NEWS STORY : A new study reports that around half of U.S teens meet the criteria for a mental disorder, and nearly one in four report having a mood, behavior or anxiety disorder that interferes with daily life. 51% of boys and 49% of girls aged 13-19.
Is this just psychologists looking for more business to give kids meds and therapy?
NO! I remember being accused of that when, as a feature reporter for WCBS-TV, I wanted to do a TV story about a new disorder I found about out while working at the Psychiatric Institute, called “social anxiety” – people’s fear of others, so they wouldn’t go out on a date, or even talk on the phone! The news director accused me of just wanting to split hairs and create a label so shrinks could get business. Then the New York Times did a story about it, and he believed it was real. It is real!
I ‘m skeptical of some studies, but I trust the source of this study: led by researchers from the National Institutes of Mental health, published in the Journal of the Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and based on a decent sized sample: 10,000 teens that is also nationally representative.
Why so high? I’ve seen disturbed teens for years when working in hospitals; now we have more sophisticated ways of noticing and diagnosing youth’s problems. The stats show 14.3 % have mood disorders. Not surprising, given the amount of teen suicides now, which we used to call accidents. Also, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder is high (19.1%), not surprisingly given recognizing such symptoms more as a problem instead of passing them off as growing pains or normal developmental stages. The causes are a mixture of “nature and nurture” risk factors: If parents are depressed – one or worse yet both – the child has up to twice as much a chance of being depressed. Culture doesn’t help, with the quick hits of not only MTV but the internet, truncating attention span – and even providing a stage for mocking that has driven kids to suicide (as recent news stories show). Worse yet, relationships so fleeting (guys and girls getting depressed after being dumped), and the financial crisis and depressed job market make youth’s future bleak. What used to be overlooked is now being noticed.
Curtis: (joking): Looking around at the guys in this studio, I can see they’re disturbed. What about me, a guy who runs around in a red satin jacket and cap, aren’t I like Batman or Superman?
Dr. Judy: I have been to your event celebrating the Guardian Angels and say you are a Superman – indeed saving others (like the miner’s theme), but (jokingly) I would say you have arrested development (recapturing your childhood!)
Curtis: weren’t they a band?
Dr. Judy: Yes!
On the Curtis Sliwa radio show Friday morning, October 14, 2010:
Curtis asked about the reaction of the Chilean miner who emerged and expected his wife and his mistress, and found only the mistress.
Dr. Judy : Yes, we watched on TV as the minor embraced what TV initially reported as his wife, but I, as well as others, noted that their hug was tentative; hardly what you would expect from a re-united spouse. Turns out, the waiting loved one was his mistress and the wife refused to go greet him if the mistress went.
In sme parts of the world, culturally the wife tolerates the mistress, but here in America, affairs are not accepted publicly. We know of couples where the wife refuses to go to a wedding of a child even if the new STEP-spouse or partner is present, and even at funerals, a mistress may graciously decline to go, or at least stay in the shadows, if the wife is there at the dead man’s coffin. Those encounters have happened n some movie scenes.
The miner was likely shocked to see his mistress, and they both embarrassed to do a P.D.A. (public display of affection). He probably was sh…ing in his pants to see the mistress alone there, and confused, sadly adding to the anxiety of his rescue. He’ll have the two women’s emotions to deal with, besides his own aftermath.
Regarding emotions I mentioned earlier about how some traumatized people want to get emotionally close and others’ withdraw. We saw an example of the first, gloriously, when one miner’s love partner insisted they get married as soon as he reached the surface. That is an expected emotional reaction: dread of loss and their thrill of recovery makes you want to hold on, and confirm love.
Lesson here: absence makes the heart grow fonder, and fear of loss can catapult you to the altar. Sometimes people only realize how much they love a person after they broken up, so this is reassurance to those who break up – that you can make up.
Actor David Arquette told shock jock Howard Stern that he hadn’t had sex with his wife Courtney Cox in four months, and that the act, when it happened, was “loving” but “methodical.” Which means boring.
Arquette’s admission is a common story that can help other people with sex problems in their marriage to know they are not alone in their boredom after ten years, no sex for months at a time, sinking into routine, seeking sexual excitement elsewhere.
How wonderful that their sex is loving -- that’s more than a lot of other couples have. Now they just needed to do with each other whatever he did in his affair.
A wake-up call for couples to keep their excitement alive.
Tonight, on Issues hosted by Jane Velez Mitchell, the panel debated whether Arquette was wrong to talk about his sex life publicly. He did issue an apology. A saving grace: news reported that he had advised her beforehand, and she said go ahead.
Kim Serafin, an editor for In Touch magazine (also previously a press officer for Rudy Giuliani, so we shared many stories of the great group in that administration) said David shared TMI (too much information).
Arquette admitted that he had an affair (though said it was when they were separated and agreed to other liaisons) but he also claimed his wife is having an emotional affair with a co-star on her “Cougar” TV show. Emotional affairs stop short of sexual contact but can be even more intense and intimate.
One of the most significant issues, in my psychological view, is that he admitted that she was tired of mothering him. As a couples counselor and sex therapist, I know that women can easily be turned off sexually if their husband is like another child. Besides, it triggers “incest” fears deep down. Always psychologically astute host Jane Mitchell put it well: the guy is acting like a teenager and has to grow up! I agreed, it’s another case of arrested development.
News that a woman had a baby boy with a 20 year old implanted embryo made Fox TV wonder, are men not needed anymore? Indeed, more women are having babies on their own. This started over twenty years ago, when I was likely the first to write about “Single Mothers By Choice” – women having a baby without getting married. That was even the name of groups for women to get together and share the experience. The choice empowers women to have a family without having to find a man. That part is good. They just need to be prepared to have support, like for childcare, and also financial resources. Research shows that the children can grow up adjusted; it’s helpful if they have some male role models, like an uncle or cousin. .See more of the interview by going to Fox TV5 TV website.