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Michael Johnson

Teen Program

Bayridge Family Center

Adolescent Anxiety & Depression Program

Most of the nearly 3 million adolescents struggling with depression/anxiety never get the help they need because of:
  • Prejudice about mental illness
  • Inadequate mental-health resources
  • Widespread ignorance about how emotional problems can wreck young lives
  • It is estimated that 8 percent of adolescents have symptoms of depression. Scientists say that early onset of depression in children and teenagers has become increasingly common.
  • Almost 7% or about 44,000 of 12 and 13 year-olds reported that they had seriously considered suicide in the preceding 12 months. (1998)

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a natural part of life, and most of us experience it from time to time. The word "anxiety" usually refers to worry, concern, stress, or nervousness. For most teens, anxiety is limited to particular situations such as tests, important dates (like the prom), or driving lessons.

Feeling anxious can sometimes be a good thing. Anxiety can actually help you by motivating you to prepare for a big test or by keeping you on your toes in potentially dangerous situations. Occasional anxiety isn't something to be concerned about.

But for some teens, anxiety is a constant factor in their lives. When a person has an anxiety disorder, it interferes with their ability to function normally on a daily basis. Anxiety disorders can cause teens to suffer from intense, long-lasting fear or worry, in addition to other symptoms.

Understanding Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are conditions that involve unrealistic fear and worry. Anxiety disorders are very common. Many teens have anxiety disorders, and have feelings of fear, worry, panic, or intense stress that can sometimes make it hard to get through the day. Anxiety can also interfere with things as basic as sleep, concentration, and appetite, not to mention the ability to enjoy life and relax. The good news is that anxiety disorders are very treatable.

Alcohol, Drugs and Depression

A lot of depressed people, especially teenagers, also have problems with alcohol or other drugs. (Alcohol is a drug, too.) Sometimes the depression comes first and people try drugs as a way to escape it. (In the long run, drugs or alcohol just make things worse.) Other times, the alcohol or other drug use comes first, and depression is caused by :
  • the drug itself, or
  • withdrawal from it, or
  • the problems that substance abuse causes.
And sometimes you can't tell which came first... the important point is that when you have both of these problems, the sooner you get treatment, the better. Either problems can make the other worse and lead to bigger trouble, like addiction or flunking school. You have to be honest about both problems-- first with yourself and then with someone who can help you get into treatment... it's the only way to really get better and stay better.

At the Bayridge Family Center we use Clinically Tested Treatments, Effective For Anxiety & Depression

Our Program consist of:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

    Cognitive therapy is one of the most widely practiced and most intensely researched forms of psychotherapy in the world.

    Why has the world such interest in this form of therapy? There are three reasons:
    • Scientific research supports itís effectiveness for those suffering from depression, anxiety and many other medical ills a patient may be suffering from.
    • Cognitive therapy appears in some cases to be at least as effective as the best anti-depressant medications.
    • Cognitive therapy is down to earth and easily grasped by any age group despite education.

    Is it new? Well the answer to this is yes and no! The premise or theory behind cognitive therapy is not new and is actually relatively simple. Your moods follow your thoughts and beliefs. Often by restructuring our thoughts and the assumptions beneath our beliefs, we can learn to mange our moods.

  • Online Skill Development Groups

    The skills development groups further lay the foundation for mood recovery through an experiential model of education. The group creatively weaves the information, truth and experiences of the patients together to make sense of the tapestry of their lives. We use the medium in which our teens are familiar and comfortable with, which is a secure online group. These groups are half hour online groups that will concentrate on various topics such as, anger, relationships, communication and many more. These groups are ran by a teen specialist Counsellor for three months on a weekly basis.

  • Online Parental Coaching Groups

    The online parental groups are for parents to keep up with what the teens are learning and it gives them a chance to ask the therapist any questions related to what their teen is learning. These groups are also a half hour long and are ran once a week.

  • Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)

    Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) is one of the short term therapies that have been proven to be effective for the treatment of depression. Although depression may not be caused by interpersonal events, it usually has an interpersonal component, that is, it affects relationships and roles in those relationships. IPT was developed to address these interpersonal issues. The precise focus of the therapy targets interpersonal events (such as interpersonal disputes / conflicts, interpersonal role transitions). IPT can also work well in conjunction with medications.

  • Biofeedback & Relaxation Therapy

    When a person thinks about a situation related to his/her anxiety, mental images activate the muscles into particular patterns of tension, as though bracing for a blow to the body. Dr. Edmund Jacobson was the first to propose that physical relaxation and anxiety are mutually exclusive. In other words, if one learns how to recognize which muscle groups are tense and can physically let go of that tension, then he will lower his emotional anxiety at that moment.

    Conclusion: It is next to impossible to be anxious emotionally and mentally while the body remains in a calm and relaxed state.

  • Drug Therapy

    Drug therapy is the most common treatment in Canada for depression. It is important to work along side your medical doctor if you want to take medication, are taking medication, or you are wanting to come off medication. Research however, would suggest that drug therapy is the most effective only when accompanied with CBT, IPT and other treatment methods.

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