Child Psychiatry Blog

What are the Causes of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) presents in childhood or adolescence in about 50% of all cases.  It is a disorder that his known to cluster in families and have a strong genetic component. It is estimated that about 1 to 3% of the population in the United States (about 3 million people) have OCD.  The typical age of onset is between 9-11 years in males and 11-13 years in girls. In children, OCD more commonly occurs in males whereas
Read more
Trouble Sleeping in Children
Sleep is a crucial component of proper development and daily restoration for all humans, especially children and teens. The National Sleep Foundation recommends school aged children (ages 6-13) get 9-11 hours of sleep and teens (ages 14-17) receive 8-10 hours. Children who receive less than the recommended amount of sleep, or poor-quality sleep, are more likely to experience daytime sleepiness, reduced performance in school, and have behavioral problems. Additionally, improper sleep over long periods of time increases
Read more
How do you distinguish autism + bipolar disorder from childhood schizophrenia?
The diagnosis of schizophrenia is typically quite unique from that of bipolar with or without autism. The differentiation is best made when reviewing the history of childhood symptoms. If there are major impairments with social reciprocity, language and the presence of stereotypic behaviors in childhood then the diagnosis of autism may be further explored. Most children with schizophrenia diagnosed as an adult can recall some childhood symptoms, but, they are not typically as impairing as Autism is
Read more
How to Treat Anxiety
Psychotherapy and medications are the two principal ways to treat anxiety.  Moderate to severe anxiety is typically best treated with both medication and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).  In the corresponding article, I will discuss an overview of both treatments. CBT CBT is considered the gold standard of the treatment of anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and phobias. CBT is an evidence based practice that follows a particular format and has been
Read more
Helping My Child with Depression
Depression is recognized among many adults, but can often be overlooked or misdiagnosed in children and teens. Persistent depression is seen in 3-5% of children and adolescents, with one study finding nearly 13% of teens having experienced at least one depressive episode. A person with depression experiences persistent sadness not necessarily attributed with a cause, lethargy, changes in eating and sleeping patterns, and sometimes suicidal thoughts. Parents of depressed children may feel helpless to support their child
Read more