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Types of Mental Disorders

Types of Mental Disorders

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Published by: sarah_weston on Jun 26, 2010
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Anxiety Disorders
Children’s Mental Health Disorder Fact Sheet for the Classroom
Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health 1-800-528-4511 (MN only)165 Western Avenue North, Suite 2, Saint Paul, MN 55102 • www.macmh.org
Symptoms orBehaviors
•Frequent absences•Refusal to join in social activities•Isolating behavior•Many physical complaints•Excessive worry abouthomework or grades•Falling grades•Frequent bouts of tears•Frustration•Fear of new situations•Drug or alcohol abuse
Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
Students experience extreme, unrealis-tic worry unrelated to recent events.They are often self-conscious and tenseand have a very strong need for reas-surance. They may suffer from achesand pains that appear to have no phys-ical basis.
Students suffer unrealisticand excessive fears. Specific phobiascenter on animals, storms, water, or sit-uations such as being in an enclosedspace.
Social phobias.
These may center on afear of being watched, criticized, or judged harshly by others. Becauseyoung people with phobias avoid theobjects and situations they fear, thisdisorder can greatly restrict their lives.This fear can be so debilitating that itmay keep students from going toschool.
Panic Disorder.
Students suffer repeat-ed attacks without apparent cause.These attacks are periods of intensefear accompanied by pounding heart- beat, sweating, dizziness, nausea, or afeeling of imminent death. Studentswith panic disorder will go to greatlengths to avoid a panic attack. Thismay mean refusal to attend school or be separated from parents.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
Students become trapped in a patternof repetitive thoughts and behaviors.These may include repeated handwashing, counting, or arranging andrearranging objects.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Students experience strong memories,flashbacks, or troublesome thoughts of traumatic events. These may includephysical or sexual abuse or being a vic-tim or witness of violence or disaster,such as a shooting, bombing, or hurri-cane. Young people with this disordermay try to avoid anything associatedwith the trauma. They also tend toover-react when startled or have diffi-culty sleeping.Anxiety disorders are among the most com-mon mental health problems of childhoodand adolescence. As many as 1 in 10 youngpeople may suffer from an anxiety disorder.About 50 percent of children and adoles-cents with anxiety disorders also have a sec-ond anxiety disorder or other mental or behavioral disorder such as depression.Among adolescents, more girls than boysare affected. It is not known whether anxi-ety disorders are caused by biology, envi-ronment, or both. Studies do, however,suggest that young people are more likelyto have an anxiety disorder if their parentshave anxiety disorders.
About the Disorder
All children feel anxious at times. Many young children, for example, show great distress whenseparated from their parents. Preschoolers are often frightened of strangers, thunderstorms, orthe dark. These are normal and usually short-lived anxieties. But some children suffer fromanxieties severe enough to interfere with the daily activities of childhood or adolescence.Anxious students may lose friends and be left out of social activities. They commonly expe-rience academic failure and low self-esteem. Because many young people with this disorderare quiet and compliant, the signs are often missed. Teachers and parents should be aware of the signs of anxiety disorder so that treatment can begin early, thus preventing academic,social, and vocational failure.According to the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, the most common anxi-ety disorders affecting children and adolescents are:
Everyone feels sad at times. Peoplewith depression feel bad all thetime. These feelings can get in theway of everyday life.About 1 in every 5 women hasdepression in the U.S. Many peopledon’t know the signs of depression.The good news is that most peopleget better with treatment.
What causes depression?
No one knows what causesdepression. It is an illness. It mayhave something to do with:• The way different parts of thebrain “talk” to each other• Depression runs in the family• Being very sick or being sick allthe time• Stress• Using drugs or alcohol• Having a baby
What are signs of depression?
• Sadness• Things that used to make youhappy, don’t make you happyanymore• No interest in eating• Eating too much, or all the time• Sleeping too little, or all the time• Feeling tired all the time• Feeling nervous or cranky• Crying a lot• Feeling guilty• Feeling hopeless• Trouble paying attention• Thinking of death or trying to killyourself
How do I know if I am depressed?
If you have some of these signs formore than two weeks, you may bedepressed. Go to your doctor oryour clinic.
How is depression treated?
Depression is treated with medicineor counseling. Sometimes both areused. If you don’t feel better, or feelworse, go to your doctor or clinicright away.
I just had a baby. Am I depressedor is it the blues?
• Lots of women feel sad or cry alot right after they have a baby.This is called “the baby blues.”• The baby blues only lasts for twoweeks.• If you still feel very sad after twoweeks, go to your doctor or clinic.You may be depressed.
Children’s Mental Health Disorder Fact Sheet for the Classroom
Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health 1-800-528-4511 (MN only)165 Western Avenue North, Suite 2, Saint Paul, MN 55102 • www.macmh.org
About the Disorder
All children feel sad or blue at times, but feelings of sadness with great intensity that persistfor weeks or months may be a symptom of major depressive disorder or dysthymic disorder(chronic depression). These depressive disorders are more than “the blues”; they affect ayoung person’s thoughts, feelings, behavior, and body, and can lead to school failure, alco-hol or drug abuse, and even suicide. Depression is one of the most serious mental, emotion-al, and behavioral disorders suffered by children and teens.Recent studies reported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services show that asmany as 1 in every 33 children may have depression; among adolescents, the ratio may be ashigh as 1 in 8. Boys appear to suffer more depression in childhood. During adolescence, theillness is more prevalent among girls.Depression that occurs in childhood is harder to diagnose, more difficult to treat, moresevere, and more likely to reoccur than depression that strikes later in life. Depression alsoaffects a child’s development. Adepressed child may get “stuck” and be unable to passthrough the normal developmental stages.The most common symptoms of depression in children and teens are:Sadness that won’t go awayHopelessnessIrritabilitySchool avoidanceChanges in eating and sleeping patternsFrequent complaints of aches and painsThoughts of death or suicideSelf-deprecating remarksPersistent boredom, low energy, or poor concentrationIncreased activityStudents who used to enjoy playing with friends may now spend most of their time alone,or they may start “hanging out” with a completely different peer group. Activities that wereonce fun hold no interest. They may talk about dying or suicide. Depressed teens may “self-medicate” with alcohol or drugs.Children who cause trouble at home or at school may actually be depressed, although theymay not seem sad. Younger children may pretend to be sick, be overactive, cling to their par-ents, seem accident prone, or refuse to go to school. Older children and teens often refuse toparticipate in family and social activities and stop paying attention to their appearance.They may also be restless, grouchy, or aggressive.Most mental health professionals believe that depression has a biological origin. Researchindicates that children have a greater chance of developing depression if one or both of theirparents have suffered from this illness.
Symptoms orBehaviors
•Sleeping in class•Defiant or disruptive•Refusal to participate in schoolactivities•Excessive tardiness•Not turning in homework assign-ments, failing tests•Fidgety or restless, distracting otherstudents•Isolating, quiet•Frequent absences•Failing grades•Refusal to do school work and generalnon-compliance with rules•Talks about dying or suicide

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