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Author: US Office of the Surgeon General

Overview of ADHD and It’s Treatments

As its name implies, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by two distinct sets of symptoms: inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity (see Table 3-3). Although these problems usually occur together, one may be present without the other to qualify for a diagnosis (DSM-IV). Inattention or attention deficit may not become apparent until a child enters the challenging environment of elementary school. Such children then have difficulty paying attention to details and are easily distracted by other events that are occurring at the same time; they find it difficult and unpleasant to finish their schoolwork; they put off anything that requires a sustained...

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Injuries Associated with ADHD

children and adolescents with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can have more frequent and severe injuries than peers without ADHD. research indicates that children with ADHD are significantly more likely to be injured as pedestrians or while riding a bicycle, to receive head injuries, injure more than one part of the body, and be hospitalized for accidental poisoning. Children with ADHD may be admitted to intensive care units or have an injury result in disability more frequently than other children. Children with ADHD appear to have significantly higher medical costs than children without ADHD. Health care costs for each child with...

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Overview of Schizophrenia

Our understanding of schizophrenia has evolved since its symptoms were first catalogued by German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin in the late 19th century (Andreasen, 1997a). Even though the cause of this disorder remains elusive, its frightening symptoms and biological correlates have come to be quite well defined. Yet misconceptions abound about symptoms: schizophrenia is neither “split personality” nor “multiple personality.” Furthermore, people with schizophrenia are not perpetually incoherent or psychotic (DSM-IV; Mason et al., 1997) (Table 4-6). Schizophrenia is characterized by profound disruption in cognition and emotion, affecting the most fundamental human attributes: language, thought, perception, affect, and sense of self. The array of symptoms, while wide ranging, frequently includes psychotic manifestations, such as hearing internal voices or experiencing other sensations not connected to an obvious source (hallucinations) and assigning unusual significance or meaning to normal events or holding fixed false personal beliefs (delusions). No single symptom is definitive for diagnosis; rather, the diagnosis encompasses a pattern of signs and symptoms, in conjunction with impaired occupational or social functioning (DSM-IV). Symptoms are typically divided into positive and negative symptoms (see Table 4-7) because of their impact on diagnosis and treatment (Crow, 1985; Andreasen, 1995; Eaton et al., 1995; Klosterkotter et al., 1995; Maziade et al., 1996). Positive symptoms are those that appear to reflect an excess or distortion of normal functions (Peralta & Cuesta, 1998). The diagnosis of schizophrenia, according...

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Child and Adolescent Mental Health

mental health is how people think, feel, and act as they face life’s situations. It affects how people handle stress, relate to one another, and make decisions. Mental health influences the ways individuals look at themselves, their lives, and others in their lives. Like physical health, mental health is important at every stage of life. All aspects of our lives are affected by our mental health. Caring for and protecting our children is an obligation and is critical to their daily lives and their independence. Children and Adolescents Can Have Serious Mental Health Problems Like adults, children and adolescents...

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Depression and Suicide in Children and Adolescents

In children and adolescents, the most frequently diagnosed mood disorders are major depressive disorder, dysthymic disorder, and bipolar disorder. Because mood disorders such as depression substantially increase the risk of suicide, suicidal behavior is a matter of serious concern for clinicians who deal with the mental health problems of children and adolescents. The incidence of suicide attempts reaches a peak during the midadolescent years, and mortality from suicide, which increases steadily through the teens, is the third leading cause of death at that age (CDC, 1999; Hoyert et al., 1999). Although suicide cannot be defined as a mental disorder,...

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