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Highland Medical Group
Adult, Adolescent and Child Psychiatry
About 15% of the American population suffers from clinical depression. Fortunately, we have a large number of medications for the treatment of depression. There are multitude of symptoms that can occur when a person is clinically depressed, ranging from restlessness to fidgety behavior to sleeplessness.
The important feature of depression are the changes in the basic appetites. Activity may decrease and the person may have no energy to accomplish anything. The drive to sleep may change. Some people may sleep long hours and never feel refreshed. Others, suffer from lack of sleep and feel tired all the time. Appetite may change also: some people gain weight whereas others may lose weight. The drive for sex also changes. There is a feeling of gloom, lack of happiness and joy.
In teenagers depression takes a different form. It can appear as boredom or risk taking behavior, irritability and self-destructive behavior, complaints of headaches and stomach pains.
Fifty percent of women may suffer from some degree of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). They may have depression with mood swings, tearfulness and insomnia.
This is a condition when the person has periods of depression alternating with periods of mania (excessive energy, activity level, lack of need for sleep, racing thoughts, paranoid thoughts). In bipolar disorder the patient may have mood swings, ranging from feeling "too good" to "very low." When the patient is feeling "too good", the patient may become too self-confident, loud, spend too much money, have grandiose or unrealistic ideas, become hyper-sexual and reckless. During other times they may be feeling low or unhappy.
In teenagers, the diagnosis of bipolar is complex and involves follow up for a longer period of time.
This illness distort the patient's reality. They may hear voices and have frightening internal experiences and beliefs. These symptoms make them disconnected from those around them, including family members. They need help from others around them in order to function. It is important that these individuals receive early treatment.
In late adolescence, psychotic symptoms may appear for the first time. These symptoms can be due to drug abuse, severe depression, severe anxiety or bipolar disorder.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorders
The individual feels overwhelmed with intrusive nature of obsessions. Their compulsions are frequent and disrupt the daily productivity of life.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
Treatment of ADD requires continuous medication to control that part of the brain that controls distractibility, inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. The ideal treatment outcome would be improved social behavior, increased concentration on social, academic or athletic work.
Substance Use Disorders and Addictions
No addictive substance can solve life's problems. Initially, the person may start using as a form of self-medication. Before long it becomes addiction.Common use of addictive substances occurs in people with anxiety disorders, depression, OCD, ADHD, and psychosis.
In people past 40 years, people may have a primary sleep disorder without an underlying cause. But, the best approach is to treat associated disorders that can cause insomnia; such as, depression. anxiety, addiction, psychosis, PTSD, and OCD.
The condition may appear as anorexia nervosa. Usually, occurring in females. the individual may see themselves with a distorted physical image. They see themselves much larger than what they are. These individuals restrict their food and rigorously exercise, and have unusually high energy
Bulimia has symptoms of binging and vomiting after eating. Laxatives are commonly used by these patients. Both anorexia and bulimia can occur at the same time or in succession. This condition, if left untreated can result in death. Other complications such as electrolyte imbalances, rupture of esophagus, and weakness of heart muscle can occur.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
The most important characteristic of stress disorder is that the individual has been exposed to a traumatic event that the individual believes threatened his well-being with the potential for serious injury or death. The threat can also threaten their physical integrity or the physical integrity of others.
The trauma could be physical abuse or sexual abuse or prolonged emotional neglect. The affected individual may relive the experience mentally and experience the associated unpleasant pain.
Other new symptoms can also occur after the traumatic event, including sleep problems and insomnia, nightmares, irritability, overreaction to irritants, inability to concentrate, suspicion of others and environment, and an excessive startled response. Post traumatic stress can interfere with work or study. It can interfere with personal life and intimacy, and it can interfere with the ability to enjoy leisure and recreation.