Child Psychology in Laguna Hills, CA
The field of psychiatry is a diverse one with many specialties and areas of focus, some concentrate solely on personality disorders, others like to dedicate their time to family issues while another group takes on the responsibility of providing psychiatric care to children. The last group of psychiatrists practice under the title of child psychiatry.
What is Child Psychiatry?
Child psychiatry is like any form of psychology, except the patients are children, adolescents and their families. This field of psychology can be a double-edged sword, easier in some respects while harder in others. Children typically have yet to develop that social filter that keeps many of the fears, opinions and other feelings we have on a daily basis hidden. They say whatever they please. However, articulating those thoughts and emotions in an understandable way can be a challenge. This makes child psychiatry both challenging and different from nearly every other specialty.
Psychiatrists need to be specially trained, not only to treat the wide variety of conditions they’re likely to encounter but have the tools themselves to deal with the nature of these conditions in children. Helping children through grief, social problems and abuse can often place the psychiatrist under great deals of emotional stress. Maintaining an effective, professional composure in cases such as these can be very difficult.
Some easily overlooked characteristics that may signal a mental health problem include:
- Drug abuse
- Drastic change in sleep/eating habits
- Acting out/defying authority
- Irritable mood/anger
- Withdrawal from interests/friends
- Reoccurring, frequent nightmares
- Hallucinations (not part of imaginative playing)
- Physical pain/sickness, and reoccurring complaints thereof
- Easily frustrated/overwhelmed by minute, everyday issues
It’s important to differentiate many of these symptoms from normal childhood characteristics like temper tantrums, shyness and active imaginations which are almost universal among children. It’s only when these characteristics interfere with day-to-day life, cause significant distress or occur with a prolonged duration or at an inappropriate age could they be symptoms of a larger, underlying issue.
Nevertheless, child psychiatry is a rapidly growing area of study within the psychological community. If you feel like your child might benefit from the guidance of a trained psychiatrist, today is the best day to get help.
Request more information about child psychology today. Call (949) 202-5268 or contact Debra A Hill, MD online.
Debra A Hill, MD
Address24891 Sausalito St
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
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