Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
There are a range of mental, emotional and psychological developmental changes that occur during childhood and adolescence. In some cases, a child or teens behaviour may be questionable and be of concern to parents. As a specialist Psychiatrist with a particular interest in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Dr Chawane is able to diagnose and treat a range of learning, mood and behavioural disorders and problems of children and teens.
Parents or health care professionals usually become concerned if a child is exhibiting behaviour that is out of the normal for their age, or out of the ordinary in terms of their normal demeanour. In these cases, you may be referred to a psychiatrist for a more comprehensive evaluation and proper diagnosis.
What are the related symptoms?
There are different types of disorders that may affect children and adolescents, each with their own category and set of symptoms. These may include:
- ADHD – children or teens with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may exhibit symptoms such as fidgeting, interrupts others, restlessness, lack of focus, trouble with waiting their turn and blurting out of answers.
- Autistic spectrum – this disorder is often noticed in early childhood and includes symptoms such as inappropriate social interaction, anxiety, speech delay, poor eye contact, compulsive behaviour, impulsivity and repetitive movements.
- Gender identity disorder disgust at their own genitalia, social isolation from their peers, anxiety, loneliness and depression.
- Oppositional defiant disorder – categorised by frequent temper tantrums, easily annoyed, excessive arguing with adults, often questioning rules, deliberately annoys or upsets others and blames others for his or her mistakes.
- Conduct disorder – children and teens with this disorder have aggressive behaviour such as cruelty to animals, fighting and bullying, violates rules, has destructive behaviour and has deceitful behaviour such as shoplifting and lying.
- Mood dysregulation – this disorder is categorised as severe temper outbursts and a sad, irritable or angry mood almost every day.
- Depression - in childhood depression may include symptoms like changes in appetite and sleep, social withdrawal, increased sensitivity to rejection, vocal outbursts of crying, difficulty concentrating and continuous feelings of sadness or hopelessness.
- Bipolar disorder - children with bipolar disorder experience symptoms in distinct episodes. During episodes, they may include severe mood swings, hyperactive, impulsive, aggressive or socially inappropriate behaviour, risky or reckless behaviours that are out of character as well as suicidal thoughts or behaviours in older children and teens.
- Eating Disorders - just as with adults, children and teens may also suffer from an eating disorder. Signs may include a child or teen who barely eats or a child who grossly overeats in episodes but either doesn't seem to gain weight or does gain weight. Young children may also have an aversion to particular foods.