Children & Adolescents

Brain Matters
Blog

Enhancing Early Childhood Development

Adverse childhood experiences such as exposure to trauma or violence, even during the prenatal period when the brain is first developing, mold how the brain is organized, and have major impact on how our genes are expressed. Brain imaging studies show that traumatized children or children raised in poverty have different interconnections in their brain regions. If you’ve been exposed to violence, you’re at an increased risk of being re-victimized.

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Young Boy Hugging Teddy Bear with Depression

Depression is a problem often associated with adults, but young children can have the condition, too. In recent years, researchers have begun to understand how depression manifests in preschoolers, what it does to the brain, and how it may affect their future mental health.

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Advice for Parents on Caring for Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar illness was once referred to as “manic-depressive” illness. It’s usually a lifelong disorder, characterized by episodes of abnormal, often persistent, highs, and abnormal, often persistent, lows. The highs are characterized by a “too good” mood, irritability, increased energy, increased interest in activities, decreased need for sleep, and sometimes, delusions— some people who are manic actually believe they can fly or believe they have super powers.

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Teenager with Depression

The teenage years are awkward. From cracking voices to gangling arms and legs, teenagers struggle to adjust to their ever-changing bodies. Those physical changes are accompanied by even more dramatic emotional changes. Teens are almost expected to be sullen, moody, and rebellious. They often engage in risky behaviors, forgetting that they are not invincible.

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Parents of Children with Anxiety Disorders

There are three things that we usually look at to tell the difference between abnormal anxiety that is part of an anxiety disorder, and the anxiety that children, or really anybody, experiences as a normal part of life. The first and probably the most important thing we look at is whether there is impairment—anxiety that interferes with a person’s ability to function and leads to avoidance.

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