Psychiatrist: Calls up from parents after Sandy Hook tragedy - Fox 2 News Headlines

Psychiatrist: Calls up from parents after Sandy Hook tragedy

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By Fox 2 News Staff

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -- Psychiatrist Dr. Joel Young from Beaumont Hospital says he's getting more calls for help from parents concerned about their children in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings.

Dr. Young recently was recently interviewed by Fox 2.

Tell us a little bit about some of the calls that you've been receiving.

"We're getting phone calls much of the year, but particularly after this terrible tragedy, parents, particularly parents who have troubled teenagers, are calling us very concerned.  We're getting calls from parents.  We're getting calls from schools.  We're getting calls from police departments, as well."

Are parents more fearful now that their child could become violent in the wake of Sandy Hook?

"I think this is a very rare event, and I think we have to focus on that issue.  This does not happen that terribly frequently, although in the past several years and months much more frequently than is acceptable.  Parents, particularly those who know their children have a predilection for violence, are very much concerned about this.  It's a very hard thing to predict."

One of the blogs written in the wake of the Sandy Hook Shootings was from a mother that said, "I am Adam Lanza's mother," and there is a wave of parents across the country that feel the same way.  Are you seeing an increase in young people with these kinds of mental problems and, if so, why?

"I'm not so sure there's more in 2012 than there was in 1952.  I think we're better at identifying it.  Perhaps there is somewhat less stigma, but there's a small percentage of individuals and families that have these very troubled children like Adam.  And those families are very isolated and they really don't have support and they often really are shunned.  And even many of us feel like there's some type of parenting problem when, in fact, the problem is these are very difficult children, some of whom a parent has to manage for 18, 19, 20 years with really very little help from the outside."

What actually happens to these young people?

"Certainly any one individual it's hard to predict exactly what's going to happen.  If you take this group as a whole, if you treat them, if you identify their various psychiatric problems and treat their psychiatric problems, then as a whole, as a group, we decrease the risk, and that's what we need to do is decrease risk because these violent impulses are just very much apparent."

As for some of the signs your child needs help...

"So when we have children who are expressing feelings of hopelessness, if we see them socially isolated, those are children that we worry about.  If they have an increase (in) discipline with schools and in families and they start saying terrible things or violent things, those are those that we worry about.  If they have a preoccupation with violence, those are often the families that are calling us.  Particularly those that feel victimized or ostracized, they feel like people are against them, even paranoid ideations, those are clearly children at greater risk."

Nancy Lanza, Adam's mother, knew she had a problem child and yet she had assault weapons in her home.  If indeed we have children and we worry about their mental state, what should we do with the weapons in our houses.

"What a terrible decision to have violent weapons... with an impulsive child.  There is an absolute rule.   If your child or young adult has a predilection for violence, they should not be near guns.  Guns should be taken out of their home, particularly those with high capacity magazines."

"Mental health professionals need also to emphasize this importance of separating children from weapons."

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You can contact Dr. Young by calling (248) 608-8800.

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RELATED LINK:

List of Mental Health Resources from the Michigan Psychiatric Society

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