Children and adolescents, like adults, can having varying temperaments. Some are introverted and shy, quiet, or reserved, and others are socially indulged, extroverted and outspoken. And, some are curious and exploring, while others are impulsive, careless, and risk-taking.
“Children will be children” is a common phrase, but whether a child is behaving life a ‘typical’ child or has an actual mental health disorder is determined by the presence of very specific impairments or behaviors, as well as the degree of distress associated with the symptoms expressed or apparent. For example, a 14-year old boy may experience and express undue stress and anxiety that causes significant avoidance and distress when ask to deliver a book report to his class. When this level of stress and anxiety disrupts his ability to concentrate and affects his overall mental wellbeing, this fear would likely be due to social anxiety disorder.
There is a great deal of assessment that goes into confirming a mental health disorder present in a child or adolescent, as there is much overlap between varying behaviors and actual symptoms of a disorder. One classic disorder that is often misdiagnosed is attention deficit disorder (ADD). Often times, school teachers, parents, and other adults present in the child’s life on a frequent basis may fear the child has ADD. In fact, youth who have higher than average intelligence levels often become bored. Sometimes when boredom strikes, the child may display behaviors that are disruptive or immature.
It is vitally important to have your child thoroughly observed and examined for a mental health disorder before starting them on any type of psychiatric medications. Dr. Nwedo has great passion for child and adolescent psychiatry, and specializes in diagnosing and treating child and adolescent mental health disorders.
If you feel your child may be experiencing a mental health disorder, call our office today to schedule a thorough assessment at (731) 240-1695.