Common Mental Health Diagnoses
If you believe that your child meets the criteria for a mental health diagnosis, look here to find out symptoms of common diagnoses.
Common Diagnoses Include:
- Anxiety Disorders. Anxiety Disorders are some of the most common diagnosed disorders in children. They are categorized by excess fear or worrying for more days than not in the past six months. There are many anxiety disorders ranging from generalized anxiety order (GAD) to specific phobias.
- Reactive Attachment Disorder. Reactive Attachment Disorder is a condition caused when an infant or young child doesn’t create healthy attachment connections with their parent or caregiver. Reactive Attachment Disorder may develop if the child’s needs for affections or comforts aren’t met, and stable, loving connections with others aren’t established. Generally Reactive Attachment Disorder can be diagnosed by the age of five.
- Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD, is characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactive impulsivity that interferes with functioning and development. Children often times have trouble sitting still and/or focusing in school. ADHD generally begins in childhood.
- Autism Spectrum Disorder: Autism Spectrum Disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder that impairs a child’s ability to communicate and interact with others. Autism Spectrum Disorder often has the symptoms of restrictive repetitive behaviors, interests and activities. Autism Spectrum Disorder is a single disorder that includes autism, Asperger’s syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder and pervasive developmental disorder. Autism Spectrum Disorder often causes significant impairment in social, occupational, and other areas of functioning.
- Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder. Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder is the new DSM-V diagnosis for childhood bipolar disorder. Characteristics of Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder include abrupt mood swings, periods of hyperactivity followed by lethargy, intense temper tantrums, frustration, and defiant behavior. The rapid cycling between moods may produce long term irritability, with clear periods of peace between episodes.
- Conduct Disorders. Conduct Disorders are characterized by a repetitive pattern of behavior in which the basic rights of others, or major age-appropriate societal norms are violated. Many times behaviors such as aggression towards people or animals, destruction of property, deceitfulness and serious violations of rules are symptoms of Conduct Disorder.
- Eating Disorders. Two of the most common eating disorders in adolescents are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Anorexia is characterized by low body weight, intense fear of gaining weight, and distorted perception of body appearance. Bulimia is characterized by the intake of a lot of food (a binge), followed by trying to get rid of the calories very fast by purging. Common forms of purging are throwing up, taking laxatives or excessive exercise. Both of these disorders are more common in girls, and can be life threatening.
- Learning Disorders.
- Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Major Depressive Disorder is a mood disorder characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness or loss of interest. A depressive episode may only occur once in a lifetime, but many people have multiple episodes. During episodes people often experience the sadness, hopelessness or loss of interest more of the time than not. In teens MDD is often accompanied with harmful habits such as alcohol and drug use, as well as absence from school.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, OCD, is characterized by a pattern of unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions) followed by repetitive behaviors (compulsions) to ease these feelings. Attempting to ignore the obsessions usually makes the anxiety or fears worse. OCD is often centered on certain themes, such as fear of germs.
- Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a mental disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally. Schizophrenia often produces hallucinations, delusions and extremely distorted thinking, or some combination of those symptoms that affects regular life functioning. Schizophrenia is a lifelong disorder.