What are the most common childhood psychological disorders?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the prevalence of psychological disorders in childhood ranges from 10 to 20%.
– Children between 0 and 5 years of age have a higher incidence of behavioral disorders and developmental and language delays.
– Between 6 and 11 years of age, conduct disorders and learning disorders stand out, with ADHD and Dyslexia standing out at this level; this is the age range in which most diagnoses are usually made.
– Conduct disorders, together with anxiety and mood disorders (depression) are more common between 12 and 18 years of age.
– There is a higher incidence of conduct disorders in boys and anxiety disorders in girls at any age.
How can parents detect if their children have any of these disorders?
One of the main reasons why children are not diagnosed promptly when they have a psychological disorder is because parents tend to confuse “early signs of psychological problems with problems of benign maturity of child behavior” and assume that certain behaviors are normal, when they are not, during the stages of their development.
At this level we advise to use the mobile App “Psico GUIA”, a tool created in our Unit which gathers the main warning signs in child and adolescent mental health during early childhood, school and adolescence.
Also on the website of our group “centreguia.cat” you can find very detailed warning signs for different ages.
What is a warning sign?
We understand an alarm signal in child and adolescent mental health to be that sign, symptom or set of manifestations that, if they appear at a certain age, should immediately make us think of a possible psychological disorder.
I suppose that prevention is fundamental in order to avoid further damage, what advice can you give in this regard?
Being able to treat a mental health problem when it begins to show warning signs at an early stage of development, allows us in most cases to achieve an early and better therapeutic response. Prevention, i.e. anticipation, is basic in child and adolescent mental health. The first thing parents should do is to go to their pediatrician who will assess its importance and refer them to a specialized service.
What are the best treatments offered by your team?
Our professional group is specialized in diagnosing and treating psychiatric, psychological and psycho-pedagogical problems of childhood, adolescence and youth exclusively. Our experience in ADHD, Conduct Disorders, Learning Disorders, Anxiety Disorders and Depressive Disorders allows us to offer an adequate guarantee of quality of our professional services, currently working in line with the best clinical services of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, entity of which we are members.
How many years of experience do you have?
In the last 25 years we have been able to care for a child and adolescent population of nearly 11,000 patients thanks to a very careful multi-professional group of specialized psychiatric, psychological and psycho-pedagogical doctors, which allows us to carry out a wide range of care, teaching and research work, the latter with the University of Barcelona and the Autonomous University of Barcelona. We are also responsible for the professional advice of various foundations and institutions specializing in mental health.
Many times these disorders also bring a serious problem to parents, is there a service for them in your team?
One of the main current care in child and adolescent mental health is the assistance to the family. Parents need guidance and educational training, since these patients greatly decompensate the family nucleus and its members require specialized support in most cases. Our services include family psychotherapeutic intervention.
One of the main objectives of your professional group is the scientific dissemination of new knowledge in mental health. Getting all this information to families is essential to raise awareness of this type of problems that can condition and alter adult life, isn’t it?
We are facing a society in crisis, not only economically, but also in terms of values. A society in full change, perhaps historical, in which we must ensure that its young members do not make the same mistakes as adults.
Nowadays many parents are fully aware, and on this basis they take care of the formation and education of their children, so that they look for an effective response to any psycho-educational problem.
There is more and more knowledge that allows us to prevent and anticipate, our scientific work and dissemination of new knowledge in health and education is in this line, always useful and necessary.