Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Psychiatric Problems In Teens Difficult To Pinpoint

Date:
October 21, 2007
Source:
Menninger Clinic
Summary:
Your teen is moody. He's not doing well in school. He wants to be left alone. Does he have a learning disability? Depression? Or maybe he's just a normal teen? Pinpointing a diagnosis of psychiatric and behavioral problems in teens can be tricky, even for experts in mental health. The human brain is still developing during adolescence, and as any parent of a teen can attest, mood and behavior can fluctuate wildly at this age.

Your teen is moody. He’s not doing well in school. He wants to be left alone.

Related Articles


Does he have a learning disability? Depression? Or maybe he’s just a normal teen?

Pinpointing a diagnosis of psychiatric and behavioral problems in teens can be tricky, even for experts in mental health. The human brain is still developing during adolescence, and as any parent of a teen can attest, mood and behavior can fluctuate wildly at this age.

“Teens are by nature secretive and it is sometimes very hard to figure out what is normal and what is not about teen behavior,” says Norma Clarke, MD, medical director of the Adolescent Treatment Program at The Menninger Clinic in Houston. “Also, teens can behave very well in a psychologist’s or counselor’s office, which makes it harder to arrive at a diagnosis.”

That’s the first challenge, Dr. Clarke adds, because an accurate diagnosis is an essential step in treating mental illness. For teens struggling with psychiatric or behavioral disorders it can mean the difference between progressing in treatment or remaining stuck in their current situation and often unhealthy pattern.

By adolescence, many teens in treatment for behavioral or psychiatric issues have received multiple diagnoses—ranging from ADHD to bipolar disorder. Mood swings and irritability are a common symptom of many disorders, but, depending on the diagnosis, treatment can be drastically different, including the medication and therapy prescribed. When individuals don’t respond to treatment that is not suited for them, they feel like failures.

“They feel that they are broken for life,” Dr. Clarke says. “They feel hopeless and think there is something so wrong with them. It affects their self-esteem and their ability to make friends and become the best they can be.”

Many parents of teens struggling with psychiatric or behavioral disorders feel helpless because they can’t help their child, Dr. Clarke adds.

Menninger recently launched its Adolescent Assessment Program to provide troubled teens and their parents with more clarity around the problems and issues confronting teens. An accurate diagnosis is one aspect of this clarification. While brief, the two-week evaluation is intense and allows the patient, parents and treatment team to get to the heart of the matter. The Program fits the needs of teens and families who aren’t making progress in their treatment and who desire a second opinion.

During their two week assessment at Menninger, patients meet with members of the evaluation team, which includes a psychiatrist, psychologist, internist, social worker, rehabilitation specialist, addictions counselor, nursing and senior staff specialists. The treatment team considers patient and family history, parent and patient reports, psychological testing, past treatment records and observations during the patient’s stay.

The Program also uses neuropsychiatric diagnostic tools including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to pinpoint the possible causes of behavioral and psychiatric problems in patients and rule out an underlying medical condition, such as a brain injury.

Patients participate in individual, group and family therapies and learn about coping strategies. Mental health professionals also review medications and other prescribed interventions.

Close to the end of the assessment period, team members share their findings during a conference and discuss the patient's diagnoses and treatment goals. Following this conference, the team shares these findings with the adolescent and the parents and involves them in discussing options for next steps in the treatment process and ways to support the teen academically and socially. Patients may continue treatment at Menninger or other programs if indicated.

Armed with answers, teens and parents can make decisions about future treatment methods, schooling and life. With their newfound clarity, they also regain hope.

“Once they are pointed in the right direction, teens can make positive strides toward recovery and learn how to lead successful lives,” Dr. Clarke says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Menninger Clinic. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Menninger Clinic. "Psychiatric Problems In Teens Difficult To Pinpoint." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 October 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071019161029.htm>.
Menninger Clinic. (2007, October 21). Psychiatric Problems In Teens Difficult To Pinpoint. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071019161029.htm
Menninger Clinic. "Psychiatric Problems In Teens Difficult To Pinpoint." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071019161029.htm (accessed November 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola: Life Without School in Guinea

Ebola: Life Without School in Guinea

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Following the closure of schools and universities in Guinea because of the Ebola virus, students look for temporary work or gather in makeshift classrooms to catch up on their syllabus. Duration: 02:14 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins