What used to be a rite of passage for girls entering their teenage years is now occurring more frequently at younger ages, which can make it developmentally and emotionally challenging for many.
According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, the average age of puberty in females now occurs around third and fourth grades, which is generally eight to nine years old. Twenty-five years ago, the average age was 12.
Amanda Armstrong, MA, LCPC, is a child out-patient therapist with Memorial Behavioral Health at the Springfield Children’s Center in Springfield, Illinois. She sees firsthand how early puberty can affect some girls and how communication is key in combatting depression. Read the rest of this entry »
It was the intense cramping that woke her up that cold, January morning. She had noticed some recent weight gain around her stomach and it had become sore to the touch. After taking some pain relievers, Monica Hay, then a 46-year-old employee of the state, tried to go back to sleep. However, the cramping became unbearable, and her mom rushed her to the emergency room.
News quickly came that a tumor the size of a soccer ball located in her ovary had burst and was leaking. That’s when she first heard her diagnosis: ovarian cancer. Read the rest of this entry »
The call came on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day seven years ago.
Michelle Buscher, then 42 years old, was soundly slumbering, enjoying the last day of a three-day weekend before going back to work. Her phone rang promptly at 8 a.m. The woman at the other end of the line told her that her test results came back. Michelle had lobular invasive carcinoma.
“What did you say?” she asked the woman, waking up her husband, Jerry.
“Honey, you have cancer. You need to come in tomorrow and talk to the surgeon,” the woman explained.
And that quickly, in two short minutes, Michelle’s seemingly perfect life evaporated into a nightmare. “Your whole world turns upside down in a moment’s notice.” Read the rest of this entry »
Have you or someone you know lost a loved one to suicide? While it is not an easy topic to discuss, suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the world, especially among young people. Every year, nearly one million people worldwide die by suicide, or one death by suicide every 40 seconds.
More than 90 percent of people who die by suicide have depression or another diagnosable mental disorder. Many times, they have a substance abuse problem. It is important to learn and recognize the warning signs. The majority tell someone first, so never take threats of suicide lightly. Read the rest of this entry »