LifeStance Insights

Our team of expert clinicians give their perspectives across a range of subjects, touching on current topics, family and loved one issues, mental health struggles and the comprehensive services that can help you live a better life.

FEATURED STORY

How Psychiatric Service Dogs Provide Support for Mental Health

May 22, 2024 By: LifeStance Health Read Time: 6 Minutes
How Psychiatric Service Dogs Provide Support for Mental Health
What are Psychiatric Service Dogs? Psychiatric service dogs, psychiatric assistance dogs, and emotional support dogs all play valuable roles in supporting individuals with mental health conditions, but they differ in their training, legal definitions, and the roles they perform. Let’s look at each of them. Psychiatric service dogs are a type of service dog trained to perform specific tasks to assist individuals with disabilities, including psychiatric disabilities. Their training is focused on actionable tasks such as reminding their handler to take medication, providing safety checks or room searches for those with PTSD, interrupting self-harm behaviors, or pulling their handler from an overwhelming situation. Psychiatric service dogs have legal protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), allowing them to accompany their owners in most public places. Psychiatric Assistance Dogs (PADs) as a term is often used interchangeably with psychiatric service dogs. They are essentially the same, performing specific tasks to help individuals with psychiatric conditions. The key component that defines them as ‘service’ or ‘assistance’ dogs is their task-specific training related to the handler’s disability. PSD...
Read More
Filter by
Specialized Services

Guide to Finding the Right Child Psychiatrist

Childhood and adolescence can be a rollercoaster ride of emotions and experiences, with normal ups and downs. However, sometimes you might notice changes in your child that seem out of the ordinary. They might exhibit persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety or anger. Perhaps they’re having trouble at school, or their behavior seems drastically different. These signs can indicate that they might benefit from professional help. Like a pediatrician for physical health, a child psychiatrist is important for a child’s mental health. Child and teen psychiatrists have the knowledge and tools to understand and help young minds in their complex world. They can identify, diagnose, and treat Mental Health Conditions, helping your child navigate their feelings and experiences in a healthier way. More importantly, they can empower your child with coping strategies, fostering resilience for their journey ahead. “When a child is experiencing a physical health condition, most caregivers don’t think twice about reaching out to their pediatrician. Yet emotional issues in children can be trickier to spot and, understandably, some parents may not know how or when to involve a mental health professional,” said Dr. Anisha Patel-Dunn. “Mental health should be treated no differently than physical health—they’re incred...

By LifeStance Health

Published: May 20, 2024
Read Time: 6 Minutes
Read More
Guide to Finding the Right Child Psychiatrist
Lifestyle/Cultural

How To Address School Avoidance – Parents Guide 

School avoidance has long been a serious concern for many parents, educators, and mental health professionals. It is a phenomenon characterized by a child’s reluctance or refusal to attend school, which can stem from countless complex emotional, psychological, and environmental factors. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated this issue for many families due to increased stressors, disruptions in routine, and the transition to remote or hybrid learning formats. Understanding and addressing school refusal requires empathy, patience, and a commitment to uncovering the root causes behind a child’s anxiety. This guide aims to empower parents with strategies and insights on choosing the right interventions to offer a supportive environment that encourages attendance and well-being. What is School Refusal? School avoidance, often misconstrued as mere truancy, involves a complex interplay of factors that can make attending schoo...

By LifeStance Health

Published: May 13, 2024
Read Time: 5 Minutes
Read More
How To Address School Avoidance – Parents Guide 
Types of Therapy

Somatic Therapy Exercises – 5 Exercises to Try at Home

Somatic therapy, a form of body-centered therapy, emphasizes the connection between the mind and body in healing. It is particularly effective in addressing trauma and stress-related issues. While somatic therapy is best administered in office by a licensed professional, there are some exercises that can be used at home in between sessions. What are Somatic Exercises? Somatic therapy is a therapeutic approach that focuses on the physical body as a means to understand and treat psychological pain. It integrates both psychotherapy and physical therapies for holistic healing. Somatic exercises involve gentle movements and body-awareness techniques aimed at releasing muscle tension, improving posture, and promoting relaxation. These exercises focus on enhancing the connection between the mind and body to alleviate stress and reduce physical discomfort. Through mindful movement and breath awareness, somatic exercises hel...

By LifeStance Health

Published: May 8, 2024
Read Time: 3 Minutes
Read More
Somatic Therapy Exercises – 5 Exercises to Try at Home
Disorders

What is Hoarding Disorder? 

For over 700 years, the concept of hoarding has been a notable element in European literature, reflecting the social and economic milieu of different eras. Esteemed authors have often imbued their characters with hoarding behaviors, providing a mirror to the times. Notable examples include Miss Flite in Charles Dickens’ “Bleak House” and the Collyer brothers in Franz Lidz’s “Ghosty Men.” Similarly, in “Great Expectations,” Dickens presents Miss Havisham as a character who compulsively hoards remnants of her past. These depictions in literature not only illustrate hoarding behaviors but also offer insights into the historical and economic contexts that influenced these portrayals, enhancing our understanding of hoarding’s evolution through time. Hoarding is a mental health condition characterized by the excessive collection and retention of items, leading to clutter that disrupts an individual’s living space and daily functioning. This behavior stems from an ongoing difficulty in discarding possessions, irrespective of their value, causing distress and significant impairment. Historically linked with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), hoarding was reclassified as a separate entity in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) in 2013. This reclassification...

By LifeStance Health

Published: May 6, 2024
Read Time: 6 Minutes
Read More
What is Hoarding Disorder? 

Here’s What You Need to Know About Spravato Nasal Spray (esketamine) and How It Can Help Treatment Resistant Depression

What Is Spravato? Spravato is a type of medication administered through a nasal spray to individuals who have not responded well to conventional antidepressants or experience depression with suicidal ideation and intent.  It is a new treatment approach that offers the potential for rapid relief of depression. What sets Spravato apart is its differentiated mechanism of action and its active ingredient, esketamine. It’s a derivative of racemic ketamine, a widely used generic anesthetic consisting of esketamine and arketamine, and unfortunately, a drug of abuse when used recreationally and outside of a medical indication. Spravato is delivered via 2-3 intranasal spray devices administered 5 minutes apart, each providing 28 mg of esketamine in a fine mist, allowing the medication to be absorbed through the nasal passage. Patients typically receive 8 treatments the first month and respond quickly, often within 3-7 days, compared to traditional antidepressants that can take 6-8 weeks to take effect. Difficult to treat depression and depression in those with suicidal thoughts cause many problems for patients and families, including prolonged suffering, functional impairment, job loss, caregiver stress and reduced quality of life. According to Dr....

By LifeStance Health

Published: April 30, 2024
Read Time: 5 Minutes
Read More
Here’s What You Need to Know About Spravato Nasal Spray (esketamine) and How It Can Help Treatment Resistant Depression
Specialized Services

The Parent’s Guide to Psychiatric Medication for Teens

This content has been updated from the previous article on November 23, 2020. Watching your child struggle with a mental health issue is one of the most stressful things a parent can face. Chances are that this is not the teenage years you imagined for your child. An estimated 49.5 percent of adolescents has had a mental health disorder at some point in their lives. For young people who do have mental health disorders, early intervention and treatment can help lessen the impact on their lives. However, there is still plenty of hope. Mental health conditions are treatable, and your teen can live a healthy, happy life. Part of this journey involves choosing psychiatric medication for teens. The guide below can help you make the decision that is right for your family. If you need more personalized guidance, schedule an appointment with one of our compassionate mental health care providers. When Do Teens Need Mental Health Medication?...

By LifeStance Health

Published: March 25, 2024
Read Time: 6 Minutes
Read More
The Parent’s Guide to Psychiatric Medication for Teens

How to Seek Help for Hoarders

Unpacking the Common Methods of Overcoming Hoarding Despite affecting a significant percentage of the population, hoarding is a topic that remains somewhat stigmatized and severely misunderstood. But what exactly does it entail? Whether seeking actionable advice, guided help for hoarders or just curious to learn more, you’re in the right place. We’re starting the conversation about this commonly experienced condition, including tips on how to overcome hoarding. The Fine Line Between Collecting and Hoarding Some people see collecting as a socially acceptable form of hoarding, but where is the line? The truth is that it is often a blurry one. While emotional connections to physical objects are a driving force for collectors and hoarders, the nature and significance of these connections vary greatly. One of the main differences is that collectors tend to be purpos...

By LifeStance Health

Published: March 20, 2024
Read Time: 7 Minutes
Read More
How to Seek Help for Hoarders