Child and adolescent mental health

Depression

We all experience anxiety, young or old. It can occur if we feel vulnerable, nervous or worried about something we find difficult to control, uncertain or dangerous. Most young people feel anxious before an important test or exam, but it is now becoming commonplace for young children to worry about their SAT tests, which is somewhat more concerning.

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Case studies

Early trauma can mar relationships between children and their adoptive parents. Here, a mother tells of two very different little sibling boys, both with attachment disorder

James is a 13-year-old boy whose parents have recently separated. James’s parents lovingly refer to James as Velcro-boy as he demands that he be in sight of his parents at all times when at home. When younger he used to join his parents in the middle of the night to sleep with them, but since their separation they insist he sleeps in his own room all night. However, each parent often finds him curled up outside the bedroom door in the morning. James complains of stomachaches and feeling ill, and has missed a few days of school this semester, spending the day with a parent at their work.  James prefers to do things with his parents more than with his friends and refuses sleepover invitations. This case study is presented in the form of a podcast.

The Reynolds adopted Serena as an infant five years ago. She has been a bright, happy and well-adjusted five-year-old, who has had an easy time in day care and preschool. However, Serena’s parents have become increasingly concerned about her over the past few months since she started Kindergarten, because several weeks after school began, Serena started complaining of stomach aches and feeling “bad”. In addition, she was having nightmares and refusing to sleep alone, and consequently was far more clingy than usual.

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