Child and adolescent psychiatrists specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental health disorders that affect children, adolescents, and their families. They have completed additional training beyond general psychiatry to specifically focus on the unique challenges and concerns faced by young individuals.
This page provides an overview of some common conditions that I treat as a child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
ADHD is a common neurodevelopmental disorder that affects children and adolescents, often persisting into adulthood. It is characterized by symptoms such as difficulty paying attention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. A child and adolescent psychiatrist can help determine if a child has ADHD and develop a tailored treatment plan, which may include medication, behavioral therapy, or a combination of both. I also evaluate and treat ADHD in adults.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
ASD is a developmental disorder that affects communication, social interactions, and behavior. Symptoms usually appear in early childhood and can range from mild to severe. Child and adolescent psychiatrists can help diagnose ASD and create an individualized treatment plan that may include behavioral interventions, social skills training, and support for families. My training at the UCSF and Stanford Autism Clinics helped equip me with the expertise to help patients with ASD and their families in my private practice.
Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health conditions in children, adolescents, and adults. These disorders can include generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and separation anxiety disorder, among others. I evaluate for the specific type of anxiety disorder and provide appropriate treatment, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), medication, or relaxation techniques.
Depression is more than just feeling sad or down; it is a serious mental health condition that can impact a person’s mood, thoughts, and behavior and lead to significant impairment in school, work, or their activities of daily living. Depression is one of the leading causes of mortality and disability in those with psychiatric illnesses. I use a blend of medication, therapy, lifestyle interventions, and non-medication interventions to treat depression in my practice.
Eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder, can have severe consequences on a child’s physical and emotional health. Child and adolescent psychiatrists are trained to assess, diagnose, and treat these complex disorders, often working closely with other specialists, such as nutritionists and therapists, to provide comprehensive care.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
OCD is a mental health disorder characterized by unwanted, repetitive thoughts (obsessions) and behaviors (compulsions) that can interfere with a child’s daily life. Child and adolescent psychiatrists can help diagnose OCD and provide evidence-based treatments, such as CBT, medication, or a combination of both.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD can develop in children and adolescents who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event, such as physical or sexual abuse, a natural disaster, or a severe accident. Child and adolescent psychiatrists can help identify PTSD symptoms and provide appropriate treatments, such as trauma-focused therapy or medication, to help the child process and cope with the traumatic experience.
Functional Neurological Disorder (FND)
Formerly called conversion disorder, FND encompasses a range of neurological symptoms that cannot be attributed to a specific structural or biochemical abnormality in the nervous system. It is considered a brain-based disorder that requires positive clinical findings from a physician, typically a neurologist, to diagnose. It is not a diagnosis of exclusion. Many patients are unable to access treatment and most psychiatrists and psychologists are not routinely trained in the treatment of these patients. I am one of only a few psychiatrists trained to diagnose and manage FNDs, providing appropriate treatment options such as therapy, stress management techniques, and medication, depending on the individual’s specific needs.
Child and adolescent psychiatrists play a critical role in the early identification and intervention of mental health disorders in young people. If you suspect your child or adolescent may be struggling with a mental health condition, it is essential to seek professional help from a qualified specialist. Early intervention can make a significant difference in the child’s overall well-being and future success.
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