Most parents are reluctant to start their children on psychiatric medications. Usually parents are concerned about short- and long-term side effects and the potential of dependence on these medications. These concerns are valid and should be taken in consideration.
One in every ten children has some form of emotional struggle, which can lead to academic deterioration, social withdrawal and other problems. When children are struggling with serious emotional issues, a detailed psychiatric evaluation is necessary to determine the best treatment approach.
Psychiatric treatment does not necessarily involve medications. It can include psychotherapy (talk therapy) for the child, for the parents and for the family. Treatment can also include other forms of therapy, such as play therapy, tailored to the age and emotional maturity of the child.
Sometimes, however, psychiatric medications can be crucial. Many psychiatric disorders have a biological component like any other medical condition. Just as a diabetic child needs insulin and an asthmatic child needs inhalers, children with emotional problems may need medications to improve their brain chemical imbalance.
When medications are recommended, parents should discuss all their concerns with Dr. Haddad. Addressing parents’ concerns is important to successful treatment. If you, as a parent, are well-informed about the different options, side effects and positive effects of the treatment, it will be much easier to make a decision that is right to your child.