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Child Psychiatry

Children are our future, but their mental health can be fragile as they develop into adulthood. Disorders like ADD/ADHD and depression can develop into bigger problems if not treated in childhood when people are more receptive to new ways of thinking and behaviors.

Are you looking for a “child psychiatrist near me?”

At Bregman Medical Group, we provide kids with the tools needed to confront challenges with resilience. We also offer services for parents, because helping a child through mental health struggles can be a struggle in itself.

Your child is important to you and to us, and we are here to help.

Click here to schedule an appointment today.

What is Child Psychiatry?

Child psychiatry specializes in the diagnosis and treatment, as well as the prevention of disorders in children. It is also known as pediatric psychiatry. A child or pediatric psychiatrist helps children in issues of the way they think, feel, and/or behave. Aside from helping patients, they may also do family counseling and provide medical education and holistic care.

What are the Disorders Affecting Children?

There are many disorders that affect children and adolescents. These can be in the following categories:

  • Neurodevelopmental disorders

  • Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorders

  • Disruptive, Impulse-Control and Conduct Disorders

  • Learning Disorder

  • Intellectual Disabilities

  • Trauma and Stressor-Related Disorders

  • Depressive Disorders

  • Anxiety Disorders

The most common disorders diagnosed in children and adolescents are anxiety, depression, attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder, and behavior disorder.

Common Disorders among Children

Anxiety in Children

It is completely normal for your children to feel anxious at times especially when they are faced with new situations (such as moving to a different school), or when faced with other changes to their routine. But, they may be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder when they do not outgrow their fears and worries.

A child or an adolescent with an anxiety disorder gets overwhelmed by these fears and worries that interfere with their home and school life. Anxiety in children manifests in different ways. Some examples include:

  • Not wanting to go to school or other places where they meet a lot of people (social anxiety)

  • Having excessive forebodings about the future (general anxiety)

  • Having irrational fears about certain things or situations (phobias)

  • Being terrified when separated from their parents (separation anxiety)

  • Having bouts of sudden, unexpected, and extreme fear that include symptoms such as heart pounding, trouble breathing, and dizziness (panic disorder)

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/childrensmentalhealth/depression.html

Depression in Children

It is normal for your child to feel occasionally sad or hopeless, but some children feel this way persistently and lose interest in things that they used to love doing. It is possible for children to be diagnosed with depression when they feel persistent sadness or hopelessness.

Some behavioral examples seen in children diagnosed with depression include:

  • Feeling sad, hopeless, and irritable most of the time

  • Losing interest in the things they used to like

  • Changes in eating patterns where a child significantly eats more or less than usual

  • Changes in sleep patterns where a child significantly sleeps more or less than usual

  • Changes in a child’s energy (being extremely tired and sluggish, or extremely nervous and fidgety)

  • Having difficulty paying attention

  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or uselessness

  • Behaving in a self-destructive manner

It is imperative to treat depression in children since severe depression can lead children to think or plan about suicide.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/childrensmentalhealth/depression.html

ADHD (Attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder)

Attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder usually affects children before the age of seven and can continue into adulthood. ADHD is a common neurodevelopmental disorder in children involving a combination of issues related to inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

Signs and symptoms of children with ADHD depend on the predominant characteristics present. They may be:

  • Inattentive, but not hyperactive or impulsive

  • Hyperactive and impulsive, but can sustain attention

  • Combination of inattentive, impulsive, and hyperactive (which is the most common form of ADHD)

Behavior Disorder in Children

It is normal for young kids and teens to display a difficult attitude during childhood or adolescence, but a child who is frequently and persistently angry, irritable, and defiant often towards authority figures may have Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD).

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th ed. (DSM-5) lists its criteria for diagnosing ODD, which consists of emotional and behavioral symptoms that last at least 6 months. These include having angry and irritable moods, being argumentative and displaying defiant behavior, and vindictiveness.

Mental Health Care Services for Children and Adolescents

If you are looking for child psychiatrists near Florida, Bregman Medical Group offers telehealth services so you can get the help and guidance you need from the comfort of your home. Dr. Bregman and his team of mental health practitioners are open for Telemedicine or Teletherapy (Talk Therapy) with new or existing patients.

If you are concerned about your child’s mental health, we can help you!

Request an appointment with Bregman MD today.

Who is Affected?

Many children from different ages and ethnic/racial backgrounds are affected by childhood mental disorders. Some children are more at risk of developing certain mental disorders; such as children who have experienced severe childhood trauma. According to a study, one in six children between ages two to eight in the U.S. was diagnosed with a mental, developmental, or behavioral disorder.

What Causes Mental Health Issues in Children?

There can be a lot of factors that may play a role in children’s mental disorders. This can include biology or genetics, experiencing trauma or severe stress, and other social, and environmental factors.

Are Mental Illnesses in Children Treatable?

There are various treatment options available in child psychiatry to manage mental disorders. For example, psychotherapy can be a great way to address the concerns about the child’s behavior, or how they handle their emotions. This can be in the form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Family Therapy, Peer Group Therapy, and/or Parent-Child Interaction Therapy.

With the help of a pediatric psychiatrist, early diagnosis and proper treatment of behavioral concerns is a great way to correct or change negative behaviors before they develop into adulthood. Through therapy, children or adolescents help change their negative thoughts and behaviors into more positive ways, leading to more effective behavior.

The use of medication is also another treatment option, especially for ADHD/ADD cases. Lastly, depending on the evaluation of your psychiatrist, both psychotherapy and medication methods may be combined as an option to treat mental health issues in children.

What Services Can Pediatric Psychiatrists Provide?

Child and adolescent psychiatrists look into the biological, social, and psychological factors when dealing with childhood disorders. Providing holistic care is of utmost importance during treatment and this is achieved by also equipping family members, especially parents, with the knowledge on how to handle their children’s behaviors.

Assessment

Initially, the psychiatrist conducts a comprehensive diagnostic examination or assessment to evaluate the current concerns about the child’s behavioral or emotional problems. The psychiatrist gathers information from diverse and multiple sources such as the parents or guardians, and other close family members, as well as the child’s school environment, and/or peer relationships. Gathering information is done through interviews or standardized questionnaires and assessments.

A psychiatric assessment includes a mental status examination of the child where the doctor observes and describes the patient’s psychological functioning at a certain time.

Pediatric psychiatrists might include a complete medical exam and medical history of the child, history of physical or emotional trauma, or the child’s academic history. They may also check if there is any history of mental health disorders in the family.

Conducting a thorough assessment of the mental health of the child is imperative for the psychiatrist to reach an appropriate diagnosis and provide proper treatment.

Diagnosis

After gathering complete information about the child’s behavioral patterns, signs, and symptoms, the pediatric psychiatrist makes a diagnosis using standardized criteria.

In the United States, the coding system most widely used by doctors is the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th ed. (DSM-V).

Diagnosing the mental health disorder can pave the way to the proper treatment needed for your child to live a full life.

Treatment

The child or adolescent psychiatrist designs a treatment plan specific to the patient’s disorder that considers all the components related to the problem, be it physical, genetic, emotional, social, and others. The treatment plan is discussed with the child and the family.

Child psychiatrists use psychotherapy and/or medication for treating disorders in the pediatric population. Psychotherapy or Talk Therapy is an approach where children and adolescents go through therapeutic conversations with a psychiatrist.

Psychotherapy is not an instant fix, rather, it is a process where children and adolescents open up about their problems to the psychiatrist and eventually learn how to properly respond and healthily cope with these issues.

Play therapy is also one form of therapy that doctors use in treating young children.

Your child’s doctor may also prescribe medication if necessary. This can be in the form of antidepressants, stimulants, anti-anxiety medication, or mood stabilizers included in the treatment plan.

An integrated approach may also involve individual, group, or family psychotherapy along with medications and/or consultation with other professionals.

Dr. Bregman and his team of professionals are helping children and their families in Coral Gables, Florida by providing mental health care services. If you have questions or would like to book an appointment, call our office and talk with our experts today.

Call now.

Child Psychologist vs. Child Psychiatrist

Both child psychologists and child psychiatrists are trained to diagnose and treat children with mental health problems, but they have differences in practice and education.

Psychiatrists graduate from medical school with an MD or DO. They are required to take a four-year residency, and they need to take a written exam to get licensed in their chosen state to practice medicine.

On the other hand, psychologists finish graduate school with a Ph.D. or PsyD. In addition, they complete one to two years of training, and must also take an exam to be licensed in their chosen state.

A child psychologist and child psychiatrist can both do therapy for the child or family, as well as conduct psychological or neuropsychological testing. One of the big differences in their practice is that psychiatrists have the authority and license to prescribe medications, and psychologists do not.

Parenting Children with Mental Health Disorders

Often, providing the best care for children’s mental health is to include the family in the process. Parents, guardians, and other close family members also play an important role in the success of the treatment.

There are different parenting styles, one of which is very effective in raising well-balanced children:

  1. Authoritarian parenting - the strictest style of parenting where there are rigid rules and no compromise. Children do not have a say in the family.

  2. Authoritative parenting - parents impose strict rules, but also allow their children to voice out. Parents listen and understand their children.

  3. Permissive parenting - parents rarely or do not discipline their children, but take on the role of a friend. Parents provide very few rules

  4. Uninvolved parenting - there are no rules because of very little interaction between children and parents.

The authoritative parenting style is the most likely to raise well-rounded children since parents are willing to listen and cooperate with their children while also providing clear rules and consequences for them.

In addition, being patient and understanding towards children and adolescents by showing empathy and love is a great way to help them overcome their mental health struggles.

Work with Our Mental Health Care Providers!

At Bregman Medical Group, Dr. Arthur Bregman and his team of mental health practitioners have helped children and their families with child psychiatric concerns in the Coral Gables, Fl area. We recognize that mental health is important to your child’s overall health.

Request an online consultation with the Bregman Medical Group today!

Meet Dr. Bregman

Dr. Arthur Bregman is a psychiatrist with over 40 years of experience. He has extensive experience in child and adolescent psychiatry and also helps adults and families overcome difficult challenges throughout the many stages of their lives. Dr. Bregman is a recipient of the “America’s Best Doctors” award in 2012.

Request a one-on-one appointment with Dr. Bregman today.

Contact us now.


By BregmanMD | September 22, 2021 | Mental Health

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