Behavioral health includes the diagnosis and treatment of mental, behavioral, and developmental disorders. Though many conditions fall under the behavioral health umbrella, Maria Hoffman-Guardia, MD, at Pediatric Associates at Ridge specialize in helping children who struggle with anxiety and depression, two psychological disorders that are increasingly found in children of all ages. If your child struggles with a behavioral health challenge, call the office in McAllen, Texas, or book an appointment online today.
Autism and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are classified as behavioral health disorders. Many mental health conditions are included under the behavioral health umbrella, such as:
Your child may also have an actual behavioral disorder. These conditions cause an ongoing pattern of disruptive, destructive, oppositional, and disrespectful behaviors.
Behavioral health conditions cover a vast array of possible symptoms. These are the signs parents may notice if their child has anxiety and/or depression:
Children naturally go through phases where anxiety is common. From 8 months through 5 years, they may have separation anxiety. Young children also fear many things, like the dark and storms. These anxieties should improve as they get older.
Children can also have many types of anxiety that aren’t part of growing up and have a negative impact on their life. Your child could develop ongoing separation anxiety, a phobia, social anxiety disorder, or generalized anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders cause symptoms such as:
Frequent stomach aches and headaches are also signs of anxiety.
Children and teens experience depression the same as adults. If your child is sad or isolated day after day, they may suffer from depression. Your child may also:
Like anxiety, depression often causes headaches or stomach aches. Teens may turn to alcohol or drugs to make themselves feel better.
Your provider evaluates your child’s symptoms and determines if they have a condition treated at Pediatric Associates at Ridge. When needed, they refer you to a trusted mental health provider with experience treating children’s mental and behavioral health problems.
Treating anxiety and depression may include therapy or medication. However, many children achieve the best results with a combination of both.
If you’re concerned about anxiety or depression in your child, call Pediatric Associates at Ridge or request an appointment online today.