When Something Is Not Quite Right – A Checklist for Kids, Teens, & Adults
When is there ‘Cause for Concern’?
When a family member is experiencing mental illness, we so much want to do the right thing. Sometimes we are not certain what to do… or even what not to do. Keep in mind that with ‘change’ there may be a wide range of appropriate changes which can occur. Cause for concern may however be warranted when a loved one’s behaviour affects their ‘quality of life’ or greatly compromises ‘activities of daily living’ of the individual or family unit.
Early Detection Intervention Advantages
When treating mental illness, most people understand that early intervention is advantageous for the obvious reasons of prevention or recovery potential. What most people do not always understand is just how critical early medical nutrition intervention is for mental health. What this means is that - rather than suppressing or palliating the patient using pharmaceuticals - underlying biochemical or medical nutrient issues are identified and addressed. This is the basis of our approach and what the Naturopathic Medical Research Clinic refers to as advanced targeted medical nutrient protocols. Those experiencing behavioural changes such as bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, ADD, OCD, first-episode psychosis, or schizophrenia, will find this approach very humanistic approach because it is all about treating the individual, rather than the condition alone.
We consider our protocol to be the most advanced targeted nutrient treatment protocol developed for first-break psychotic patients. If your son or daughter is experiencing strange ideas that other people do not endorse, or reports hearing things or seeing things that are bizarre, then we welcome you to contact our clinic.
A global mental health checklist of potentially problematic behaviors
Practitioners and patients need to work together to identify symptoms and triggers that are a part of a mental illness. Confusion, social withdrawal, avoidance behavior, bizarre or strange ideas, mood flattening, or negative thought rumination are all putative symptoms of mental illness. Differentiating illness symptoms is best done with a health professional.
Another way to look at the problem is to focus not on stigmatizing medical diagnosis but rather on medical nutrient diagnosis. To help people appreciate the significance of medical nutrient diagnosis we have developed a questionnaire to determine potential medical nutrient specific profiles.
Please call the clinic if you are interested in the medical nutrient profiles described on our website.
Physical Symptoms of Depression
We now see more and more attention paid to the physical symptoms of depression — as you have no doubt seen on ‘Depression Hurts’ campaigns. The top physical symptoms associated with depression include: fatigue/exhaustion, restlessness/agitation, sleep problems, chest pain, heart problems, muscle/joint pain, sexual difficulties, back pain, headaches, digestive upset/problems, and appetite changes.
People at High Risk for developing Mood Disorders, Psychotic Disorders or Behavior Disorders
Those predisposed to depression may have a family history of depression, kids with parents having depression, etc. Depression in adults and the elderly is now prominent in society. Factors that can contribute to a higher likelihood of depression include: 1) anyone suffering from a pre-existing condition such as a heart attack, a stroke, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, or a hormonal disorder; 2) those under stress from external factors including serious loss, financial problems, difficult relationships, or events that have changed their lives; and 3) those on medications that increase the vulnerability to or the potential to trigger or worsen depression.
This checklist may describe how you or a loved one feels or acts:
- Express fears or suspicions without apparent cause
- Stop communicating with friends and family members
- Sleep little or are often awake most of the night
- Feel that they have extraordinary powers
- Develop bizarre or strange ideas
- Hear voices that no one hears but them or hears their own thoughts as clear as a voice
- Having difficulty concentrating
- Start abusing alcohol or drugs
- Write or say things that don’t seem right
- Are consumed by negative thoughts
- Appear sad or dejected often
- Appear disinterested with poor motivation
Our First Contact Assistant, Mary, is available to discuss your individual situation; call the clinic at 1.877.678.4871 or 416.944.8824. We encourage people to find the help that suits them best. If you have a support system in your family or circle of friends we often recommend that you get them involved and get them to come in on appointments as a support. Our appointments allot enough time to allow you to explain your concerns in detail. We suggest that you write chronological notes on your symptoms to help you organize your thoughts and better explain your condition. As a care giver or significant other, you have the option of consulting in person with the clinic director, especially if the person you are trying to help is reluctant to get help; in such situations we can recomend an approach on how best to proceed.
Typical or not so typical Teenage Behaviour
The Warning Signs of teenage behaviours that may be a mental health concern include:
- Energy decline during the week or on the weekend, or a slow down on the weekends, sleeping in late, coming home to sleep due to exhaustion
- Continual complaining about the mundane or about doing repetitive daily activities
- Negative thought rumination/reflection
- Negative mood and/or attitude
- Anger outbursts (often seen in males that do not disclose their feeling as readily)
- Reduced academic performance and/or concentration with obvious struggle and reduced stamina or attention to focus on reading or subject material at school
- Marked personality changes that make it difficult to distinguish the person as you knew them previously
- Opposing authority or skipping school regularly
- Complaining about others or people that they do not like as for example, not liking the teacher
- Nervousness or worry about changes in school/classroom or their home environment
- Lost connections with family members that were previously close, sometimes replaced by friends
- Have few or no friends
- Curiosity or regular use of alcohol or drugs