Childhood behavior disorders such as anxiety, and depression are often missed in children.
All kids misbehave some times, but a pattern of hostile, aggressive or disruptive behaviors can have a serious impact on a child's overall health. Some disorders are more common than others, and conditions range from mild to severe. Often, a child has more than one disorder. Most of the symptoms and distress associated with childhood and adolescent mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders can be alleviated with timely and appropriate treatment and supports.(Read Dr. Gautham's reply to an anxious mother about her adolescent daughter)
Anxiety disorders are among the most common of childhood disorders.
Many people once believed that severe depression did not occur in childhood. Today, experts agree that severe depression can occur at any age. Depression in children is marked by changes in:
Young people with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder are unable to focus their attention and are often impulsive and easily distracted and have great difficulty remaining still, taking turns, and keeping quiet.
Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). A pattern of negative, defiant and hostile behavior toward authority figures.
Childhood Psychosis. Childhood psychosis is essentially the same as psychosis in adults, but it occurs early in life — sometimes even before the teen years — and has a profound impact on a child's ability to function. The early signs and symptoms may be so vague that you can't quite put your finger on what's wrong, or you may attribute them to a developmental phase. As time goes on, the symptoms may become more severe and more noticeable to family, friends and school officials. Eventually, the child may develop the symptoms of psychosis, including hallucinations, delusions and difficulty with organizing his or her thoughts. As thoughts become more disorganized, there's often a "break from reality." This phase of childhood psychosis is often the most distressing to children and their families and frequently results in hospitalization and treatment with medication.
Young people with conduct disorder usually have little concern for others and repeatedly violate the basic rights of others and the rules of society. Conduct disorder causes children and adolescents to act out their feelings or impulses in destructive ways. Offenses may include lying, theft, aggression, truancy, the setting of fires, and vandalism.
Children or adolescents who are intensely afraid of gaining weight and do not believe that they are underweight may have eating disorders may be suffering from Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia Nervosa.
Children with autism, also called autistic spectrum disorders (ASD), have problems interacting and communicating with others. Autism appears before the third birthday, causing children to act inappropriately, often repeating behaviors over long periods of time. For example, some children bang their heads, rock, or spin objects. Symptoms of autism range from mild to severe. Children with autism may have a very limited awareness of others and are at increased risk for other mental disorders.
Difficulties that make it harder for children and adolescents to receive or express information could be a sign of learning disorders. Learning disorders can show up as problems with spoken and written language, coordination, attention, or self-control.
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