Sharna Olfman, Ph.D. is a Professor of Psychology in the Department of Humanities at Point Park University, Pittsburgh and a clinical psychologist.
She teaches child development and directs the annual Childhood and Society Symposium. Olfman has edited a number of excellent books on children, among them,
, No Child Left Different
and The Sexualization of Childhood
. Her work helps to bring attention to the special needs of children in the 21st century. Also, consideration is given to the overuse of medication to even young children.
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The message beyond these two books, whether you agree 100% with the viewpoint expressed here or not, is that we need to move beyond the medical model of mental health. Quite conclusively we can conclude that mental health is not a simple chemical imbalance, it is not all genetics, rather there is a complex set of variables that can result in mental health disorders in children, many of them controllable.
Bipolar Children (2007)
Bipolar Children book review
What is behind the exponential rise in the diagnosis of bipolar disorder in children over the past 10 years? Is medication
the best form of treatment for children diagnosed with bipolar disorder? Is bipolar disorder
a symptom of a breakdown in values of society, and is it a biological disease that should be medically treated? Is the medical model
approach to bipolar disorder the most accurate explanation for the symptoms normally attributed to the disorder? Are there any repercussions from the extensive use of medication in the treatment of bipolar disorder in children? Is treatment with anticonvulsants and atypical antipsychotics advisable in preteen children?
Sharna Olfman has again edited a thought-provoking series of articles from well known psychiatrists, child psychiatrists, psychologists and child-care experts in her new book Bipolar Children. (2007) Thought provoking, well-documented details on the repercussions of over-reliance on medication for ADHD, bipolar disorder and depression. It also documents how over-reliance on antidepressants and stimulant medication can often times lead to the symptoms of bipolar disorder.
Bipolar Children is one of the best books that have been written on the subject and is highly recommended for educators
in the mental health field.
No Child Left Different (2006)
Exploring such subjects as child development and such disorders such as bipolar disorder and ADHD, the use of medications, the media's role, and other topics, No Child Left Different sheds light on the many interrelated aspects of children's mental health.
A monumental, anchoring work with two chapters written by Sharna Olfman, a Clinical Psychologist and Associate Professor of Psychology in the Department of Humanities at Point Park University, Pittsburgh. She teaches child development and directs the annual Childhood and Society Symposium.
With the increasing diagnosis of such disorders as ADHD and bipolar disorder in children, has come a marked increase in the use of powerful psychotropic drugs being prescribed for preschoolers up until the teenage years. Are such diagnosis valid, or are there other explanations and reasons for children's psychological problems?
Sharna Olfman develops this theme, with two opening chapters and nine other qualified writers who elaborate on various aspects of children's mental health, medication, and other serious issues on the subject. Anyone in the field of mental health, special education or parents who are struggling with these issues with their own children, should read this book.
It points out not only the problems, but also gives ideas that can help to direct parents and children so as to avoid the pitfalls of the current mental health system, as well as to make practical adjustments in life in orders to overcome the severity of symptoms, or other adjustments. Such topics as the nature of children's mental health, the community, pornography's affect on mental health, a balanced look at the role of genetics, as well as a closer look at what is known as the medical model of mental health, and it’s shortcomings. Dangers of psychotropic drugs are discussed, as well as the effects of television, video games and movies, media violence, on mental health.
An article by Lawrence Diller, M.D., a behavioral-development pediatrician and family therapist, well known for his work in drugs for ADHD such as Ritalin, examines the issues involved on these subjects. Other articles are written by Michael Brody, a child and adult psychiatrist in private practice and professor of American Studies at the University of Maryland; Mary Burke, a child psychiatrist in private practice who teaches at the California Pacific Medical Center and the Langley Porter Psychiatric Institution/University of California, San Francisco; Daniel Burston, Associate Professor of Psychology at Duquesne University Pittsburgh, Varda Burstyn, public policy consultant and cultural and political analyst; David Fenton a University professor and active environmentalist, Jane M. Healy, an educational psychologist with postdoctoral work in neuropsychology.
Pages Related to Sharna Olfman, Ph.D. - Children's Mental Health Issues
Bipolar Children Edited by Sharna Olfman, Ph.D.
No Child Left Different Edited by Sharna Olfman, Ph.D.
ADHD and Preschool
Natural ADHD Cure
- Art and ADHD
Bipolar Disorder Self Help
Children and Television
- Responsibility of Parents