Does My Child Need a Psychiatrist?

Does My Child Need a Psychiatrist?

The first 18 years of your child’s life are characterized by dramatic development — physically, mentally, and emotionally — and it’s all you can do to keep up with the constant changes. While checking off physical milestones is important, it’s also imperative to track their mental and emotional health, so you can take swift action if you suspect there’s a problem.

At Choulet Wellness, which serves Scottsdale, Arizona, and the Paradise Valley area, Brook Choulet, MD, has brought together a highly qualified mental health team, including a child and adolescent psychiatrist. Our specialists understand the many mental, cognitive, and behavioral issues that can affect children and adolescents, and we’re here to help.

Here’s a look at some of the more common issues we see among children and adolescents, the signs to watch out for, and how we can help
 

Common mental health issues among children and adolescents

While children and teens are susceptible to the same wide range of mental disorders as adults, there are a few that are more common among the younger populations, including:
 

This list is by no means comprehensive, but it gives you an idea of the breadth and scope of the mental, behavioral, and cognitive issues that can affect children and adolescents.
 

Recognizing a mental health disorder

Tracking a child’s moods and behaviors is tricky on the best of days — whether it’s a three-year-old throwing a tantrum over a lost toy or an adolescent’s sudden withdrawal from you. Of course, these two examples can be perfectly normal behaviors, but ongoing issues with them may signal an issue with their mental health or cognitive and emotional development.

As you can see by the list of disorders we outlined above, it’s impossible to go into detail about the symptoms of each here, but we can give you some general rules of thumb for recognizing a problem.
 

Signs in children

Younger children may benefit from our psychiatric services if they’re exhibiting any of the following:

  • Frequent tantrums

  • The inability to be still

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Repetitive behaviors

  • Sleep issues

  • Excessive irritability

  • Trouble interacting with others

  • Excessive worry
     

For adolescents, the signs may change slightly and include:

  • Loss of interest

  • Increasing isolation

  • Risky behaviors

  • Excessive irritability

  • Dietary issues

  • Self-harm

  • Periods of extreme highs and lows
     

Again, these are just meant to be guidelines, and we understand that you know your child best. If you suspect that they’re having problems, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and have us evaluate their mental health.

We’d also like to point out that the COVID-19 pandemic has been extremely stressful for kids, so we urge you to be extra vigilant about your child’s mental health during this time.

Lastly, any time your child speaks of harming themself or others, you need to seek help right away.
 

Getting help for your child

As we mentioned, we specialize in children and adolescent mental health, and we provide these services through a concierge care model, which allows greater flexibility, customization, and personalization for your child’s treatment.

During our initial assessment, we meet with both the child and a parent or guardian separately so we can get a detailed picture of the issue. Once we make a diagnosis, we can get started on a treatment plan, which could include:

If you’re unsure as to whether your child may need psychiatric help, we urge you to book an appointment online or over the phone with Choulet Wellness today. We’re based in Scottsdale, Arizona, and we also serve the Paradise Valley area.

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