Signs of Depression in Adolescents

Understanding Depression in Children

While occasional sadness is part of every childhood, some adolescents may have more persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness. Knowing the warning signs of depression in children can help you identify when your child needs intervention and treatment.

Behaviors of Adolescents with Depression

It could be a sign of depression if a child consistently displays the following behaviors:

  • Irritability
  • Feelings of sadness
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Not participating in hobbies and activities they once used to enjoy
  • Changes in eating habits (eating more or less than usual)
  • Changes in sleep habits (sleeping more or less than usual)
  • Fatigued or sluggish
  • Restlessness
  • Lack of focus
  • Self-destructive behavior or self-harm

Treatment Options

In addition to individual outpatient counseling and psychiatry, you may want to consider an adolescent group therapy program for your child, such as what we offer at Psychiatric Solutions. An adolescent group therapy program offers unique benefits, including:

  • The opportunity to learn and practice new skills among peers who can relate to each other’s feelings and situations.
  • Working with therapists who are trained and experienced in working with the developmental needs of children.
  • Treatment plants and methods that are designed for the needs of an adolescent.
  • Learning tools to build and strengthen relationships with family and peers.
  • Learning conflict resolution and coping skills for resiliency through the challenges of growing up.

Adolescent Mental Health Services in Spokane

If your child has depression or any other behavioral health condition, Psychiatric Solutions can help tailor an adolescent outpatient treatment program to help meet their specific needs. Contact us today at (509) 863-9779 for an assessment with our compassionate, experienced professionals.


Benefits of Telepsychiatry

Why Choose Telepsychiatry?

During these unprecedented times, millions of people throughout the country are being to stay home in hopes of slowing the spread of COVID-19. During this time of great uncertainty, we want to ensure that our patients still continue to get the psychiatric care and treatment they need to continue on their path of mental health and wellness.

Thankfully, living in the age of technology gives us options when it comes to providing mental healthcare services from afar. Learn more about how this remote option can help us to help our patients.

How Does Telepsychiatry Work?

At Psychiatric Solutions, we are offering intensive group therapy sessions virtually. By utilizing technology to hold these meetings through Zoom—a free app—we are able to provide group members with the benefits of group therapy while keeping everyone’s physical health in mind.

Services that are offered through our telepsychiatry services include:

  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
  • Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for Adults and Adolescents
  • Medication Management
  • Psychiatric Evaluations

Just like our in-person visits, patients are required to set up an appointment time in order to benefit from this remote option.

Benefits of Telepsychiatry

Although the thought of speaking with a therapist virtually may seem like a foreign concept, there are many benefits of this remote-style therapy—during these unprecedented times and beyond. Some of these benefits include:

  • Providing access to mental health services when in-person visits are unavailable.
  • Increased feeling of comfortability for patients.
  • Convenience for both the patient and therapist.
  • Helps patients to avoid the stigma of seeking help.
  • Oftentimes, patients feel more comfortable participating.

Telepsychiatry in Spokane

At Psychiatric Solutions we are proud to offer telepsychiatry services that provide patients with support with one of our on-call therapists, completely remotely. All of our online appointments will be conducted through Zoom—all you need is WiF and a phone, tablet, or computer.

Contact us today at (509) 863-9779 for an assessment with our experienced professionals.


Is Drinking Make Me More Depressed?

In reality, alcohol is a depressant that affects the brain chemistry and can ultimately alter the way you perceive your problems, generally exacerbating them and making one feel more depressed than they already were before the drink.

The Relationship Between Alcohol Abuse & Depression

Alcohol abusers are among those with the highest rates of depression. Studies performed by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism have found that somewhere between 30-50% of those with alcohol issues also suffer from major depressive symptoms. Additionally, another study by the same institute found that those with alcohol dependency are about four times more likely to have dealt with depressive symptoms in the year before than their non-drinking counterparts.

Alcohol consumption can increase the severity and duration of several depressive symptoms, including:

  • Decreased energy and fatigue
  • Insomnia and excessive sleep
  • Feelings of guilt, helplessness, and worthlessness
  • Feelings of hopelessness and increased thoughts of suicide
  • Difficulty with memory, concentration, and decision making
  • Irritability, restlessness, and pessimism
  • Appetite loss or overeating
  • Chronic pain, headaches, cramps, and digestive issues

Effects of Alcohol in the Body

Alcohol effects on body functions include:

  • Lower serotonin and norepinephrine levels, which can make a person suffering from depression even more depressed.
  • Temporarily minimizes the effects of stress hormones, exacerbating depressive episodes
  • Possibly activates a gene that’s linked to mental health problems such as depression, manic-depressive episodes, and seizures
  • Can induce folic acid deficiency, which is linked to processes that age the brain and puts one at risk of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia
  • Causes hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, which can lead to symptoms such as confusion, irritability, poor concentration, and headaches
  • Disrupts the sleep cycle, preventing you from entering the deeper state of sleep that is necessary for your mind and body to heal

To learn more, call our staff at (509) 863-9779 for a consultation with one of our experienced professionals.


Mothers Day During COVID 19


Mother’s Day can be sensitive or downright painful for many people even under the best of circumstances. For some, the day is a reminder of loss, absence, or pain in a mother-child relationship. If Mother’s Day is a difficult day for you, you may find this article from Harvard Health to  be helpful.

And even if Mother’s Day has been a relatively uncomplicated celebration for you in the past, this year is certain to present unique challenges.

If you’re a mother whose children are home more, the challenge might be figuring out how to nurture your own needs in quarantine. Here are a couple of tips:

Focus on self-compassion

Increased time with your children may have led to increased pressure to be “on” all the time and feeling burned out. Take some time to reflect on the things that you are doing well.

Your best is more than good enough.

Take Time for Something that Brings You Joy While meeting your basic needs for sleep or downtime may be at the top of your list, make sure to also schedule some time for a favorite hobby or a fun activity. Even 15-20 minutes will help!

Connect with Those Who “Mother” You Whether it’s your own mother or a mentor or a peer, schedule a time to connect with someone or (“someones”) who nurtures you.

Mothers need nurturing too!


For those who are trying to figure out how to celebrate mothers, grandmothers, and mother-figures, while in quarantine: we’ve included some suggestions.

Organize a parade by her house. Bring homemade signs with words of appreciation, scatter flowers, and dress up if you’re brave.

Put together a playlist of songs you know she loves or songs that make you think about her.

Schedule a Zoom date with her and use that time to talk about meaningful things. Ask her questions about herself, but also consider sharing something meaningful about your own life and development.



NPR has compiled a series of articles, short videos, tips, and stories to reflect on and celebrate mothers and those who “mother”.

Features include 6-Word tributes to mothers, Latin American music for Mother’s Day, tips on a DIY Mother’s Day, a tribute to “cool aunts”, and so much more.

Check it out! Click here


Mental Health Myths

There are many misconceptions about mental health. These misconceptions can lead to the one in five Americans who experience a mental health issue to feel unnecessary shame and isolation. Let’s review and debunk three common myths about mental health.

3 Mental Health Misconceptions?

  1. Depression, Anxiety, and Other Mental Health Conditions are a Sign of Weakness

Experiencing anxiety, depression, or any other mental health condition does not mean you are weak. Just as a person may need medical assistance to treat a severe physical injury, you may need some help to get better from a mental health concern. People who suffer from depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions are often resilient people who have faced many adversities.

  1. Mental Health Concerns Can Be Prevented

Mental health concerns are often a result of a complex mixture of trauma, stress, genetics, and circumstance. Do not blame yourself for your anxiety or depression.

  1. All People Who are Mentally Ill Are Violent

There is a lot of fear and stigma surrounding mental health conditions, particularly those with a component of psychosis. Stigma from film characters and sensationalized news stories have contributed to the misconception that people who experience anxiety, depression, and psychosis are dangerous. According to the American Psychological Association, only 7.5% of crimes were committed by those who showed symptoms of mental illness.

Spokane Behavioral Health Services

Here’s hoping that debunking these myths gives you more empathy for yourself or a loved one. If you have any questions about mental health conditions and treatments, don’t hesitate to contact us. We know that depression, addiction, anxiety, and other mental health conditions can affect everyone differently and behavioral care is not a one-size-fits-all solution. We’re here to help.



In these days of the COVID-19 outbreak, some waves of anxiety are easier to ride than others.

Grounding techniques are a way to pull yourself out of fears about the future or worries about the past and back into your body in the present moment.

Here are some grounding techniques to try when you are feeling overwhelmed.

Physical Grounding Techniques Use your senses & tangible objects around you to move through distress.

Box Breathing

Slowly inhale, counting to 4; hold breath for 4 seconds; slowly exhale, counting to 4; repeat.

(Learn more from

5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Counting down from 5, use your senses to list things you notice around you. For example, 5 things you hear, then 4 things you see, then 3 things you can touch, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste.

Cognitive Grounding Techniques

Redirect your overwhelmed brain by distraction.

Coloring / drawing

You can color images online for free, such as this beautiful image of a Mandalafrom

Memory Game

Look at a photo or picture and focus on identifying 5 or 10 details, then turn it over and try to remember those details, recreating the picture in your imagination.


This meditation, published on Psychology

Today by clinical psychologist Dr. Beth Kurland, is a practice intended to cultivate resilience during this difficult time.

Based in the ancient Buddhist tradition of the loving kindness meditation, Dr. Kurland’s mindful pause is for people of any background or religious practice. She encourages adapting the words of the meditation for your personal preference.

During inhalation, the words of the meditation are focused inward, directing your attention and compassion toward your own emotions. While exhaling, the meditation extends that compassion and goodwill outward toward loved ones and community.



You might think more money, a better job, or Instagram-worthy vacations would make you happy. You’re dead wrong.

Yale professor Dr Laurie Santos will take you through the latest scientific research and share some surprising and inspiring stories that will forever alter the way you think about happiness.

Available for free on iiTunes, Stitcher, & web streaming at




In the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak and response, many of us are experiencing increased fear and anxiety as well as feelings of isolation and loneliness. While short times of stress are not inherently harmful, the prolonged and/or unpredictable presence of stress can have a negative impact on your physical and mental health.

Now more than ever, it is important to regulate our baseline stress with activities that work from the “bottom up”, that is, at a physical, emotional level rather than a cognitive, “top down” level. Trying to calm ourselves with logic alone is not going to work during this time of uncertainty and prolonged stress.

Some examples of activities that regulate stress from the “bottom up” are: walking, playing music, coloring or doing an art/craft project, playing a video game, doing yoga, stretching, focusing on breathing.

These stress-regulating activities are far more effective when dosed out over the period of the day. For example, going for a 45-minute walk one time a day may only regulate your feelings of stress and anxiety for an hour or two. You’d be much better off to dose your walk into five minute intervals sprinkled throughout your day.

Another way to regulate stress is to limit your contact with social media, tv, and other sources of stressful news. Limit your exposure to the stressful things that are out of your control, and give yourself two news- free and social media-free hours before bedtime.

To learn more about how to reduce baseline anxiety for yourself and your family during the COVID-19 pandemic, listen to this interview with trauma specialist Dr. Bruce Perry.



You don’t need a medical degree to know that laughing feels good. But did you know that medical studies have shown that laughter works to decrease stress hormones, improve the immune system, and boost endorphins?

While cranking up that show that hits your funny bone might work great for you, it turns out that “fake” laughter works just as well to reduce stress.

To learn about Laughter Yoga, follow the link to a TedMed Talk from Laughter Yoga creator, Dr. Madan Kataria.



David Kessler is one of the world’s foremost experts on grief. He is the co-creator of the well-known 5 Phases of Grief, to which he has added a 6th: Finding Meaning.

He is offering helpful perspective on the collective grief we are currently experiencing due to COVID-19. Check out one or all of these resources to learn more.


That Discomfort You’re Feeling is Grief


Why We’re All Grieving, & How To Deal with It”



An Overview of the Benefits of Intensive Outpatient Programs

Coming to terms with a substance abuse problem? Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) is one treatment option for those struggling with addiction, and it is an excellent option for many patients who might think round-the-clock, inpatient treatment is the only route to sobriety. An inpatient program may be the best choice if you need closer direction and monitoring than you would receive in an outpatient setting.

Some of the main benefits of intensive outpatient programs include:

  • Flexible scheduling: This allows the patient to maintain their everyday responsibilities, such as maintaining a job and/or going to school.
  • Lower costs: There is no need to pay room and board as there is for a residential/inpatient program, and you’ll be able to live at your own home during treatment.
  • Higher retention rates: IOPs are more rigorous than lower-intensity, “regular” outpatient treatment programs.
  • Stay near family and friends: Isolation is a threat to recovery. If you have a strong support network of family or friends who want to see you get sober, IOP may be perfect for you.
  • More private: The lack of confidentiality, or the need to explain a prolonged absence, is what deters many from seeking addiction treatment. You can feel less exposed if you don’t have to live at a residential treatment facility.
  • Keep up with work and/or school: Taking months off from your job or school just isn’t feasible for many people in recovery. IOP gives you the chance to maintain your school or work schedule, although you’ll likely still need to take some time off during the most intense periods of withdrawal.

Is IOP Treatment Right for Me?

You may wonder if IOP is right for you, or if you’d be better suited to a more structured environment you’d encounter in an inpatient setting. While many patients come from an inpatient setting and transition to IOP, many transition straight from detox/partial hospitalization to IOP therapy. Ideal candidates are focused on getting well, and have a safe, supportive home environment. If you’re fighting sobriety and face daily temptations from others who continue to drink or use drugs, residential treatment is likely the better choice, so you’ll be away from your relapse triggers.

Learn more about our behavioral health and substance abuse recovery programs by calling (509) 863-9779 today.


Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS): Frequently Asked Questions

This guide will answer some of the most common questions about TMS, so you can learn more about whether it might be a good treatment for you.

  1. What is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)?

TMS has been used to treat major depressive disorder since the 1980s. This FDA-approved, nondrug therapy is a noninvasive procedure utilizing magnetic fields to stimulate the brain’s nerve cells. It is performed by placing a treatment coil over the patient’s head to deliver brief magnetic pulses to a specific part of the brain with technology similar to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

  1. How does TMS work?

Regions of the brain associated with mood regulation, such as the prefrontal cortex, receive magnetic pulses passing through the skull and into the brain. During a session, the electromagnetic coil is placed near the head, which painlessly sends magnetic pulses

  1. What is treatment-resistant depression?

When standard depression treatments prove minimally effective, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) can provide relief from symptoms of major depressive disorder (MDD). Treatment-resistant depression is unfortunately common, and while antidepressants play a valuable role for two-thirds of adults suffering from MDD, as many as one-third of adults cannot shake their persistent feelings of sadness, low energy, suicidal ideation, and other bothersome symptoms.

  1. Will TMS work for me?

TMS is a very powerful tool to achieve relief from MDD. About 50 to 60% of patients treated with TMS experience significant, clinically meaningful responses with TMW, and about one-third of these individuals have full remission from MDD, while another one-third reduce their antidepressant medication therapy. Most patients who benefit feel improvement after 3 to 6 weeks of treatment, if they respond.

  1. What is TMS treatment like?

During your treatment regimen, you will need to have sessions 5 days per week for approximately 6 weeks. Each session lasts between 20 to 50 minutes, depending on the clinical protocol. A psychiatrist will determine the “landmark” in the brain to determine the treatment site.

  1. Am I a good candidate for TMS?

Patients who have failed to improve from prior antidepressant medication therapy who are willing to devote the time to TMS therapy may be considered good candidates. Insurance coverage may depend on more factors, such as trying 4 or more antidepressants without relief from symptoms, and a referral from your psychiatrist.

  1. Is TMS safe?

There have been many clinical trials to test the safety of TMS, and it has been proven as very easy to tolerate, and it is FDA-approved for treating MDD. Thousands of patients have been treated with TMS, and the most common side effects include mild or moderate scalp discomfort or mild headaches, and usually these side effects go away after the 1st week of treatment. No long-term side effects as associated with TMS.

  1. Is TMS as effective as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)?

ECT, sometimes mistakenly called “electroshock therapy,” is a last-line treatment for MDD. It is the most potent treatment for MDD, yet it has certain risks that deter many patients, such as potential memory loss. TMS is an effective alternative to avoid ECT.