Did you know that April is National Stress Awareness month as well as Autism Awareness month?

Later in the newsletter we share a few tips to combat the stress that many of us deal with daily. First, I want to address an issue that is not as well known: Autism (or Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD), which is considered a neurodevelopmental disorder.

There is a wide spectrum in the way that ASD can manifest in people and is often missed in children (especially girls) and simply diagnosed as attention deficit disorder (ADD) or a mental disorder like anxiety, depression, disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, or even antisocial personality disorder. This is not surprising as it is very common that a person with autism also struggles with one (or more) of the above mental health issues. Some people are diagnosed in childhood and others can go their whole lives without a (correct) diagnosis.  According to the CDC, in 2020 1 in 36 children were diagnosed with ASD, compared with 1 in 150 in 2000. It is unclear if we are getting better at diagnosing Autism or if there is an increase in frequency.

ASD can often affect social interactions and communications such as: difficulty maintaining eye contact; interpreting speech literally; intolerance to change; sensitivity to bright lights, loud noises, and tactile sensations; challenges with non-verbal cues, amongst others.

One of the biggest misconceptions about ASD is that everyone with autism has an intellectual disability, and that they all are alike in personality and needs. Just like neurotypical people, those on the autism spectrum have a wide variance in intellectual capabilities, personalities, and preferences. A popular quote within the ASD community by Dr Stephen Shore (Autistic Professor of Special Education at Adelphi University) reflects their frustration with being stereotyped: When you meet one person with Autism, you’ve met one person with Autism. As we are now learning, there is quite a bit of evidence to show that some of the most brilliant people in history may have been “on the spectrum.”

Lastly, I would be remiss to not address the misconception about a link between vaccines and autism. Simply put, despite the controversy found on the internet, there is no scientific evidence linking any vaccine (or series of vaccines) to autism.

If you would like to learn more about ASD, there is considerable literature available online from reputable sources just a few clicks away. (Autism Speaks, National Institute of Mental Health, American Psychiatric Association) Also, our team at Lake Center Mental Health Network offers a wide variety of therapy options and medication treatments that can alleviate and/or adapt to some of the symptoms, as well as support development and learning.

Medical Director and Psychiatrist
Lakes Center Mental Health Network
Should You Tell Your Boss
If You Have a Mental
Health Condition?

While the world may be more accepting of mental health issues, disclosing your mental health condition is still quite a daunting endeavor. However, managing mental health issues while balancing work commitments can be difficult for some. It is no wonder why some individuals feel that discussing these struggles with their employer may be beneficial.

Even so, these discussions are hard enough to have with your immediate family, let alone with those at your place of employment. Furthermore, how do you broach the subject? There is no manual for these things, and working through the disclosure process is hard. Nevertheless, some resources can be utilized to help ease the journey.

Stress Relief Tip:
Listen to Music
No matter what the song, sometimes belting out the lyrics to a favorite tune makes everything seem all right. If you’re in a public place, just listening to music can be a quick fix for a bad mood. Classical music can be especially relaxing right before bedtime.
Stress Relief Tip:
Slow, deep breaths can help lower blood pressure and heart rate. Try pranayama breathing, a yogic method that involves breathing through one nostril at a time to relieve anxiety. The technique is supposed to work the same way as acupuncture, balancing the mind and body.
We provide comprehensive psychiatric and psychotherapy services for a vast array of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, psychotic illness, borderline personality disorder, substance abuse/addiction, trauma related issues, relationship difficulties, life transitions, and behavior problems. Call (248) 859-2457 to set up an appointment.
Did you know? SPRAVATO® can have a rapid antidepressant response and is added on to an antidepressant and the rest of your regimen. It is the first new mechanism of action to treat depression that has come out in over 30 years. 
There is hope for treatment-resistant depression. Call (248) 859-2457 to set up an appointment.
Lakes DBT We provide comprehensive DBT services to provide effective treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and other disorders involving emotion dysregulation, including co-occurring substance use disorders, major depressive disorder, and individuals with history of trauma. At Lakes DBT Center, we believe that with effective evidence-based treatment and a caring and coordinated treatment team, clients can achieve a life worth living. 
Lakes Psychiatric Center remains open for business. We are offering Zoom online tele-therapy appointments for new and existing clients as well as in person sessions. Please contact the front desk to assist you with your appointment type or instructions for using Zoom. Call (248) 859-2457 for info.
Lakes Depression Center is continuing to provide SPRAVATO® treatments per the usual schedule. We have enhanced our safety and cleaning protocols. You are safe to start treatment or continue treatment. Call (248) 956-7164 for info.
Hannah Collard, LMSW
Clinical Social Worker

Hannah is a fully licensed clinical therapist. She received her Master of Social Work degree in 2011 from Eastern Michigan University and her Bachelor of Psychology from The University of Michigan in 2009. Hannah has experience in outpatient, inpatient and residential settings. She has experience treating teens, adults, and seniors. Her passion is providing support to promote wellness, healing and improved quality of life. She understands that navigating all the turns in life can be challenging and is here to walk by your side.

Kelly Gamache, PMHNP
Nurse Practitioner

Kelly graduated from Oakland University in 2014 with her master’s in nursing earning a Family Nurse Practitioner certificate. In 2020 she obtained her post master’s certificate as a Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Early in her career in family practice, Kelly knew that she wanted to further her education in psychiatry and help patients to receive the mental health care that they needed.