While up to one in six American children between 6 and 17 years of age has a treatable mental health disorder, almost half of these children don’t receive appropriate counseling or treatment. Ignoring signs of mental illness can allow the problem to worsen and make treatment more challenging.
If you’re concerned about your child’s mental health, it’s important that you seek advice from a medical professional. While children can experience a wide range of emotional changes as they grow, true mental health issues usually don’t improve on their own.
Andrew Satran, MD, of Advanced Pediatrics of Rockland, provides professional psychiatric services for children of all ages. If your child is exhibiting unusual or troubling behavior, Dr. Satran can help determine the cause of their behavior and determine whether mental health treatment is necessary.
Recognizing that your child may have a mental health issue can be unsettling. Find out how to position your child for success and help them achieve the best possible outcome by seeking psychiatric services.
Accurate diagnosis for your child
Protecting your child’s mental health requires getting an accurate diagnosis as early as possible after you notice symptoms.
With expertise in all aspects of pediatric care, Dr. Satran evaluates your child’s condition based on their medical history and information about their behavior at home, in school, and with their peers. In addition to completing a psychiatric assessment, Dr. Satran may also require a physical exam and/or other diagnostic procedures like a blood test.
This information can help Dr. Satran determine whether your child’s behavior may be affected by a physical and/or mental condition and the type of treatment they require.
Dr. Satran’s expertise in pediatric care makes him qualified to assess mental disorders that typically begin in childhood. Conditions like anxiety disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder, depression and other mood disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and eating disorders affect children differently than adults.
As an experienced pediatrician, Dr. Satran can determine whether your child’s behavior is “just a stage” or a symptom of a condition that requires physical and/or mental health treatment.
Warning signs of mental health issues
As a parent, you know your child best and may be the first person to recognize that your child is struggling. Your child may benefit from psychiatric care if they exhibit one or more of the following behaviors:
- Being withdrawn or sad for more than two weeks
- Planning, threatening, or attempting to harm or kill themselves
- Expressing sudden and overwhelming fear or worry accompanied by a racing heart or rapid breathing
- Getting in fights or expressing a desire to harm others
- Using laxatives, vomiting, or avoiding eating to lose weight
- Demonstrating severe mood swings or drastic changes in behavior
- Showing evidence of drug or alcohol abuse repeatedly
- Having problems listening, concentrating, or sitting still
Children who experience a traumatic event, such as the loss of a loved one, parental divorce, bullying, physical or sexual abuse, or moving to a new school or home, are also vulnerable to mental health issues.
Appropriate treatment for children
When treatment is advised, Dr. Satran provides the services your child needs to succeed. This can include the following types of treatment:
Lifestyle change education
Lifestyle modification can help you and your child learn ways to improve their quality of life with changes in diet, stress management, and exercise, based on your child’s condition.
When appropriate, medications can make a difference in the way your child experiences daily life. With consideration of your child’s age and condition, Dr. Satran can help you determine the pros and cons of using medication and whether it could benefit your child.
Having counseling can help your child improve their skills in coping, communicating, and dealing with everyday challenges. This may benefit your child in handling issues with family members, peers, and teachers.
Children and teens who have conditions like ADHD, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, trauma-related disorders, or a threat of self-injury may benefit from counseling. Depending on your child’s condition and needs, therapy may involve talking, doing activities, practicing new skills, and solving problems.
Navigating the mental health system can be daunting. When your child’s condition requires specialized mental health treatment, such as group therapy or an inpatient program, Dr. Satran provides appropriate referrals and coordination of care so your child can get the help they need without delay.
Don’t hesitate to request a mental health evaluation for your child if you’re concerned about their behavior. To schedule, request an appointment online or call our office in Pomona, New York, today.