Three Things a Child Psychiatrist Will Do to Treat a Mentally Ill Child

Dr. Alejandra Suzuki is one of the best children psychiatrists in Irvine. She deals with children experiencing eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and other mental issues. You need to take your child to such a psychiatrist if you are concerned about his/her mental health, and do not have to wait for these disorders’ symptoms to show, as it is hard to notice them especially in small children. Treating children’s mental illnesses is good as it enables them to better socialize, think, behave, and regulate their emotions at an earlier age than if they were left untreated. If this is what you need for your mentally ill child, take him/her to a child psychiatrist. Below is a discussion on what the psychiatrist will do to treat your child.

1. Diagnosis

The psychiatrist will look at the signs and symptoms related to a mental illness that your child is showing. If this does not work, the psychiatrist will do a complete medical evaluation of your child. The medical evaluation will include looking at the child’s medical history, his/her family mental health history, a complete medical exam, and interviewing you as the parent or guardian. This will take some time and a few separate appointments as understanding a child’s expressions and emotions is not easy. Should the psychiatrist determine your child is suffering from a particular mental disorder, appropriate treatment will then begin.

2. Treatment

Various approaches are used in the treatment of children’s mental health illnesses. Psychotherapy is one of them. With this approach, your psychiatrist will talk to your child to know what happens in his/her daily life. If your child is young, the psychiatrist will ask about what happens when he/she is playing. Your child will learn how to talk about his/her feelings and emotions while undergoing psychotherapy.

Your child may also be given medication as part of the treatment plan. Anti-anxiety medications, mood stabilizers, stimulants, antipsychotics, and antidepressants are what might be given to the child. Considering there are several side effects your child might experience when taking such medications, it is important to have your child regularly meet with their psychiatrist for follow-up appointments to determine the appropriateness, effectiveness, and necessity of psychotropic interventions.

A brain stimulation approach might be used on your child if the above approaches do not work for him/her. Deep brain stimulation, electroconvulsive therapy, and nerve stimulation are procedures the psychiatrist might use. If your child is in a critical condition, however, an inpatient treatment program may be the best option for him/her.

3. Parental Advice

As a parent, you will need to ensure your child receives the proper treatment for the specific mental illness he/she is suffering from. Your child’s psychiatrist will advise on what to do for your child in order for this to be achieved. For instance, he/she will explain to you more about your child’s medical or mental condition. He/She will also tell you how to appropriately respond when your child displays difficult behavior.

Your child might become emotionally unstable, suicidal, defiant or disrespectful, and perhaps even caught-up in substance use, criminal behavior, and/or destructive relationships if he/she is mentally sick. Poor school performance, isolating from others, social discomfort, panic symptoms, and disruptive behaviors are additional signs and symptoms to consider. Therefore, it is important to seek medical attention during the early stages of the sickness. Just be sure to look for a child psychiatrist with a history of helping children and adolescents recover from mental health issues similar to what your child happens to struggle with.