Psychiatrist Blog

When to See a Psychiatrist for Child Mental Health Issues

pediatric psychiatrist

Commonly Diagnosed Child Mental Health Problems

Before consulting a psychiatrist for child mental health disorders, there are a couple of important things that you need to know.

There are many types and variations of Childhood Mental Health Disorders which include:

  • Anxiety
  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Conduct Disorder
  • Depression
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Tourette Syndrome
young boy with adhd

Amongst the most commonly diagnosed mental health conditions in children are ADHD, anxiety, behavior problems, and depression. The CDC compiled data for children aged 3-17 years old ever having one of these diagnoses, between the years of 2016-2019, and found the following percentages:

  • 9.8% had been diagnosed with ADHD
  • 9.4% were diagnosed with anxiety disorders
  • 8.9% were diagnosed with behavior problems
  • 4.4% were diagnosed with depression

Having since gone through Covid and all of its added stressors, these percentages have undoubtedly increased.

[Read: Coronavirus And Children, How Has COVID-19 Affected Children]

Symptoms of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Problems

physical abuse in relationship

The symptoms, which help to identify it’s time to seek psychiatric evaluation, vary with age and change over time as the child grows. 

In their younger years, symptoms may present as difficulties with how they learn, speak, play or act. As they grow you may notice your child having a more difficult time handling or expressing their emotions. They may have difficulty building relationships or forming deeper connections with their peers. 

Children having difficulty managing their emotions may present as having constant fear and worry or display it through disruptive behavior at home or in class. 

Adolescents struggling with mental health problems may turn to other substances such as alcohol and/or illicit drugs to better help regulate their mood and emotions.

When Do Child Mental Health Issues First Present

children playing

Many mental health disorders often present in early childhood; however, it is not uncommon for them to develop during their teenage years. Mental health diagnoses are frequently made during their school years and symptoms may even be brought to the parent’s attention by their child’s teacher or guidance counselors.

When Should I Make an Appointment With A Psychiatrist for Child Mental Health Issues?

psychiatrist for child

If there are questions regarding your child’s behavior, emotional regulations or the symptoms mentioned above stand out, proper evaluation by a licensed child or adolescent psychiatrist is imperative. 

It is important to consult a child psychiatrist to diagnose your children early on with mental health conditions to ensure proper treatment and therapies begin as soon as possible. Beginning therapies at an early age will help to safeguard healthy development into adult age and reduce potential problems at home, in school, and in building lasting relationships.

Treating Your Child’s Mental Health Issues

child mental health therapy

Once your child has been properly evaluated and diagnosed by a mental health professional, there are various types of treatment options that will be tailored to each child and family. 

Types of treatments for childhood mental health disorders include: 

  • Psychological therapy
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Medication

These various types of treatments often work synergistically together to properly treat the child’s mental health condition. Psychiatrists and therapists will work one-on-one and/or in groups with the parents and the child to allow the best opportunity for healthy mental, physical and emotional development.

For more information, make sure to consult with trusted mental health professionals. Our providers at PNS are here to help you and your child.


Contact Us

We're Here for You!

Please contact us with questions
or requests for an appointment.
Scroll to Top

Announcing our new partnership with

ATP Clinical Research