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Bonus : Marcie Camarillo and Teen Depression

Words of Life / Salvation Army
The Truth Network Radio
September 30, 2019 2:00 am

Bonus : Marcie Camarillo and Teen Depression

Words of Life / Salvation Army

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September 30, 2019 2:00 am

Here is the extended version of our conversation with Counselor, Marcie Camarillo. She and Lori share their hearts on this topic and Marcie offers advice to parents and discuss the church’s role in mental health.

Series: HEADSPACE/ a series on mental health

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Hey guys, we are here today continuing on with our mental health series and we are talking to Marci Camarillo who I'm enjoying getting to know. So welcome. Thank you, I'm glad to be here. We just want to take a minute to get to know who you are and where you're from and what your background is and so can you share with us a little bit? Sure.

I live in Northwest Arkansas. I have spent time in full-time ministry. My husband and I were Salvation Army officers for 14 years and it definitely benefits what I do today. Definitely. So you say what you do today.

Yes. So that's perfect because tell us, what do you do today? So I had an epiphany about 14 years ago and you know the Lord really spoke to me about using the skills I already had to give that back. I went to grad school and got my masters in counseling and so I'm a mental health counselor. I'm also a play therapist and I'm licensed to supervise the new counselors and those in training for play therapy. So I do numerous trainings. So you're a busy woman.

It's busy. Yeah, well I'm glad to hear all of that because you come to us right at the perfect time because we're really enjoying this series on mental health and I think it's really, really important and it's so nice to get a perspective from a professional who's been connected in some way to the church as well and so welcome. We're really excited that you're here and I know that today we really kind of wanted to start or really dig into the mental health of adolescents and teenagers and when I was researching a little bit I read that in the past decade that clinical depression among adolescents I guess you would say probably 12 to 17 has gone up quite a bit and I'm just wondering what your experience has been with that. Is that something you've seen in practice? Is that something that?

Yes, definitely. The last year and year before that, before I was an administrator I was a clinical manager and I also had a caseload and I did a lot of hospital discharges. They were all adolescent between 12 and 17 with a variety of experiences. Some of them had experienced a lot of home distress, some had had multiple factors impacting why they ended up at the hospital bullying, distress at school with schoolwork, academia. Some had emotional issues that had started very early on in childhood.

All of them had trauma, every one. I'm wondering, I know it's difficult sometimes to gauge what is normal, hormonal, adolescence versus actual depression. I was reading that out of all of those teens who do suffer serious depression, only about 9% actually get treatment. When I interview parents, I'm trying to get a baseline of what the last normal was and then discuss the changes that have occurred. With depression, if we're seeing symptoms that have lasted more than a few weeks, then we're starting to consider this may be something related to their mental health and not to their attitude.

So that's part of the difference. Having an attitude that parents don't like or teachers don't like, that's not necessarily depression. That could be that they're learning about themselves and learning about the world.

In the teen years, they're gaining independence and that's what we want for them and from them is their display of independent skills. When we see a veering from that, if children or adolescents display symptoms that are a little more troubling, their conversations change. They withdraw.

They may appear to pull back from interests that they had before. Eating may change. Sleeping may change.

That's when adults need to be concerned about that and checking on them. So I'm thinking from a parental perspective because I have at one time had five teenagers in my house and I know that sleep is a very valuable thing for them. So gauging between what is normal and what is not sleep-wise and what is normal and what is not is difficult.

So it's helpful. This is true of all of us. There are levels of sleep that we all need to achieve from the cradle to the grave. But for teenagers, they're actually in their last growth spurt, physical growth spurt and so they all need more sleep than they realize. Probably need between eight and ten hours which is more than an adult and in the world we live in that does not support that many hours of sleep with screen time and all the technology around us. It's difficult for them to unwind just like for adults.

It's difficult. One hundred percent of all the teens that I did these interviews with who are hospital discharges had sleep disturbance and so the brain is not able to function. We have plenty of research that supports the necessity of sleep for proper brain function just like rebooting a computer and it's just not happening for a lot of people. We're tied to our telephones and I'm wondering about the impact on that. As adults, we can sort of manage that but I'm wondering about the impact on the adolescent brain and I'm thinking about things like Instagram that paint such a perfect picture. They're all looking, my daughter, constantly looking for the perfect picture and they're all watching this happen and thinking that everyone else's life is perfect and then it opens up a world of hurt for people to comment and say whatever they'd like because there's this level of anonymity and so I'm wondering about the impact of social media on depression and anxiety for adolescents. Our methods of communicating are more complex in some ways and yet they're more shallow in other ways and so reality is not the basis on which adolescents may make decisions about themselves and others and the world and that can be dangerous. The way their parents interact with them and interact with social media is important. I think parents are the starting point for that, setting some parameters around that, modeling it themselves.

They have to practice what they preach before the kids will buy into it. What would you suggest for parents just at this stage of life as far as allowing for independence but also maintaining the structures that it seems they need? Outside of modeling it themselves, some very strong conversations, expectations that start super early long before adolescence arrives. If parents haven't had conversations by then, it just becomes so much more difficult.

I've seen children addicted to technology and don't think that it's not like drugs and alcohol and other things. It is very much like that. So that conversation with them very early on and their relationship. Their relationship will win the day.

It's super important. I've heard it said that discipline without relationship equals rebellion. I've often mentioned to parents when I consult with them about their children that in essence they're not raising children, they're raising adults. And so thinking about what the end result is, values, parents not only establishing values in their home but communicating those values and then living them out as a family. I'm curious about the connection between parental mental health and the mental health of children and adolescents.

Is there a connection there? So I would say that parent mental health sets the stage for the child's good mental health. So good, strong mental health.

Now, it is on a continuum. It's on a continuum because we all have had seasons of rises and falls in our mental health, just like anything else. I've had the flu how many times in my life and so have experienced some anxiety. I've had a couple of times when I've experienced depression. Now I can look back and say I'm thankful that I experienced that so I can know the physical symptomology and say that I really know it because I experienced it.

I would think, and you can correct me if I'm wrong, that it would be valuable to model that in life we have seasons. I think sometimes maybe in the church what we portray or what we expect is happy perfection, in particular with teenagers. Praise and worship and we smile and we raise our hands and we're dressed nicely and I wonder if that's a disservice sometimes whereas if we can have conversations at home or in the church with our own children about, yes, this is life.

It's okay. It's normal to experience deep sadness in life because look at scripture. Look at David in the Psalms.

You can hear it all over there. So I wonder what your perspective is on that in regard to modeling normal ups and downs of life and how we deal with that in the church. The conversation has to be there.

It needs to be there. After a tragedy or in the midst of a trauma we'll hear people say I wish I had known I could have been helpful or I wish I had known how to help. It is important that we open up the conversation and keep it there. Have good, normal, honest, deep conversations with one another. I think maybe when we do that as adults and as leaders in particular then we're modeling for adolescents that it's okay to be broken. That God works through brokenness. God works through broken people. It's all over scripture. That it's okay.

I would love to see that happen in churches everywhere that we can have conversations and kids could only benefit from that. Don't you think? Absolutely. I'm reminded of the Old Testament scripture that says morning last for the night but joy comes in the morning. And so if we're going to live biblically presenting the whole gospel, the whole counsel of God's word, people suffer and people struggle and it's absolutely okay to do so.

That's where God meets us. Absolutely agree. And I think that also the redemption of your pain and your stories by sharing that and it creates connection with other people to remove that stigma of mental health that I think still exists.

I think it's probably getting better but the more we talk about it I think the better it's going to get. Secrets keep us stuck and sick. And so being able to incorporate one's experience into a narrative, into a story. There's nothing that we have experienced that the Lord cannot touch and be present in. I so often feel the Spirit of God in the counseling room. It feels like a holy place many times and I know that I sit in the sacred chair as I listen to the stories of others.

What is your perspective on how we can go from here? Everyone does have a story. And so I think about the gospel.

The gospel is the story of God's love and redemption for people. And that is akin to our story. And so just like God's plan for us, our story has ups and downs and twists and turns. And some of those turns are traumas and disappointments and surprises.

And some are good and some are not. But it all becomes part of who we are and that's okay. So secrets can keep us stuck and yet we are people of transformation. We can be transformed into who God wants us to be in the here and now.

Not perfect but healed or in the process of healing. And that displays its glory. That supports the significance of the church and what the church is to do. It gives opportunity for us to live in community and to live out the gospel message that even though we were in one condition, one state through healing touch, through a healing word, through transformation, we can become transformed into this person.

And that's really, that's the basis of most therapy is I'm here and I'm evaluating the process of getting over to here. We are overcomers. We can do that. And also just keep thinking to myself that conversation builds connection, connection builds community. And so I love that idea. I've enjoyed my conversation with you. Thank you so much. It's an honor. It's been so much fun.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-03 07:57:46 / 2024-02-03 08:02:59 / 5

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