Friday Update 12-25-15

Greetings faithful readers. No matter what your faith tradition may be, I think we can all agree that this is a time of the year where we have the opportunity to pause and reflect on all that is good. Let's start off this Christmas edition of Friday Update with the gift of love embodied in the music and soul of John Lennon. Take a moment to embrace "So this is Christmas" and then get to readin' Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most important reads for this week 

I am Beyond Tired: Help for Insomnia
Cristi Comes shares some useful tips for tackling the dreaded scourge of insomnia - an increasing challenge for moms and dads, especially during the busy holiday season. Cristi writes, "I've always needed extra sleep. It seriously was my greatest fear when having kids that I'd lose those precious hours of restful bliss and lose my mind. I am not even kidding, ask John. I even talked to my therapist about it quite a deal before getting pregnant. My personal need for sleep is actually more than 8 hours. If I really want to be at my best, 9 or 10 would be much better, and some days I could really go for even more. That's virtually impossible with young kids without some strategies and support." Read her article and get some rest. Your family will thank you!

A straightforward office visit with a teenager turns into something much more
An important reminder from Florencia Kantt, a pediatrician who believes in going the extra mile. Florencia writes, "I walk into the exam room on a Friday afternoon to find a 16-year-old female who is coming in to see me for a sport physical. On paper, everything looks great: Her vital signs are on point, she's a straight A student, vaccines are up to date, she eats healthy and exercises regularly, Mom and Dad are still happily married and she's not dating an abusive senior who is pressuring her into having sex. I anticipate a pretty straightforward visit: We'll review her history, discuss concerns, perform a physical examination, and hopefully clear her for sports participation. I am wrong."

Tampa Research & Policy Conference draft agenda now available!
The draft agenda for the 29th Annual Research & Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Behavioral Health, March 13 – 16, 2016 is now available online. We are still adding some finishing touches, but are so excited about the quality of presentations this year; we want to share it with you now. Give the agenda a read, get excited, and get registered!

Cooking to Cure, A Nutritional Approach to Anxiety and Depression
A new book discussing the relationship between diet and mental health says that America's love of junk food and fast food and the high incidence of mental illness compared to other countries may be more than coincidence. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 26 percent of the American population is currently diagnosed with mental illness compared to the global rate of 4 percent. This could, in part, be due to a lack of nutrients in processed food compared to diets richer in less processed foods in other parts of the world says Angela Dailey, LCSW, a mental health therapist and author of the new book, Cooking to Cure, A Nutritional Approach to Anxiety and Depression.

This is what developing psychosis feels like
Daniel Smith writes a first-person narrative of what psychosis feels like. "A year ago this winter I began to not recognize myself. Sleep was the first thing to change. Progressively, over the course of about a fortnight, I began struggling to drift off. As a 24-year-old man with a good supply of hash, this had never been a problem before. It was so odd. Seemingly out of the blue, I'd get into bed at night and just not be able to shut off my brain. Thoughts would grow tendrils and loop onto other thoughts, all tangling together like a big wall of ivy.

The Course of the River
Sharing a re-post of one of the most popular essays from Writing Away the Stigma. A daughter shares the loving yet painful journey with her mother's decline into depression, psychiatric hospitalization, ECT, and ultimately, her mother's permission for her to let go. 

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Scott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO 

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