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ERIC Number: ED507899
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Treatment of Children with Mental Illness: Frequently Asked Questions about the Treatment of Mental Illness in Children
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Research shows that half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14. Scientists are discovering that changes in the body leading to mental illness may start much earlier, before any symptoms appear. Through greater understanding of when and how fast specific areas of children's brains develop, we are learning more about the early stages of a wide range of mental illnesses that appear later in life. Helping young children and their parents manage difficulties early in life may prevent the development of disorders. Once mental illness develops, it becomes a regular part of your child's behavior and more difficult to treat. Even though we know how to treat (though not yet cure) many disorders, many children with mental illnesses are not getting treatment. This fact sheet addresses common questions about diagnosis and treatment options for children with mental illnesses. Disorders affecting children may include anxiety disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorders, bipolar disorder, depression, eating disorders, and schizophrenia. The 21 questions addressed herein include: (1) What should I do if I am concerned about mental, behavioral, or emotional symptoms in my child? (2) How do I know if my child's problems are serious? (3) Can symptoms be caused by a death in the family, illness in a parent, family financial problems, divorce, or other events? (4) How are mental illnesses diagnosed in young children? (5) Will my child get better with time? (7) Are there treatment options for children? (8) What are psychotropic medications? (9) Are there treatments other than medications? (10) When is it a good idea to use psychotropic medications in young children? (11) Does medication affect young children differently than older children or adults? (12) How should medication be included in an overall treatment plan? (13) What medications are used for which kinds of childhood mental disorders? (14) What does it mean if a medication is specifically approved for use in children? (15) Why haven't many medications been tested in children? (16) How do I work with my child's school? (17) What resources are available from the school? (18) What special challenges can school present? (19) What else can I do to help my child? (20) How can families of children with mental illness get support? and (21) Where can I go for help? (Contains 4 citations.)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). 6001 Executive Boulevard Room 8184 MSC 9663, Bethesda, MD 20892-9663. Tel: 866-615-6454; Tel: 301-443-4513; Fax: 301-443-4279; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Guides - General; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Institute of Mental Health (DHHS)
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; Rehabilitation Act 1973 (Section 504)