Mental disorders in children and adolescents
How does your child or teenager feel?
Does your baby not make eye contact when you feed him or smile when you smile at him? Do they not respond to their name or the sound of a familiar voice? Do they not imitate your movements and facial expressions? Do they refuse to play with other people and share interest and joy? Have they lagged behind other children in their development, especially verbally?
It may be nothing to worry about, or there may be signs that indicate an autism spectrum disorder. An early diagnosis (even under 2 years) can mean a lot, with treatment being all the more effective the earlier it is initiated. Do not hesitate to check your child’s health through an examination by a specialist in pediatric psychiatry. Find out why…
Is your child unable to sit still? Are they always moving and particularly impulsive? Are they impatient and easily annoyed when they have to wait? Are they dreamy and forgetful? Can’t focus or pay attention even when interested in that thing?
they can be a perfectly normal child, one who needs more discipline, or one who suffers from ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), a mental disorder that can negatively affect their school performance, social relationships and self-esteem throughout his life ! ADHD is not caused by “bad upbringing/spoiling”. It is a medical condition that requires treatment.
Find out more…
Does your child have an extremely difficult time separating from family members or do they not do it at all? Are sleeping alone, new situations or even going to kindergarten impossible due to endless crying spells? Is your child’s life very limited by the large number of situations that cause them fear? Do they have their own rules and rituals from which they do not deviate? Do they have digestive or respiratory problems?
Although many of our children’s fears are normal at various stages of development, their persistence beyond that stage or their severity warrants parental attention. Unassessed and untreated, anxiety disorders can leave deep marks on the future personality of our children. Find out what the signs show when your child has an anxiety disorder…
Is your child always angry lately? Do they not follow family rules? Do they have problems with school performance or absenteeism? Do they have frequent impulsive behaviors or crying spells?
In children and adolescents, anger is a form of expression of mental suffering, anxiety or even depression! Don’t let the situation linger too long.
If no method of communication seems effective, go for an evaluation with a child psychiatrist or a psychotherapist who specializes in child therapy.
Learn more about what you can do for your child…
Is the family going through difficult times: divorce, death, frequent arguments, violence, illness? You don’t know if or how to help your child get through these events unscathed? Are you afraid of them becoming depressed or anxious?
Children suffer directly from these causes, even if they are only indirectly exposed or we feel they are too young to understand. Such unresolved events underlie most mental disorders in adult life.
The first 7-10 years of a child’s life are the foundation on which his personality is built.
Find out how you can help your child overcome these obstacles…
Is your teen suffering from depression? Do they get angry very often and are extremely impulsive? Threatening or talking about suicide? Did they have suicide attempts? Do they self-harm in any way? Are the fights getting more violent and are you worried for them?
Adolescence can normally be marked by emotional disturbances, impulsivity and difficult communication or arguments. But when these manifestations worsen, it is very important to seek professional help. There is a unique program that provides a very effective treatment. Find out more…
Mental disorders in children and teenagers
Child and adolescent psychiatry also includes a number of particularities:
- mental disorders related to the child’s normal neuropsychic development. (language, learning disorders, mental retardation)
- the diagnosis of some mental disorders is specific during childhood. (Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADHD)
- family involvement in diagnosis and treatment is very important. Many signs and symptoms are different in children than in adults. Depression, for example, is accompanied by sadness and lack of energy in adults, who can say that they no longer have the will to live (anhedonia). The child cannot express or understand these aspects and it manifests itself through lack of play, irritability, nervousness, etc.
- the treatment is primarily psychotherapeutic and only in the most severe cases, pharmacological
Diagnosis of mental disorders in children and adolescents
COMMUNICATION AND LANGUAGE DISORDERS
(e.g.: delay in the development of expressive language – the child does not speak at the age of 2, although he understands most commands; stuttering)
(delay in psychomotor development, by age stages )
(dyscalculia = specific learning disorder of mathematical calculations, dyslexia = specific learning disorder of reading, dysgraphia = specific learning disorder of writing)
AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER
(absent/intermittent eye contact, does not respond by turning their head when called, although they can hear, shows delay in language development – either does not speak, or has a certain pronunciation peculiarity, or shows echolalia (repeats what they heard, but without meaning and with the same intonation), has difficulties in socializing with children, shows particular stereotyped interests for certain games, objects, colors, etc.; shows motor stereotypes – waves his hands when he is happy, walks on tiptoes, spins in circles, etc. )
ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERKINETIC DISORDER or ADHD
(includes 3 categories of symptoms: hyperactivity, impulsivity and attention deficit, classified into 2 groups: inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity. There are several forms of ADHD: the combined type, the type with the predominance of inattention and the type with the predominance of hyperactivity-impulsivity)
EATING and ELIMINATION DISORDERS (anorexia, bulimia)
(enuresis = involuntary urination, absence of sphincter control in children with a mental age of more than 5 years, encopresis = involuntary elimination of feces with soiling of underwear, in children with a mental age of more than 4 years)
(repetitive, involuntary or partially voluntarily controlled motor and/or vocal manifestations, accentuated by fatigue and psycho-emotional factors)
(the “stubborn” child, who does not obey the rules and is aggressive) and BEHAVIOR (the child who steals, leaves home without asking permission before 13, more than once, is aggressive with others, lies)
(depression – state of unmotivated or insufficiently motivated sadness that persists for at least 2 weeks or irritability. Lack of desire to play or previously enjoyable activities, weight loss or weight gain. Decreased or increased appetite, fatigue, sleep disorders, difficulties concentration or memory problems Thoughts of uselessness, suicidal ideation or suicide attempts Manic episode – euphoric mood persisting for more than a week Fatigue, running out of ideas, difficulty concentrating, inability to complete started activities Excessive spending , sleep and appetite disorders.
Anxiety = generalized fear without a specific object, permanent worries, accompanied by mental tension. Inability to relax, difficulty concentrating, insomnia; separation anxiety, social anxiety
(irrational fear of various situations or objects; for example: school phobia, phobia of animals, phobia of the dark, etc.)
(thought disorders – incoherence, ideas that do not correspond to reality – for example, stalking, poisoning; visual, auditory hallucinations, “staring”, as if watching something or talking to someone, although alone, bizarre, altered behavior from the usual behavior of the child or adolescent; very early-onset schizophrenia before the age of 13 and early-onset schizophrenia before the age of 18 are described)
(can manifest by: psychomotor agitation, excessive spending, even stealing to obtain money to procure the drug, altered behavior, enlarged or reduced pupils, eye congestion, lacrimation, tremors, chills, etc.)
How can we help?
Mental disorders in children and adolescents – PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTING
In some cases, the doctor’s or therapist’s diagnosis is verified with the help of psychological tests. Their role is to give the most accurate information on the seriousness of the patient’s situation.
Based on your doctor’s recommendation, find out what tests may be helpful.
Programs for children and families
Skills training for adolescents with emotional and behavioral disorders
It is the first form of psychotherapeutic intervention specifically intended for the treatment of the most severe symptoms that adolescents may have: suicide attempts, self-harm, intense emotional disturbances.
Parental psychological education program, based on numerous studies carried out in the field of attachment theory.
It has the role of helping parents or caregivers to build secure relationships between them and their children, the attention being focused on understanding the behavior determined by a need and taking action in this regard.