What a harsh time to be growing up. In my thirty-ﬁve years of practice, I have never seen so much psychiatric illness in our adolescents. I see kids that feel all alone, scared, anxious, bored, depressed, irritable, angry or oppositionally defiant. Problems sleeping, concentrating or regulating emotions are common. Adolescents often report, “itʼs like a switch in my brain just turns on or off on itʼs own when I lose it.” Teens frequently abuse drugs or alcohol to avoid unpleasant feelings. Suicidality and high risk behaviors are other ways of escaping from emotional pain. Adolescents also suffer from psychiatric symptoms like separation anxiety, hyperactivity, phobias, tics, moodiness and meltdowns. Learning disorders can be typical.
It is a blessing to treat adolescents. Once they get better they are free to move through their lives building on their strengths. Emotionally healthy children succeed in becoming more empathic while feeling enhanced self-esteem. Thus, early intervention is the most effective model of treatment. Then, when our kids have their own families, they can parent their children in a way that breaks the cycle that made a part of their lives so painful, overwhelming and frustrating.
My treatment techniques utilize both psychotherapy and medications. Family and individual therapy, support and education are all synergistic. Although I maintain a general practice in both adult and adolescent psychiatry, my areas of specialization include treatment of mood disorders and Aspergerʼs syndrome. My practice is by intention small. My full-time office administrator is as kind as she is insightful and professional. With all the hurdles of insurance and managed care, Candy is a godsend. It’s not uncommon for patient’s to write a thank you note addressed to both myself and Candy.
If you have an adolescent in need of psychiatric care, please call the office closest to you.