Preferred Medical Group has a Licensed Professional Counselor on site in our Phenix City Children’s office. She offers comprehensive therapy services to address a variety of conditions, including: depression, anxiety and behavior management in children and adolescents.
Recognizing when a child or teen is depressed can be difficult, because all people experience sadness at times. It can be normal for children, just like adults, to feel sad in response to difficult circumstances, even for a few days at a time. Major depression, however, includes symptoms that are persistent over time. In children, symptoms of depression can include feelings of sadness, increased irritability, and thoughts about suicide or talk of death or dying. Often a young person’s grades will decrease and physical symptoms (e.g., stomachaches, headaches) may increase. Many children and adolescents withdraw from family and friends, and they may lose interest in things they used to enjoy. They may also show changes in their eating and sleeping habits.
Treatment for depression can include therapy and/or medication. Therapy for depression often includes providing a safe place for your child to talk about what is bothering him or her, helping him or her develop positive ways to cope with sadness, learning to think about problems in more positive ways, and developing behaviors that can boost his or her mood. Your child’s pediatrician can help you decide if medication should be part of your child’s treatment plan.
Fears and worries are common in children and can usually be managed through comfort and reassurance from caregivers. However, some children have such intense fears or worries that they interfere significantly with day-to-day activities, such as school, friendships, and home and community activities. Your child may have an anxiety disorder if his or her anxiety is so intense that it keeps him or her from doing the things he or she needs or wants to do. Common anxiety disorders in children include Separation Anxiety Disorder, in which children become extremely anxious about being separated from caregivers, and phobias, in which children have abnormally intense fears about specific things, like insects, shots, etc. Other children develop anxiety about the future, school, friends, family members’ health, or their own health. Many children with anxiety develop physical complaints, such as stomachaches or headaches, or engage in repetitive behaviors, such as asking questions over and over or wanting things to be “just right.”
Treatment for anxiety can include therapy and/or medication. Therapy for anxiety often includes helping your child learn how to cope with their worries and fears more effectively, how to relax when they feel anxious, and how to think more realistically about their fears. Your child’s pediatrician can help you decide if medication should be part of your child’s treatment plan.
Throughout the developmental process children at times can be over active and may have difficulties managing behavior or difficulties adjusting to life transitions. On the occasion when behaviors become unmanageable, many parents question whether these behavioral difficulties are due to the child’s age or is it something that they may need to seek professional assistance. Children who have been experiencing behavioral difficulties in multiple areas
such as at home and at school and have been having difficulties for six months or longer may need an assessment to determine what treatment, if any, can benefit them best.
Children can be diagnosed with a number of behavioral disorders to include but is not limited to Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder, Oppositional Defiance Disorder, Conduct Disorder, or Disruptive Behavior Disorder. Behavioral Management treatment can include therapy and/or medication. Therapy will consist of helping the client to manage their behaviors, manage their anger and frustration, learn organization and coping skills as well as educating the client on their diagnosis. No matter the diagnosis, with assistance, individuals can learn to better manage the disorder so that they can have successful outcomes.