Mental health treatment available for young adults

Published 7:00 am Thursday, July 28, 2016

Parents and students are gearing up for a new school year. Besides purchasing school uniforms and supplies, there are many factors to consider, one of those being a young adult’s mental health.
Dr. Rebecca Blount, board-certified nurse practitioner at the Pearl River Family Clinic in Poplarville, said a person’s life is framed by childhood experiences. One of the most challenging things for parents and caregivers is raising their children to be “responsible, caring and productive adults,” she added.
“If you feel something is just not right, or wrong, it is important to seek help in order for the child to progress through childhood stages normally into a well-behaved adult,” Blount said.
Children who struggle with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and attention deficit disorder oftentimes encounter many challenges in school and some “fail” or “get held back,” Blount said. This can lead to a number of emotions, including the frustration of being left behind, while their friends move forward. They may “act out” or “give up” when parents and teachers attempt to encourage young adults to perform better, when symptoms from ADHD/ADD prohibit them from completing their school assignments.
“ADHD is a psychiatric diagnosis,” Blount said. “Two specific neurotransmitters or “brain chemicals” are burned up too fast leaving the child with symptoms of the disorder.”
Blount said there are three types of ADHD and named symptoms for parents and caregivers to be aware of.
ADHD, the inattentive type, is characterized by a failure to pay close attention, the appearance that he or she is not listening, inability to follow through and complete tasks, rushes through work, chores and school, avoids dislikes, forgets and loses important things and being easily distracted, Blount said.
Those with ADHD, the hyperactive type, may fidget, leave their seat at school/bus, runs around when they should not, be unable relax and/or wait their turn, she said.
Children with combination ADHD have symptoms of being inattentive and hyperactive, she added.
There are many other mental health issues young adults may suffer from, including depression, anxiety and panic attacks, Blount said. A young adult suffering from depression may isolate themselves, not enjoy regular activities, get excited or hurt themselves.
Symptoms of anxiety include nervousness, chewing nails, clothing or hair, bed wetting or pulling out hair.
Symptoms of panic attacks include stomach aches and fear of crowds, large school activities and grocery shopping, Blount said.
“Bullying is a huge problem in our society,” Blount said. “Symptoms of a child being bullied include not wanting to go to school and not wanting to participate in activities or groups. A child or teen who is bullied very often shows symptoms of depression and anxiety.”
Mood or bipolar disorder is characterized by alternating mood swings and an “on the go” attitude alternating with symptoms of depression, Blount said.
A person with oppositional defiant disorder may do the opposite of what they are told to do, have no regard for rules, be disrespectful, harm siblings or pets, steal, lie and stay out past curfew, Blount said.
“Adjustment disorder occurs when there has been a change in the child’s life, usually due to a traumatic event,” Blount said.
Health providers at the clinic also treat obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, self-esteem issues, grief, stress management and obesity, Blount said.
“We all want what is best for our children,” Blount said. “Remember, you as a parent or caretaker are forming a child into an adult. There is no shame in getting mental health care for your child. There are no forever labels. When a child has a bump in the road to adulthood, seek professional advice in order to allow them to achieve their goals and be happy and healthy.”
Besides Blount, who primarily treats children, there are three other health providers at the clinic; Dr. Jennifer Trihoulis who treats adult patients, Dr. Joe Taylor who sees both adults and children and Dr. Toni Ladner who treats adult patients.
They start seeing children at the age of five.
The Pearl River Family Clinic is located at 302 US-11 in Poplarville. Their office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Behavioral health visits tend to take longer and are made by appointment only. Contact staff by phone at 601-403-8284.
They accept most insurance plans, including Medicare, Medicaid/MSCAN/MSCHIPS, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Tricare, United Healthcare, Aetna and Cigna, Blount said.

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