Patients education for adolescents and children
The diagnosis of children and adolescents can include a range of conditions, such as anxiety disorders, mood disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Treatment options can vary depending on whether a specific diagnosis is made and how severe the symptoms are. There are two types of treatment options: pharmacological, and nonpharmacological.
Pharmacological therapies involve using medications to control symptoms. Children and adolescents may benefit from antidepressant drugs to help treat anxiety and depression. ADHD symptoms are treated with stimulant drugs, like methylphenidate or amphetamines. Children and teenagers with autism spectrum disorders are treated for irritability, aggression and hyperactivity using atypical antipsychotics.
Nonpharmacological treatment is any intervention that does not include the use of medication. These treatments may include behavioral therapy, psychotherapy and complementary medicine. Children and adolescents suffering from anxiety or depression can benefit greatly from cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT). CBT concentrates on retraining negative thought patterns, and enhancing coping strategies. The behavioral therapy helps children with ADHD to develop more effective time management, planning and organization skills.
Alternative and complementary medicine treatments, including acupuncture and massage therapy are also available. Children and teenagers may benefit from these treatments to manage anxiety, depression and other symptoms.
There are pharmacological as well as non-pharmacological options for treating children and teenagers with different diagnoses. Individualized treatment plans are needed based on each individual’s diagnosis and symptoms. Combining pharmacological with non-pharmacological treatments may help manage symptoms and improve quality of life in children and teens who have mental health issues.