If your child is suffering from an emotional problem or disorder such as ADHD, anxiety, or depression, you understandably want to do anything you can to help them. You may be a supportive, loving parent, but behavioral problems or mental illness oftentimes requires outside help in the form of a child psychiatrist. Getting the problem addressed sooner rather than later will increase chances of success and help your child feel better.
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor with special training and skills in the prevention, diagnostics and treatment of a wide range of behavior problems and mental illnesses. Some psychiatrists specialize specifically in treating children. They are called child or pediatric psychiatrists, which means they must have completed two years of special training in the mental and emotional problems facing children and teenagers.
Psychiatric services are usually a two-pronged approach, combining therapy and medication management. For instance, here at Comprehensive MedPsych Systems, where we have many qualified child psychiatrists on staff, your child may be prescribed medications that help with mood, attention or organization of thinking.
They are then evaluated by the physician regularly as well as whenever a change has occurred in their status. It may take several initial visits to make sure the medication is stable and effective. Your child’s psychiatrist will review the benefits and side effects of the medication, making adjustments as needed.
A child psychiatrist can develop a treatment plan that may involve just your child or the whole family. That customized treatment plan can involve either a medication or behavioral-therapy component (most likely both) in order to decrease negative behaviors. A child psychiatrist also acts as an advocate for your child with other doctors, school professionals, and agencies.
Why Your Child Might See a Psychiatrist
Mental illness is pervasive in this country. Approximately one in five youth between the ages of 13 and 18 (21 percent) goes through a severe mental disorder sometime during their lifetime. For children ages 8 to 15, the estimate is 13 percent, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Six percent of children in the US are treated for ADHD, 11 percent of youth have a mood disorder, 10 percent have a behavior or conduct disorder, and eight percent have an anxiety disorder.
A child might see a child psychiatrist if he or she has:
- Severe anxiety
- Self-harming behavior
- Eating disorder
- Severe conduct disorder
- Trauma or stress-related disorders
- Emotional or mental problems that exacerbate a physical illness
Is your child suffering from any of the problems? Are you unsure? A child psychiatrist can meet with your child and family, and assess the best course of treatment, which may involve:
- Individual therapy
- Family support
- Family therapy for improving communication
- Parental counseling
- Medication such as antidepressants
- Combination of all of the above
In order to see a psychiatrist, your child will need a referral from his or her primary care physician.
Contact Comprehensive MedPsych Systems
Here at Comprehensive MedPsych Systems, we offer a team approach philosophy that can ensure the most effective treatment for your child’s emotional disorder. We have skilled psychiatrists on staff who will work in conjunction with your child’s psychotherapist or other physicians to manage effectiveness of medication, side effects and progress. Please contact us today to make an appointment for your child at one of our many convenient locations.