Refugees & Migrants Face Major Mental Health Challenges 4/27/2022

San Diego County is home to many refugees and migrants and the current crisis highlights the longstanding crisis of migration that is driven by multiple factors.  According to the California Department of Social Services, between the year of 1975 to 2017, 86,598 refugees came to San Diego County. The rate of arrival has increased in […]

Depression in Adolescents 3/30/2022

The prevalence of Major Depression Disorder (MDD) in adolescents is 6%, with an additional 5-10% of teens presenting with sub-syndromal symptoms of depression. There is a 2:1 female: male ratio for MDD in adolescents. Teens frequently don’t necessarily present with the typical DSM criteria for MDD. Common depressive symptoms in adolescents include: irritability (as opposed […]

ADHD in the Primary Care Setting 3/16/2022

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental condition that can impact children’s lives in many ways. Unidentified and untreated ADHD can cause difficulties at school, at home and can contribute to anxiety and mood symptoms. In 2019, The American Academy of Pediatrics published updated clinical guidelines for the diagnosis, and management of ADHD, recommended ADHD evaluation […]

PMDD-Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder 3/2/2022

Approximately 75% of women experience premenstrual changes – with increased irritability, tension, depressed mood, breast tenderness and bloating – commonly referred to as premenstrual syndrome (PMS). A small proportion (5-10%) of women experience significantly more disruptive psychological symptoms that can range from moderate to severe intensity that is recognized as Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD).  Individuals […]

Magical Thinking 2/16/2022

Humans are uniquely gifted with the extraordinary capability to think rationally and objectively, and we typically perceive ourselves as functioning as logical, reasoned and objective beings.  In this perception, we are probably not thinking with full clarity, as we all have moments where emotions and other factors get in the way.  More fundamentally, our cognition […]

Adolescence:  Danger or Opportunity?    In truth, a bit of both. 2/2/2022

The past several years of pandemic and of social and political unrest have, of course, been uniquely challenging for teens (and their families), adding a layer of complexity that has compounded an already challenging phase of life.  During recent times, greater levels of anxiety and depression have been evident in lots of teens and there […]

Recognizing and Responding to Psychotic Disorders in Pediatric Primary Care: Part 2

Our last newsletter introduced the issue of recognizing and responding to psychotic symptomatology in primary care pediatrics and noted the potential pivotal role that early recognition plays in offering opportunity to refer for treatment, in both the short term and with an eye to the potential lifelong consequences for afflicted individuals.   Today’s focus will provide […]

Recognizing and Responding to Psychotic Disorders in Pediatric Primary Care 12/10/2021

Introduction While typically way beyond the scope of general pediatric practice, the primary care pediatrician can play a critical role in early identification and appropriate referral of patients with psychotic disorders. This is the first of a series of newsletters exploring this important clinical concern. What is Psychosis? Psychosis is characterized by impairments in thought, […]

Recommended Transition Interventions for ASD/DD Youth 11/8/2021

Reality……Autistic Children Become Autistic Adults! Services drop off and jobs are hard to come by. Most research on autism focuses on kids. Most adults with autism (85%) live with their parents after high school 85% of ASD adults who graduate from college are unemployed Unemployment among people with autism is approximately 90 percent 40% will […]