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Ask the Mental Health Expert Archives 2001-2004

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Week of April 1, 2002

    Question: My 4-year-old daughter was sexually molested two weeks ago by our 12-year-old neighbor. We took her to the doctor to see if she was physically alright and she was. Now we are burdened by the mental aspect of everything. Is it normal for me, as her mother, to be more upset than she is? I don't understand any of this and no one offers any advice on what to do after this has happened. The boy is running the neighborhood as if nothing has happened. We have reported this and nothing is being done. I feel hurt and ashamed. I don't know what to do for her or how her father and I can make anything feel safe and better for her at this time. What should I do?    Dr. Pies' Answer

    Question: In this post 9-11 era, patients with posttraumatic stress are becoming more common. What, in your opinion, are some of the best therapies for PTSD? I had a patient ask if there was a way for a memory to be forgotten forever, such as with ECT or medication. Although I wouldn't advise attempting this, I thought it was an interesting question. Your thoughts?    Dr. Pies' Answer

    Question: I have a patient who is on many meds and is terrified of the impact her meds have had on her unborn child. She is beginning her 2nd trimester and this is her first pregnancy, so she's feeling very fragile and stressed. In addition to Zoloft, she is also on Claritin, Flonase and she took Orthotricyclen for the first two months of her pregnancy, not knowing she was expecting because she still menstruated. She is also an occasional drinker and took Vicodin/Soma as needed early in her pregnancy due to an injury. Is there a web site or book that notes studies on the impact of medication on the fetus, whether psychotropic and any other prescribed medication? What can I do to calm her fears, even if there is a legitimate risk of birth defects?    Dr. Pies' Answer