. . . the right care at the right time


Blog posts with a category of Self Injury.

Newsletter – Q2 2014


Issue 16 – Second Quarter 2014

Threats by Children & Adolescents: When Are They Serious?

Children’s Threats: When Are They Serious?

Meet A New Oakland Child Psychiatrist

Student Weapon & Physical Violence Survey Results

10 Key Points Assessing Violent Behavior in the School Setting

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Philip Seymour Hoffman and the plague of addiction

By Dr. Jeffrey Sendi, New Oakland Medical DirectorIMG_0295

The death of the fabulously talented and accomplished actor, Philip Seymour Hoffman from a heroin overdose, sent shock waves through the hoffman 1entertainment world and once again elicited a slew of ill-informed and malicious responses. The gist was that addicts are weak. The uninformed think that people can “kick the habit,” but in truth, they can’t.

Dr. Drew Pinsky, an addiction expert who hosts a nightly show on HLN, said, “To view addiction as something that’s “kicked” or is a “demon” is a crazy notion in my world. The fact is, once the switch is thrown on addiction, it’s a chronic, lifelong condition that needs to be managed every day much the way a diabetic has to take insulin every day. And if they don’t take their insulin, their blood sugars go out of control and the same is true of addiction. If they’re not practicing their treatment on a regular basis, they will use — it’s inevitable.”

At New Oakland, we are well aware that addiction is a form of mental illness, and one of our specialties is addiction counseling. Addiction changes the brain, disturbing a person’s normal hierarchy of needs and desires and substituting new priorities connected with procuring and using the drug. The result is an inability to control impulses, and that makes addiction similar to other mental illnesses.

 Chilling fact: More people will die of opiate addiction in the next 30 days than died in the 9/11 tragedy. Philip Seymour Hoffman is just the most famous.

In recent years, other great entertainers who overdosed also brought addiction onto the front page: Chris Farley (cocaine, morphine), Heath Ledger (prescription pills), Amy Winehouse (alcohol poisoning), and Anna Nicole Smith (mixture of medications). But they are just the ones who stand out, the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Continue reading

Cyberbullying: The dark and deadly side of social media


By Lisa Kalinski, New Oakland Therapist

Kids have been bullying each other for generations. What makes it different now is the long-standing nature, the permanent nature of statements on line.

Rosalind Wiseman, Author of two books on bullying

If it takes a village to raise a child, it’s now taking a national awareness movement to prevent our children from causing devastating emotional wounds and provoking suicidal thoughts and actions on their equally young and fragile peers.

Social media has vastly intensified the ability to inflict relentless pressure and pain, and America has been jolted again by the suicide of 12-year-old Rebecca Ann Sedwick of of Lakeland, Florida, who leaped to her death from a cement factory silo.

Rebecca Ann Sedwick

Rebecca Ann Sedwick

What makes cases like this so deeply troubling is that Rebecca couldn’t escape. Her mother pulled her out of the middle-school, home schooled her and then had her transfer to a different school. But Rebecca’s 14-year-old tormentor still attacked on Facebook, telling her to “kill herself” and to “drink bleach and die.”  After Rebecca fell to her death the girl posted, “Yes I bullied Rebecca and she killed herself, but I don’t give a (expletive).”

It was then that the Polk County Sheriff arrested the 14-year-old on charges of aggravated stalking, a 3rd degree felony.

The viral effect of social media allowed her tormentor to recruit as many as 15 girls who picked on Rebecca for months through online message boards and texts. She had no effective defense, no hiding and no escape. Even her mother’s awareness and vigilance couldn’t shield her daughter from a prolonged and ultimately deadly attack.

The words of cyberbullies live online forever, keeping psychic wounds open and bleeding and leaving victims like Rebecca feeling that there is no way out other than to end her life. Continue reading