as physical activity.

People who are physically active for about seven hours a week have a 40 percent lower risk of dying early than those who are active for less than 30 minutes a week. Regular physical activity can help keep thinking, learning, and judgment skills active and sharp. continue reading ...


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