ADHD Can Be Very Complicated

More and more we are learning that ADHD can have a a variety of causes and influences. From genetics to diet, exposure to trauma and now, more information regarding sleep deficiencies, so many things can affect those struggling with ADHD.

In this article in Medical News Today, Prof. Sandra Kooij, from the VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam, the Netherlands states sleep issues and ADHD “may be fundamentally interconnected”. Dr. Kooij goes on to encourage further study of this connection.

From personal experience, we have heard time after time from our clients with ADHD (PTSD) and their parents/care givers about sleep issues. Trouble unwinding and getting into bed, trouble falling asleep, nightmares, waking up during the night (and wandering the house!), trouble waking up/getting up in the morning.

There are some things that we can do through work with horses. We help parents/caregivers create calming end-of-day routines that may include visualizations and practicing of self-soothing exercises that have been learned while working with a client’s horse. Through work with horses, we help our clients become more aware of their own bodies, helping them learn to isolate/relax body parts, which can help a child/teen to relax and perhaps find their way back to sleep when they wake up in the night. We can also help with setting up step-by-step routines for the morning, something that our clients learn and practice while grooming their horses. I could go on, but I think you can see that work with horses can be very beneficial.

If you, a child or a teen in your care is struggling, seek help. We are here and would be happy to arrange a visit to our ranch. We will show you around, introduce our wonderful herd of horses, learn more about what you are dealing with and share how we may be able to help. Call or email us and we will make it happen.

Posted in ADHD, Anxiety Disorders, Children's issues, Depression, Mental Health, PTSD, Teens | Leave a comment

Life Experiences and PTSD

Watching the news this morning is heartbreaking. We see families hunkered down and hoping that they survive. We see families dragging themselves through waist high water, trying to find someplace dry. We see families in shelters, wondering if friends and other family members are safe and if they will have a home to go back to when the water recedes.

I can’t help but wonder about the emotional toll all of this devastation will have on people.

We think of PTSD as a issue people struggle with after a violent situation. War. Assault. Death. But, in truth PTSD can be triggered by any traumatic incident or situation.

In the days, weeks and months to come, the people of Texas and all those affected by hurricane Harvey are going to need so much. Some people will have lost everything. Some will have ‘survived,’ but they still may pay an emotional price. This is especially true of children and teens who may lack the ability to properly process what has occurred.

There is research that indicates that PTSD can be somewhat cumulative. A child struggles with the death of a close family member. A teen is in an auto accident. An adult is involved in assault. And then the house burns down and they just can’t deal with things anymore. Hurricane Harvey may be the only trigger or may be the last straw for those affected. We must not only send money for food and blankets, we must see that there is physical and mental health care for those who live through this terrible, terrible situation.

If you or a loved one is struggling with depression, anxiety or PTSD, whatever the circumstances, seek help. You don’t have to go through this alone. We are here to help. We can provide referrals to licensed professionals as well as provide ancillary services that can be a powerful way to help you towards health and healing. Call us or email us if you would like to visit the ranch. We will show you around, introduce our incredible herd, learn more about what you are dealing with and share how we may be able to help.

OUR HEARTS GO OUT TO ALL THOSE WHO ARE STRUGGLING TODAY.

 

Posted in Addiction, ADHD, Anxiety Disorders, Children's issues, Depression, Grief, In my opinion, Mental Health, PTSD, Teens | Leave a comment

When Children Fail to Cope

Most kids experience some resistance/anxiety to new situations. We are not surprised when on the first day of school to see kids crying and clinging as parents dolefully walk away from them. But, in a short time, most kids adjust. They may later express some concern about other new and different situations, but usually, with just a bit of reassurance, most kids are able to step out and become more confident with each challenge they face.

But, this is not true for every child. There is that child that struggles every day to get up and out the door to go to school. They will try every angle to not have to go. They have few friends and become more and more isolated as time goes by. Without interventions, this can become life defining and possibly even life threatening.

This article in NEWS Medical Life Sciences, talks about social anxiety, its causes, the symptoms and things that can be done to help our children heal.

Nevada Equine Assisted Therapy offers a unique and powerful intervention that combines aspects of both cognitive and exposure therapy. Our clients are exposed to new and potentially challenging situations while working with them on building coping and self-soothing skills. Each client works with a Qualified Mental Health Associate (QMHA) and the horse of their choice. They start on the ground learning about horse and herd behavior, about how to stay safe around horses and building a relationship with the horse they work with. As time goes by, our clients mount and work on these and other skills, such as making choices and solving problems, that help build their confidence help them see that they can be successful.

If you have a child or teen that struggles with social situations, that ‘hates’ going to school or seems to be isolated, with few friends, perhaps you need to consider finding help. We are here for you. Give us a call of send us an email and we will schedule a visit. We will show you around the ranch, introduce our wonderful horses, learn more about what you are dealing with and share how we may be able to help.

 

 

Posted in Addiction, Anxiety Disorders, Asperger's, Autism, Children's issues, Depression, Eating Disorders, Mental Health, OCD, PTSD, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Teens | Leave a comment

Environmental Factors that Keep People From Healing

I have to admit, one of the hardest things about the work we do, is the awareness that sometimes, no matter how much we care and how well a client does in our program, they will continue to have serious issues because they continue to live in a toxic environment. I know this is true for all who work in the healing professions.

Poverty, neglect, abuse, or simply the lack of emotional interaction and support can seriously compromise anyone’s ability to heal, grow and thrive.

We give it our best shot, providing the most support and encouragement we can, hoping that somewhere, sometime, the best of what we have given will be enough to help someone through a difficult time.

In this very interesting article in Healio Psychiatric Annals, this very real problem is addressed and a potentially powerful intervention, as a study, is explored. Sadly, though this approach is very promising, at least to date, we have seen little evidence that there is the financial support to provide this type of comprehensive care. Those of us in the know realize that it is often a case of ‘pay now or pay later’ (violence, incarceration, drug addiction, suicide, etc) for those who do not receive help.

We will continue to do all we can to help our clients recover, grow and heal. Work with horses can be a powerful part of a comprehensive treatment plan. We are here for you and those you care for, whether they be clients that you see or a family member struggling to recover and heal from trauma. We would be happy to schedule a visit to our ranch. We will show you around, introduce our beautiful horses, learn more about what you are dealing with and share how we may be able to help.

Posted in Addiction, ADHD, Anxiety Disorders, Children's issues, Depression, Eating Disorders, FAS, Grief, Mental Health, OCD, ODD, PTSD, Schizophrenia, Sensory processing issues, Teens | Leave a comment

“Suicide rates among young women at an all-time high”

This headline stopped my heart for a moment. At this time, when so many of us are working to help young woman understand that they can be themselves and can grow up to have the life they want for themselves, it is heartbreaking to see such a headline. It is becoming very clear that this is on the mind of many young people and we MUST face the facts.

This article by Sarah D. Young in Consumer Reports is troubling. It talks about how ‘Feeling extremely pressured, stressed, and anxious’ can be life-threatening, but it also offers many suggestions on things that can be done if you feel your child (female or male) is struggling or at risk.

Most importantly, if you are concerned about how you are feeling or about what someone you care about is going through, SEEK HELP! There are many possible interventions from inpatient care to talk therapy.

Equine Therapy can be a powerful part of an intensive treatment plan. We work with kids, teens and adults, on the specific issues they are dealing with. Horses are non-judgemental and accepting of us. Work with horses can help clients learn to set and maintain safe and appropriate personal boundaries. They can help build confidence and self-esteem. They can help improve frustration tolerance and help clients trust themselves in decision making situations. And of course, they can touch our hearts.

We are here for you. Call or email and we will schedule a visit. We will show you around the ranch, introduce our horses, learn more about what you are dealing with and share how we may be able to help. Again, the bottom line, if you are concerned for yourself of someone else, seek help.

 

Posted in Addiction, Anxiety Disorders, Depression, Eating Disorders, Grief, Mental Health, PTSD, Teens | Leave a comment

New Research Shows That There is More to ADHD

We all know kids, teens and perhaps even adults, who struggle with ADHD.  They have trouble staying focused and on task, struggle to complete one thing before moving on to the next, and many other things including some self-esteem/self confidence issues created when they ‘fail’ at tasks and see themselves as different or less than their peers.

At one point it was believed the ADHD was strictly something that you were ‘born with’. However, there is growing evidence, that though genetics play a large role, there are many other contributing factors that can exacerbate or if managed, minimize the symptoms of ADHD. This great article in ADDITUDE Inside the ADHD Mind provides information on several factors that can influence ADHD symptoms.

What’s most interesting to me, is that work with horses can help address not only the behavioral issues (lack of focus, impulsivity, etc) but certainly work on stress reduction and provide an opportunity for exercise.

We work with children as young as 4, teens and adults, so if you or someone you know is struggling with ADHD, why not give us a call or send us an email to schedule a visit? We’ll show you around, introduce the horses, learn more about what your dealing with and share how we may be able to help.

Posted in ADHD, Anxiety Disorders, Asperger's, Autism, Children's issues, Depression, Mental Health, PTSD, Teens | Leave a comment

Depression Can Strike Anyone

Our vision of what someone dealing with depression is often very skewed. We may see a ‘loser’. Someone who can not keep a job, has no life, just can’t get it together. However, we are often reminded that even successful people, who seem to have it all, may be struggling as well.

Wil Haygood, a well respected author, has just released a memoir of Sportscaster, John Saunders. The Washington Post has shared part of the story and it is dark and powerful, sharing his lifelong battle to survive.

We are becoming more educated and understanding about the fact that depression is an illness. The bottom line is that anyone can struggle with depression, but there is help available. We must understand that depression is not a personal failing, but an illness that requires treatment. Trying to fight the battle alone can be life-threatening. We now recognize that with a comprehensive treatment plan, including traditional therapy, medication management, and other therapeutic interventions, can be very successful in helping someone struggling with depression, to have a rich, full life.

Equine Therapy can be a powerful part of a treatment plan for addressing depression. Through work with horses, clients rebuild self confidence. They benefit from the accepting, non-judgemental temperament of horses. Horses help us remember how to be ‘in the moment’ leaving behind feelings from the past and setting aside worry about the future. Our work is one-on-one, so our clients work on their specific issues and goals, focusing on what they need to accomplish in their work with horses.

We are here to help. If you or someone you know is living with the pain of depression, seek help. Call or email us and we can schedule a visit to our ranch. We will show you around, introduce you to our herd, learn more about what you are dealing with and share how we might be able to help.

 

Posted in Addiction, Anxiety Disorders, Bipolar, Depression, Eating Disorders, Grief, Mental Health, PTSD, Teens | 2 Comments

ADHD Challenges – HOMEWORK

Doing homework is rarely something that a child/teen looks forward to. For families struggling with ADHD issues, it can become a nightmare for child/teen and parents alike. We want our kids/teens to be successful, but the emotionally draining daily grind to get the homework done, maybe just overwhelming.

Though it is not something that you can fix with the wave of a wand (no magic!) this 6 step homework system by ATTITUDE Inside the ADHD Mind, offers some very good tips, that when applied consistently, will help a lot! There is not only a video, but links to other tips that may be helpful as well.

At Nevada Equine Assisted Therapy we work with kids, as young as 4, teens and even adults who struggle with ADHD. Through work with horses they improve the ability to stay focused and on task, decrease impulsivity, learn about setting and maintaining safe and appropriate personal boundaries and build self-confidence, among other things.

Work with horses can be a very powerful intervention for many issues. We are here for you and will be happy to schedule a visit to our ranch. We will show you around, introduce or horses, learn more about what you are dealing with and share how we may be able to help. Call or email today.

Posted in ADHD, Anxiety Disorders, Asperger's, Children's issues, Mental Health, PTSD, Teens | Leave a comment

Strong Men Struggle Too

Both men and woman can endure incredibly stressful situations. However, men are traditionally more ‘stoic’. They put on a ‘good face’ and ‘soldier on’. Unfortunately, this is something boys are often taught from a very young age. It’s not that woman don’t try to push through emotional pain, but thankfully, woman more often recognize when they are in trouble and do seek help. The fact that men are much less likely to seek help results in a  rate of suicide that is almost double in men This is also true with the rate of substance abuse.

This moving story, by Kevin Braddock, in The Guardian, about his struggles, offers more statistics, some insights about why men don’t seek help and perhaps provides some insights on how we can do better.

We have to encourage our boys/men to be honest about what they are feeling. That means we have to be compassionate and non-judgemental about what they share with us. We must offer more accessible help. This means available, affordable and non-stigmatic. This means that employers accept that, as physical health issues, mental health issues can be successfully addressed and that it is in their interest to support employees who seek help. It means that we offer family support when a partner or parents seeks help. It is not simple. In fact, the answers are complex, but we either look for and implement things that will make a difference or we choose to accept the loss of some of our best and brightest.

Work with horses can be a powerful intervention for children, teens and adults. In a non-judgemental environment, boys/teens/men can engage in a bonded and affectionate relationship with a warm and engaging being. Yes, horses can be very affectionate and do recognize the humans they interact with. Our clients learn how to ‘read’ their horse. They can note when their horse is feeling worried, eager, uncomfortable, etc. and can talk about when they many have these feelings in an open and accepting situation. Our clients become more confident, better able to deal with frustration and more open to considering different options when faced with a challenge.

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, anxiety or other mental health issues, seek help! We are here and can be an important part of a comprehensive treatment plan. If you would like, we can schedule a visit for you. We’ll show you around the ranch, introduce our horses, learn more about what you are dealing with and share how we may be able to help. Call or email us today.

 

Posted in Addiction, Anxiety Disorders, Bipolar, Depression, In my opinion, Mental Health, PTSD, Schizophrenia | Leave a comment

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Can be Debilitating

We all have things that we like to have ‘just so’. Maybe it’s how the sheets are tucked in or how the towels are hung up. You only like your hot dog with a little bit of catsup or can’t stand mac & cheese unless it is crispy. Ok, so these may be kind of silly examples, but most of us know someone with a more serious issue. I have a client who is not interested in working with one of horses ‘because he has spots’. Having an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder can cause havoc not only for the person struggling with this mental health issue, but with family and friends who not understand the issue or may actually want to be helpful an supportive.

Though in this Time Magazine piece, Emily Dixon shares her experiences with almost loving humor, she also shares that “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is no laughing matter”.  She shares that challenges of childhood and how her life has continued to shape her life.

There are many interventions that can be helpful for people with OCD. Work with horses is one of them. By offering an enticing and gently challenging environment, many people are able to push past some of the behaviors that stop them from having a rich, full life. They have to get dressed (in appropriate clothes), get in the car and come to the ranch. They have to deal with dirt, heat and flies, but with time, most of our clients are able to find a way to get past the things that are troublesome for them. They learn that if they can just wait a little bit, they can wash their hands. That they can be bothered by the heat, but find relief in the shade and that drinking lots of water can help the client feel better. We acknowledge that flies can be troublesome while encouraging clients to work through it. “The flies bother your horse too. Once you brush her we can spray her with flyspray and once you are up riding, the flies will be much less of a problem”.

We are here to help. We can be an powerful part of a comprehensive treatment plan. If you or someone you know is struggling with OCD, we are here for you. Call of email and we will schedule a visit. We will show you around, introduce out horses, learn more about what you are dealing with and share how we may be able to help.

Posted in Addiction, Anxiety Disorders, Asperger's, Autism, Children's issues, Mental Health, OCD, Teens | Leave a comment