Serious Emotional Disturbance
A child with an Anxiety Disorder experiences anxiety more strongly and often than others, and has the excessive worry that interferes with other areas of his or her life. Children of any age have worries, but when these worries are not age-appropriate, and stop children from participating in activities, an Anxiety Disorder may be present. Anxiety disorders are among the most successfully treated mental health illnesses.
ADHD is one of the most common psychiatric disorders that appear in children. It is generally characterized by inattention, distractibility, impulsivity, and hyperactivity that occur before age seven, continue for at least six months and are not primarily due to other psychiatric disorders or environmental circumstances. More than half of children with attention deficit disorder also have accompanying disorders, including anxiety, depression, and conduct disorders. Speech and learning disorders are also common in children with ADHD.
Autism is a "spectrum condition" that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. The diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder is applied based on analysis of all behaviors and their severity. Each child or adult with autism is unique, so their treatment and supports plans are also unique to fit the needs of the individual as best as possible. (Click here for resources and more information)
Conduct Disorder refers to a group of behavioral and emotional problems in youth. Children and adolescents with this disorder have difficulty following rules and behaving in a socially acceptable way. They are often viewed by other children, adults, and social agencies as "bad" or delinquent, rather than mentally ill. Many factors may contribute to a child developing conduct disorder, including brain damage, child abuse, genetic vulnerability, school failure, and traumatic life experiences.
Major depression is one of the mental, emotional, and behavior disorders that can appear during childhood and adolescence. This type of depression affects a young person's thoughts, feelings, behavior, and body. Depression in children and adolescents is serious; it is more than "the blues." Depression can lead to school failure, alcohol or other drug use, and even suicide.
Eating disorders include unhealthy reduction of food intake or severe overeating, as well as feelings of distress or extreme concern about body shape or weight. Eating disorders are not due to a failure of will or behavior. Rather, they are real treatable medical illnesses in which certain patterns of eating take over a person's life. The main types of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. A third type, the binge-eating disorder has been suggested but not approved as a psychiatric disorder.
OCD usually begins in adolescence and young adulthood. OCD is characterized by repeated obsessions and/or compulsions that are extreme enough to cause severe discomfort. Obsessions are unrealistic or irrational thoughts, impulses or images that are recurrent and persistent and cause extreme anxiety or distress. Compulsions are repetitive behaviors or rituals (like hand washing, hoarding, checking something over and over) or mental acts (like counting, or repeating words silently).