BayWellness Fall 2015 : Page 7
Recognize just some of the factors that can put a teen at risk for suicide: A recent or serious loss, such as the death of a family member, a friend or a pet. The separation or a divorce of parents, or a breakup with a boy-friend or girlfriend, a parent losing a job, or the family losing their home. A psychiatric disorder, particularly a mood disorder like depression or bipolar disorder, or a trauma or stress-related disorder. Prior suicide attempts increase risk for another suicide attempt. Alcohol and other substance abuse disorders. Struggling with sexual orientation in an environment that is not re-spectful or accepting of that orientation. A family history of suicide is something that can be really significant and concerning, as is a history of domestic violence, child abuse or neglect. Lack of social support. A child who doesn’t feel support from significant adults in her life, as well as her friends, can become so isolated that sui-cide seems to present the only way out of her problems. Bullying. We know that being a victim of bullying is a risk factor, but there’s also some evidence that kids who are bullies may be at increased risk for suicidal behavior. Access to lethal means, like firearms and pills. Stigma associated with asking for help. Barriers to accessing mental health services such as lack of bilingual service providers, unreliable transportation, and the financial cost of services. Cultural and religious beliefs that suicide is a noble way to resolve a per-sonal dilemma. “Influenza is contagious,” says fam-ily medicine physician Dr. Jennifer Turkish. “People should begin getting vaccinated soon after flu vaccine becomes available.” DR. JENNIFER TURKISH FLU SEASON HAS ARRIVED A Flu Shot is Recommended for Everyone 6 Months of Age and Older The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rec-ommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protect-ing against this serious disease. “Influenza is contagious,” says family medicine physician Dr. Jennifer Turkish. “People should begin getting vaccinated soon after flu vaccine be-comes available, if possible by October, to ensure that as many people as possible are protected before flu season be-gins.” However, she notes, as long as flu viruses are circulating in the community, it’s not too late to get vaccinated. Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, and tiredness. Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, although this is more common in children. It’s also important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever. “All New Jersey residents, especially those in at-risk groups, are urged to get an annual flu shot as influenza activity is expected to increase as flu season kicks in,” says Dr. Turkish. “Those who are at higher risk include children under 5 years of age, people over age 65, pregnant women, those with other chronic medical conditions, especially lung and heart disease, obesity, and the immunocompromised.” Most people who get the flu recover in a few days to less than two weeks, but some can develop serious complications such as pneumonia, which can be life threatening. Pneumo-nia, bronchitis, sinus and ear infections are all examples of complications from flu. In addition to getting a seasonal flu vaccine, Dr. Turkish sug-gests taking daily preventive actions like staying away from sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. “If you are sick with flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading flu to others,” she says. Be aware of some warning signs that your teenager may be having suicidal thoughts: Beginning to isolate themselves, pulling away from friends or family No longer participating in what were their favorite things or activities Recently-developed trouble thinking clearly Changes in their personality (darker, more anxious, or non-caring) Changes in eating or sleeping habits Talking about suicide or death in general Expressing feelings of hopelessness or guilt Self-destructive behavior (substance abuse, dangerous driving, reckless-ness, excessive risk taking) Changes in their personal hygiene and appearance Anxiety-related physical problems (stomachaches, headaches, hives, fa-tigue, blurred vision) Having difficulty accepting praise or rewards. Fall 2015 • • 7
FLU SEASON HAS ARRIVED
Dr. Jennifer Turkish
A Flu Shot is Recommended for Everyone 6 Months of Age and Older
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