Mental Health Disorders in Adolescents: A Guide for Parents, Teachers, and Professionals

Mental Health Disorders in Adolescents: A Guide for Parents, Teachers, and Professionals

Mental Health Disorders in Adolescents: A Guide for Parents, Teachers, and Professionals

Mental Health Disorders in Adolescents: A Guide for Parents, Teachers, and Professionals

Synopsis

Mental Health Disorders in Adolescents provides essential information to help parents, educators, and general practitioners find effective ways to identify and treat psychiatric disorders that many teens face. The first of two reader-friendly sections, "Recognizing the Problem, Finding Help, and Negotiating the System," is designed to help caregivers navigate the often confusing adolescent mental health system. Readers will find comprehensive information about when and how to seek help and the kinds of treatments that are available, including a detailed discussion of psychiatric medications and psychotherapy options. "Common Psychiatric Problems in Adolescence," the second section, offers information on specific psychiatric disorders, including symptoms and warning signs, diagnostic evaluations, treatment options, prognosis, and associated risks for each disorder.

Additionally, Eric P. Hazen, Mark A. Goldstein, and Myrna Chandler Goldstein have compiled two practical appendices-one provides a list of resources, organizations, books, websites, and phone numbers for further information and support. The other serves as a "treatment organizer" to help parents know what school and medical data to bring to a psychiatric evaluation and teach them how to keep track of important discussions related to their child's treatment.

By recognizing the early symptoms of a psychiatric disorder, adults may be able to save a teen's life. Mental Health Disorders in Adolescents offers real options to anyone searching for ways to help at-risk teens.

Excerpt

You hear a loud and persistent knock at your front door. As you approach the door, you see a state trooper on your front step. With trepidation, you open the door. “Are you the parent of William Smith?” “I am very sorry to tell you that your son jumped in front of a truck on the interstate highway….”

Suddenly awakened, you are drenched in perspiration, and your heart is pounding. You race to William’s bedroom. He is safe and sound asleep.

Is this every parent’s nightmare? Maybe.

Adolescence is a time of change—especially in the biological, intellectual, and social domains. Substance abuse, eating disorders, self-induced injury, and other mental health concerns emerge as teens grow physically, develop intellectually, and intensify social relationships with peers,

We have written this book to help parents and all who interact with adolescents to recognize some of the symptoms of mental illness as they emerge during this developmental period. Our perspectives are those of a child and adolescent psychiatrist, an adolescent medicine specialist, and an independent scholar/ writer. After all, the medical and psychiatric aspects of illness often cannot be readily separated.

By recognizing the early symptoms of a psychiatric disorder, a teen’s life may be saved. In many situations, early treatment of an adolescent’s mental disorder leads to a better outcome. In addition, we have also reviewed the behaviors displayed by adolescents that do not rise to the level of a disorder but are of concern to parents.

In the foreword, Dr. Jellinek notes that up to 20 percent of adolescents will develop an emotional disorder. Accordingly, all who come into contact with adolescents will probably encounter a teen with a mental health disorder. Many of these disorders may affect the teen in his or her adult life. It is our hope that this book will answer your questions about adolescent mental health issues and adolescent behaviors and provide a guide to access the help you may need. Through a better understanding of adolescents, all of us can provide the best care and services to them.

Eric P. Hazen, M.D. Mark A. Goldstein, M.D. Myrna Chandler Goldstein, M.A.

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