Mood Disorders Treatment Today

/ April 29th, 2011/ Posted in Mental Health / No Comments »

Demi Lovato Reflects on Time at Timberline Knolls

Tucked away in a secluded woodland area off New Avenue, Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Facility enjoys a relatively quiet existence, often going completely unnoticed by local residents.

Last November, however, a number of Internet sites reported that the Lemont facility was playing host to a high-profile patient—18-year-old Disney star Demi Lovato.

At the time, Lovato’s representatives said she had left a tour with the Jonas Brothers to receive treatment for “emotional and physical issues she has dealt with for some time.”

Recently, Lovato opened up about her experiences in interviews with People magazine and ABC’s 20/20, admitting she had received treatment at Timberline Knolls for cutting, bulimia and anorexia.

She also learned she was suffering from bipolar disorder, she said.

“I had no idea that I was even bipolar until I went into treatment,” she told Robin Roberts during the 20/20 interview that aired Friday.

From Oct. 30 to Jan. 27, Lovato received intense in-patient treatment at Timberline Knolls, which specializes in the treatment of eating disorders, substance abuse and addiction, and mood disorders in women.

“I worked harder in those three months than I ever did in my life,” Lovato told People. “I basically went through hours of therapy every day. … It was a battle, but I stuck it out.”

Since completing treatment, Lovato continues to work with a therapist nutritionist and sponsor in Los Angeles, People reports. She recently announced she was leaving her Disney Channel show, Sonny With a Chance, to focus on music and her recovery.

“I’ve never been more peaceful or happy in my life,” Lovato said. “What’s important is to help others get to this place.”
Timberline Knolls

Timberline Knolls is a 43-acre facility located in Lemont. It was founded in 2005 by a team of psychiatrists, psychologists and clinicians as an in-patient treatment center for women dealing with trauma, eating disorders and drug addiction.

“Our residents — adult women and adolescent girls — come to us when they need immediate, life-saving and life-changing help,” according to the center’s website. “Our vision is to help residents achieve lifelong recovery by bringing together clinical treatment with spiritual and emotional growth.”

In February, Timberline Knolls observed National Eating Disorders Awareness Week by hosting a number of special programs and guest speakers to “educate the public on eating disorders and body image issues while reducing the stigma surrounding eating disorders and improving access to treatment.”

New guidelines for assessing tic disorders

Clinical guidelines from the European Society for the Study of Tourette Syndrome have emphasised the importance of comorbid psychiatric disorders in assessing patients with Tourette’s and other tic disorders.

“Tic disorders represent a range of tics and co-existing symptoms with a varied and heterogeneous presentation,” the guidelines state.
“In most situations, a standard interview with a few additional questionnaires and rating scales are sufficient to guide diagnosis and treatment.

However, psychiatric comorbidity occurs in more than three-quarters of cases that are referred for specialised care.”

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is the most common comorbidity — occurring in up to 60 per cent of childhood and adult cases — followed by obsessive compulsive disorders, anger control problems, sleep disorders, learning disorders, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and conduct and oppositional-defiant disorders.

Self-report scales can help to provide general information on psychopathology. The Child Behaviour Checklist can be completed by parents, and self-report questionnaires can be completed by adolescents. A range of tic-specific instruments are available, including the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale and the Shapiro Tourette Syndrome Severity Scale.

“The features that distinguish tics from other movement disorders — with the exception of akathisia [restless legs syndrome] and psychogenic movement disorders — are 1) the ability to suppress them for a while, and 2) the patient’s experience of tics as a (partly) voluntary movement to relieve an inner tension or premonitory focal sensory sensation.”

Neuropsychological assessment can be useful because of the high prevalence of learning disorders in children with tics. It can define the problems arising from the underlying disorder, and those resulting from the disruption caused to education.

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