Adolescent and Child Psychiatry
As the name implies, an adolescent and child psychiatrist deals with mental health conditions that affect teens and children. While extremely severe mental health conditions are rarer in children, the need for mental healthcare for today’s youth is great.
Research shows that at least 20% of children and adolescents 9 – 17 years old are living with a diagnosable mental health condition that causes some form of mild impairment, and 10% have a condition that results in significant impairment.
Nearly 50% of serious adult mental health conditions begin by the time someone is 14, and we know that early intervention is a key predictor in reducing symptom frequency and severity.
Child psychiatrists usually limit their practice to those aged 18 years and younger. This specialization can be challenging, as many medications commonly used to treat symptoms of some disorders in adults are not approved for use with children. Common conditions in children include mood, anxiety, behavior, and attention disorders.
“A child and adolescent psychiatrist has additional training, research, and fellowship in child mental health disorders and behaviors, learning the early developmental challenges and different disease states. A child psychiatrist has specialized skills to take care of mental health problems in young children as well as address family conflict and issues.”