Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

1.Therapy to help them process difficult life events ( Death of a Parent / family member, Divorce, Relocation / Abuse)

2.Specific learning disorders : The child struggles with specific problems like reading ( Dyslexia) , writing (Dysgraphia) maths and problem solving ( Dyscalculia). Usually, there is a difference between the child’s performance and what is expected of them based on their intelligence.

3.Autism Spectrum Disorder : Children have abnormalities in areas of Communication ( poor speech, loss of developed speech , limited vocabulary) , Social Development ( unable to make warm emotional relationships, avoiding eye contact, do not respond to affection) and Restricted Interests. They can also show repetitive behaviours and may be extremely sensitive to lights and sounds.

4.Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder : Children find it hard to focus or sit quietly. They are impulsive and likely to act without thinking. They make many silly mistakes and teachers may complain that they disturb the class. It affects their academic performance and might damage their confidence.

5.Conduct Disorders: Aggression, defiance and anti social acts. Includes disobedience, school absenteeism, stealing, lying, damaging property and alcohol or drug use.

6.Anxiety disorders: Anxiety is common in childhood but can be excessive in some children. Symptoms include worrying, crying, headaches, nausea, vomiting, ,disturbed sleep, poor appetite, stomach ache, tantrums and social withdrawal.

Separation anxiety, Social anxiety, phobias, Obsessive compulsive disorders and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can also occur in children and teenagers.

7.Somatoform disorders: These are physical symptoms that have no explanation. Complaints include stomach pain, headaches, cough and body pains.

8.Mood Disorders: Depression can occur in children, especially if there is a family member with a similar illness. Low mood may not be obvious but other symptoms like headache, bed wetting, not eating and body pains may be seen. Child may show less enthusiasm in playing, become more irritable or withdrawn.

Mania or Bipolar affective disorder are more common in adolescents and may first appear as abnormal behaviour.

9.Intellectual disability : Poor learning , poor academic performance, behaviour inappropriate to age. May have behavioural disturbances. May need help with activities like eating, dressing etc. We can help with assessment and working out management plans for behavioural disturbances.

10.School refusal : Children can refuse to go to school due to many reasons ( bullying, anxiety, overprotective parents, conduct disorder etc ) that affects their schoolwork.

11.Enuresis : Not having control over passage of urine. Commonly seen at night (Bed-wetting) but can also occur in the day. Normal till 5 years of age.

12.Encopresis / Faecal soiling : If the child has poor control over bowel movements after 4 years of age, it should be evaluated. Stress, rebellion or anxiety can cause failure to learn bowel control.

13. Adolescent Substance abuse: Use of alcohol, cigarettes, cannabis (ganja) and other harmful drugs by teenagers is a serious concern. Detox is required to prevent withdrawal symptoms. De addiction programs can help them quit and stay off drugs.

14. Tics and Tourette’s : Tisc are sudden,repetitive movements with no purpose or rhythm. They can be vocal (grunting,barking etc). The child has no control over them.

15. Temper tantrums : Emotional outburst ( crying , screaming, violence, anger / hissy fits) that is difficult to control. The child finds it hard to calm down and may refuse to be comforted.

16. Gender dysphoria: Some children may express strong dislike of their gender and sexual parts, accompanied by a strong desire to belong to the opposite gender. This can be manifested as dressing up in the opposite gender clothes, preferring to play with opposite gender children and their toys etc. Since this is distressing and confusing for the children and their families, we can help by providing accurate information and support.