NAVIGATION- Dr. Charles R. Davenport; Licensed Psychologist

Tag : children

post image

Bipolar in Children- What does it look like and how is it treated?

Frequently the presentation of bipolar in children is misdiagnosed for other illnesses or behavioral problems.

Bipolar disorder was once know as manic depression and it is a form of depression marked by separate or combined symptoms of depression and mania or hypomania. Although, there are not different diagnostic criteria for bipolar in children, it should be noted that bipolar tends to present differently in children then adults. However, by puberty most individuals with bipolar disorder are expressing symptoms consistent with the disorder.

The Child Bipolar Questionnaire presents a number of symptoms frequently seen in children with bipolar disorder. Bipolar is most frequently diagnosed by young adulthood and is believed to affect 4% of the population at some point in their lives. In the past 15 years, the number of children and adolescents has skyrocketed. There is some friction in the field with some experts believing bipolar is over diagnosed in children and others feeling the disorder is overtreated with psychiatric medications.

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD / ADD) or oppositional defiant disorder, are frequently first given to children rather then Bipolar Disorder. There can be many years of suffering socially and emotionally at school and home for these children who have been misdiagnosed. Experts suggest there is a delay of 10 years between onset of bipolar symptoms and getting proper treatment.

Bipolar in children can significantly impact normal development increasing the risk for behavior or performance problems at school, legal problems, substance abuse, and suicide or self-harming behaviors.

Many times children will be seen by a number of prescribers and therapists before receiving a correct diagnosis of bipolar. This may be due to a resistance to treat children with psychotropic medication. Mania can present as boundless energy, irritability, or exceptional productivity. Many times the elements of Mania make it difficult to accurately diagnose until the mania regresses and depression rolls in. In some cases, mania is present at the same time as depressive symptoms which can look like powerful irritability and difficulty finding any source of soothing.

Making thing more difficult, teens may be prone to lofty goals and irritability. Sometimes it can be hard to tell what is illness and what is normal grandiosity or normal sadness from something like a breakup. One of the distinguishing factors is a potential for decreased need for sleep in teens with bipolar. They are more likely to get upset by their way of doing things getting disrupted and will remain upset for days rather then more typical hours or a day. In addition, diagnosing bipolar in teens requires looking at their detailed history. Young people with bipolar disorder tend to have recurring episodes of major depression however this is not need to diagnose bipolar. For some young people mania will be their primary symptom.

If children are not at risk for hurting themselves or others, and are caught early, treatment might be able to begin with individual therapy. However, if disorder progresses to the point where the child is at risk for harming themselves or others, medication is frequently the starting point and combined with individual therapy as soon as possible.

If you or someone you know does or might be living with Bipolar disorder call Dr. Davenport today 941-321-1971.

With offices in Sarasota and Venice, FL we offer individual therapy and couples counseling to individuals of all ages.

Transgender child: Press Release- NPR ‘Becoming Nicole’

Below is a press release sent to NPR shots about a recent story:
Your recent story ‘Becoming Nicole’ Recounts One Family’s Acceptance Of A Transgender Child

Story is a powerful one not just in light current events in the media but the process of the story may reflect a longer standing struggle. I practice is a licensed psychologist in Venice Florida at Charles R. Davenport, Psy.D., LLC. In my experience, humans are afraid of things which are unknown and may tend to separate themselves from them or avoid them and protection. It seems as we learn more, as humans, incorporation allows more progression. This suggests we need to look at things that may be scary or that we are certain are incorrect perhaps as an artifact of our fear.

I heard your story on my commute was glad it was being shared. If there are listeners to your story who could benefit from support or knowledge in this area I hope my practice can serve as a resource. Thank you for sharing. Here is another great resource in the Sarasota and Venice area for transgender

There is so much that is unknown about gender identity… perhaps a new fronteer

Childhood Stress May = Impaired Reward System as Adults

Recent findings published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience by Duke University researchers suggest a potential pathway where childhood stress may increase risk for depression or other mental health problems in adulthood.

This data is not shocking news nor is it as daunting a finding as it may seem. Our mind bases a lot of what we expect in the future on what we have lived through or expect to experince. When, as children, we have been in stressful situations that we cannot control our minds have a choice of either overcoming (fighting), protecting (flight), or freezing. these reactions can be extremely adaptive when we are young however as adults they can exacerbate a sense of being out of control of our own destiny. This tends to be a recipe for both anxiety and depression. The good news is that many of these are misguided protection attempts by our mind and with some redirection frequently we are able to find change. some of the challenge can be, that as children, change was not an option so imagining this third choice does not always come easily. This can sometimes present a certainty that there is no other way to find change. Sometimes beginning counseling can be a powerful part of this process of change and hope.

If you were a caregiver as a child you may have a hard time attending idealy to your kids.

Emerging research by Michigan State University’s Amy K. Nuttall, Ph.D. suggests that mothers who took on burdensome care giving roles as children (parentified children caregivers) and were not allowed to “be kids” tend to be less sensitive to their own children’s needs.

“If your childhood was defined by parents expecting you to perform too much care giving without giving you the chance to develop your own self-identity, that might lead to confusion about appropriate expectations for children and less accurate knowledge of their developmental limitations and needs as infants,” said Amy K. Nuttall.

As we do in many situations, in parenting, we tend to revert to templates of what we know to. Many times these templates come from our experiences interacting with our caregivers and / or parents. As adults, without our awareness, we can wind up recreating situations for our children where there needs are missed much as are our own. If our parents had difficulty empathizing with or attending to our needs and we became parent-like, it can be difficult for us to do for our children what was never done for us… Identifying their needs and attend to them.

A similar process can occur when we feel anger toward people who have an easier life or are coddled when we did not have an opportunity for this in our own life. These feelings of longing can reflexively come out as hostility toward the other. This kind of process is something we can become aware of and impact how it influences our lives through counseling. This is one area where Dr. Davenport has been able to work with many patients to help find change.

More details on this research is due to be published in the Journal of Family Psychology.


Confirmed link between violent video games and aggression.

The American Psychological Association (APA), in a press release August 13, 2015 discusses recent research which finds a link between violent video games and aggression. “The research demonstrates a consistent relation between violent video game use and increases in aggressive behavior, aggressive cognitions and aggressive affect, and decreases in prosocial behavior, empathy and sensitivity to aggression,” says the report of the APA Task Force on Violent Media.

There has been much research on video games; however, there is a lacking of research driven information addressing whether violent video games cause people to commit acts of criminal violence.

It seems as though the arousal that comes from violent video games does carry over however the extent to which this occurs is still in question.

The report says that “no single risk factor consistently leads a person to act aggressively or violently however the link between violence in video games and increased aggression in players is one of the most studied and best established in the field.”

In August 7, in Toronto, APA’s Council of Representatives adopted a resolution which replaces the 2005 resolution on the same topic of video game rating.  Mark Appelbaum, PhD, task force chair stated “What researchers need to do now is conduct studies that look at the effects of video game play in people at risk for aggression or violence due to a combination of risk factors. For example, how do depression or delinquency interact with violent video game use?”  it can be very powerful to take into account depression and anxiety on each person’s functioning. Taking this a step further, making global generalizations and adapting them to the uniqueness of each individual may give us the best opportunity to see a clear picture of the whole person.

How to help your children thrive and be happy

Most parents hope to raise children that are self-sufficient and able to contribute to society. Additionally, parents want their children to have a better life and progress.

Helping our children care for themselves, treat themselves with love as we would, could be aided by encouraging healthy lifestyle habits. This includes sleeping well, eating well, and listening to the feedback our body provides. It is hard to maximize your performance when you feel sluggish, anxious, or irritable.

The American Psychological Association suggests that happiness can improve the chance of success. This brings to mind the old saying that money cannot buy happiness… It seems, however, that happiness may help us be more successful and in turn have more financial resources. An additional benefit of happiness is decreased likelihood of disease including cancer according to the cancer center at MD Anderson.

As discussed in several other blog entries, physical activity, on a regular basis and a healthy diet contribute to healthy weight, and better health which sets us up for more opportunity to feel happy and do our best. Connection with others and responsibility for other living things can be powerful and fostering self development. Having a pet to care for or gardening can be a powerful way to connect caring with well-being in the case of gardening healthy food. Additionally caring for something over a continued time can foster patience which is likely to be a powerful life tool.

Dr. Charles R Davenport is a licensed psychologist who provides support for parents and children at Charles R. Davenport, Psy.D., LLC. in Venice, FL and Sarasota, FL.


Oxytocin: How “love hormone” helps moms care

New research by Indiana University, recently published in the Journal for Hormones and Behavior, suggests that the love hormone, oxytocin, eases mother’s ability to care for an upset newborn. Researchers in the study were trying to see how oxytocin may direct new mothers toward caregiving of infants and away from other concerns  such as physical intimacy. In particular, this research focuses on the impact on mothers in the six months following childbirth.

This study looked at mothers who had given birth in the past six months and women without children. Oxytocin as well as placebo was administered and participants were asked to look at pictures including sexual activity, smiling infant, and crying babies. Neutral images were also used. As the women viewed the images their brain activity was monitored. The findings suggest that all participants who were administered oxytocin experienced a significant increase in brain activity frequently associated with reward systems as they viewed the images of a crying infant.

interestingly, this research suggests that crying which is generally and emotion we find to not be favorable had a greater impact on women then cute or sweet things that we frequently identify as favorable. The importance of maternal orientation to a child who is in distress, early in their development, was suggested as an explanation for the connection between oxytocin, which is strongly connected with reproductive events for women, and the women’s motivation when seeing a crying baby.

Our early connections with caretakers many times can serve as the foundation for our sense of comfort and safety both in who we are and in relation to others. These are also areas which are frequently associated with oxytocin. and understanding our lives today can be helpful to be curious and aware of how our early interactions may shape us today. This is something that interests you are you would like to explore further please contact Dr. Charles R. Davenport Psy.D. who is a licensed psychologist in Venice Florida and Sarasota Florida

ADHD: Children must Squirm to Learn!

In his experience working with young students, adolescents, and adults who have been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) Dr. Charles R. Davenport has found that allowing physical movement makes it easier to learn and pay attention.

Recent research from the University of Central Florida found that leg swinging, foot tapping, and chair schooling movements of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is actually critical for ADHD kids to learn. “The typical interventions target reducing hyperactivity. It’s exactly the opposite of what we should be doing for a majority of children with ADHD,” Mark Rapport, one of the study authors, said in a statement. “The message isn’t ‘Let them run around the room,’ but you need to be able to facilitate their movement so they can maintain the level of alertness necessary for cognitive activities.”

In a classroom setting excessive movement can be seen as interfering with other students ability to learn, students willful disobedience, or proof of insufficient attention. When the students are told to “stop moving and pay attention” they likely have bad feelings about being called out as well as intensifying feelings of discomfort in trying to sit still which can be a monumental task for students with ADHD.

Sometimes the solution is not to work harder but to work smarter where we can use our understanding of our strengths and weaknesses to thrive. People with ADHD are never going to feel comfortable sitting perfectly still, at least not without stimulant medication. This is not necessarily a bad thing that can transition into not only a problematic situation academically but can also have significant emotional fallout.

please contact Dr. Charles R Davenport if you or someone you know struggles with ADHD or ADD.


Home | Resources | Psychology Blog | New Patient Forms


1224 Ridgewood Ave

Venice Officeon


1608 Oak St

Sarasota Officeon Google+

941-321-1971 Fax: 941-866-0936

Monday-Thursday 9am-7pm
5 out of 5 stars on (6 surveys)

Dr. Charles R. Davenport is a Licensed Psychologist
Copyright 2020
Charles R. Davenport, Psy.D., LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy