child mental health brisbane

Our treatments

Adolescent & child mental health

We assess and treat a wide range of difficulties and disorders. Our assessments are conducted by our highly qualified specialists in the quiet comfort of our child-friendly and spacious consultation rooms or dedicated child and family assessment room.

Anxiety

Anxiety is the most common symptom experienced by children and adults in the general community. Therefore, anxiety disorders encompass a variety of different diagnoses, including, social anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and generalised anxiety disorder. It is not uncommon for a child or adult to have anxiety symptoms, together with other diagnoses, such as a mood disorder or ADHD. Importantly, anxiety symptoms in children can present differently, compared to adults, therefore making it very important for a thorough assessment to be performed prior to making a diagnosis and developing a treatment plan.

Mood Disorders

Mood disorders comprise Depressive illnesses or Bipolar Affective disorders. Depression is more common than Bipolar disorder in both children and adults. While mood disorders can present differently in children, compared with adults, Bipolar disorder generally has a much lower prevalence in children and may present with ‘exaggerated’ (and sometimes ‘extreme’) symptoms in the younger population.

Mood disorders are associated with a significant risk of self harm, suicide, medical problems and illicit drug and alcohol use. As such, people who experiences difficulties with their mood require careful and thorough assessments to ensure a timely diagnosis and appropriate intervention.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is usually a childhood diagnosis, although, it is not uncommon for a young adult to present with symptoms that have been present (but have now worsened) from their early years. More often than not, ADHD co-exists with mood or anxiety disorders, tic disorders or pervasive disorders (such as, autism spectrum disorders). ADHD symptoms also range from increased physical / mental activity, difficulties with concentration/ memory, social/ behavioural difficulties to problems carrying out complex tasks (involving multiple steps) and verbal and non-verbal language.

Because of the complex and varied nature of ADHD, it is very important that a thorough history, examination and investigations are carried out prior to discussing treatment options. Treatment should ideally take a multi-factorial approach, utilising psychological interventions, as well as, medication if/as required.

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

Autism spectrum disorders tend to be initially seen and assessed by other specialists, particularly paediatricians. However, the increasing frequency of ASD presenting or co-existing with another disorder, such as anxiety, depression or ADHD  means that it is not uncommon for a child psychiatrist and psychologist to be involved in aspects of the assessment and treatment process. The best possible outcome, in the care of young people with ASD, is the education and involvement of family, support groups / organisations, as well as, rational and careful use of medication to target specific symptoms and behaviour.

Psychotic Disorders

Psychotic disorders, include symptoms induced by drug use (such as cannabis, hallucinogens) and Schizophrenia. Psychotic disorders are rarely seen in childhood, with the incidence peaking in late adolescence/ young adult years. Important aspects of treatment of psychotic disorders include, educating the young person and their family about the nature of the illness, relapse prevention, as well as, anti-psychotic medication.

Other conditions treated

  • Eating Disorders
  • Speech and Language Disorders
  • Attachment Disorders
  • Family/ Relational Difficulties
  • Developmental and Learning Disorders
  • Somatoform Disorders (psychological distress masked as physical symptoms)