The Effects of Treating Psychiatric Disorders in Children

Young Girl Talking With Counselor At Home

When referring to children’s disorders, Psychiatrists are dealing with delicate situations. Due to many new disorders as well as new treatments. It is a developing field, and medication is still being tested. Scientists are trying to understand how children’s brains develop and researching about the different stages of mental illnesses early in life.

The primary objective is to help children and parents to manage these kinds of issues and to prevent disorders developing. However, if the illness is already established, it will become part of the child´s behavior, and its treatment might be more complicated.

Nowadays, several disorders that might affect children, they may include anxiety disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorders, bipolar disorder, depression, eating disorders, and schizophrenia.

Variety of Treatment for Children

As regards children’s treatment, there are a wide variety of possibilities and choices which might include psychotherapy or medication.  Before starting with any of them, the child should have a diagnosis done by a specialist to choose the appropriate procedure.  

Parents should be informed about their child conditions, and the professional should provide all the possible alternatives. They need to be explained that there are some tested treatments, but there are also experimental ones.

To be assertive in the diagnosis, parents have to consult an expert, a child psychiatrist who should be specialized in pediatric mental health. The professional would observe the child in determined situations and for some hours to be able to interact with the child and with the parents.

It would give the doctor the opportunity of seeing the child´s following a routine, who the relationship with family, friends, and teachers, etc. works and how the child behaves in each context.

Which Medication is the Correct One for Young Children?

The kind of drugs used for children tends to affect the brain chemicals which are connected to their mood and behavior. Nevertheless, researching is still being held to understand the risks and benefits they could produce.

Parents have the difficult task of deciding if they are going to give their child medication and which one. They need to bear in mind that each child has individual needs and the child should be carefully monitored by them during the treatment.  

Not in all cases, it would be wise to medicate the child. It should be evaluated if positive effects or benefits are more than the risks. Some kids suffer from severe or dangerous consequences which required medication to manage them. What is more, some treatments are accompanied by psychological assistance.

It is a must for parents to talk about all the possibilities and pro and cons of treatments and medication before taking a decision. An informed choice is the best option to help the child to feel safe and contained.

Medication does not have to be used alone. The child might receive other treatment to be able to control and handle the changes that medication could enhance their lives. For instance, family therapy, educational classes, and behavior management techniques.

If your child’s doctor prescribes medication, he or she should evaluate your child regularly to make sure the medicine is working. Children need treatment plans tailored to their problems and needs.

In the market, it is possible to find a wide variety of drugs that are used in this kind of treatments. It is even suggested the dose that would be appropriate for a child according to their weight and age.

Medication Effects on Children’s Body and Behavior

Medication would affect young children differently than older children or even an adult. This is because their brains change and develop rapidly. Studies showed that, in some cases, the brain is sensitive to the medication. Moreover, their metabolism may process medication differently. That is why psychiatrists should be carefully and consider the precise dose to prescribe each child.

On the other hand, parents might be aware that untreated disorders can also harm the brain and its healthy development.  Furthermore, pills should not overlap, if the child is taking any other kind of medication, it should be discussed with the doctor due to possible side effects which can be dangerous or could reduce mental disorder medicine´s effects.

It is still today a controversial issue whether to medicate a child or not. Professionals might use different criteria to characterize the symptoms each child has. Some specialists might diagnose with a mental disorder children that are consistently restless, moody, or fearful which, in fact, these characteristics correspond to their age.

Currently, not only young children but also toddlers and preschooler are under treatment with prescribed medication. It might be seen as a “ salvation” for parents. But most experts are concern about this because there is not enough information about how these medicines might affect developing brains and bodies when treating psychiatric disorders in children.

In addition to this, medication might carry significant side effects; they are related to slow rate of growth when prolonged in time, rapid weight gain or some metabolic complication, among many others.

It should be essential to highlight that more researchers and studies in connection to appropriate dosages, how the medication works and what effects it might have on proper development and learning processes have to be done so parents could have enough and relevant information about the scope of treatments available and their benefits or side effects.

Children with mental illness need guidance and understanding from their parents and teachers.  Psychiatrists can counsel the child and family to help them develop new skills, attitudes, and ways of relating to each other, as well as, to be able to follow a treatment understanding all the information and importance of it for their child.