What Is A Child Psychiatrist And When To See One

Mental health issues affect people regardless of age. Conditions such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) require a thorough evaluation to get a proper diagnosis and treatment. A child psychiatrist is vital in determining a child’s condition and care specifically the medications.

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A child psychiatrist specializes in cases of mental health issues in children. They had rigorous training comprised of handling and treating children with special needs since their diagnosis and treatment are much more complicated than that of adults. A child psychiatrist is responsible for prescribing the right medication for particular physical and psychological symptoms arising from a mental health problem.

“Child counseling is a type of therapy that focuses on young children, teens, and adolescents with one or more mental illnesses. It also provides aid to youths, who have experienced trauma, and/or who are experiencing a dysfunctional or stressful home environment.” –Dr. R. Y. Langham, Ph.D.

  • Initially, you need to see your family doctor or a pediatrician if you are concerned about your child’s behavior. If need be, he will then refer you to a psychologist or a psychiatrist.
  • A child psychologist can aid in diagnosis and treatment of your child given he doesn’t have to prescribe medications. A child psychologist uses counseling and therapies in the treatment plan of young patients. Cases of childhood anxiety and depression are among the mental health conditions that a child psychologist handles.
  • A child psychiatrist has a particular role in complicated treatment plans involving medications since the psychologist cannot prescribe. Conditions such as ASD, OCD, ADHD have physical and psychological symptoms such as anxiety, panic attacks, sweating, trembling, etc. These symptoms are relieved through medications which can only be prescribed by a child psychiatrist.

Signs Your Child Might Be Suffering From A Psychiatric Disorder:

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  1. Typically, children should be jolly and bubbly. If your child displays a disturbing gloomy behavior and does not want to mingle and talk to people including you, that is just not normal.
  2. Your child imposes a threat to himself or other people around him. For instance, he harms his schoolmates or anyone in school.
  3. There is a noticeable change in your child’s behavior or personality like being loud and inattentive or the opposite where he can be too isolated and lacks focus.
  4. Your child suffers anxiety and depression which makes him fearful and doubtful about his surroundings.
  5. Your child starts to draw violent or distressing images which should be beyond their supposedly innocent minds.
  6. Your child begins substance abuse like drugs and alcohol. This behavior is typical among teens.
  7. Your child becomes resentful for reasons that are too shallow.
  8. Your child is having a difficult time communicating and socializing.
  9. Your child develops a frightening obsession with death and continuously talks and thinks about it.
  10. Your child starts to have trouble sleeping at night, and his weight starts to go down because of poor appetite.

Early diagnosis is crucial in the treatment of mental health problems. As parents, you should pay close attention to signs that your children may be showing. You should be mindful of the things that are out of the ordinary and should have a gut feeling about everything that’s happening to your child. 

“Sometimes a child with ADD may be incorrectly diagnosed with a behavioral problem or a developmental disorder. It is vital that in the first step of treatment, your child or teen receives a reliable diagnosis from a child mental health specialist, such as a child psychologist or child psychiatrist.” – John M. Grohol, Psy.D

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As mentioned above, you should seek the opinion of your family doctor or pediatrician, and you’ll know from there if your child is going to need the professional help of a psychiatrist. If that happens, always bear in mind that his role in the treatment plan for your child is crucial, so make sure that you coordinate efficiently to ascertain the betterment of your child’s wellbeing. But of course, Dr. Darla Clayton, PsyD often explains, “You know your children best. Doctors, teachers, therapists are all fantastic resources but if you don’t feel like you’re being heard, or your child’s needs are being met, it’s very reasonable to get a second opinion. Don’t be afraid to fight for your child and their needs. While the professionals are experts in their areas, you are the expert on your child.”