Treat mental disorders in children quickly

Treat mental disorders in children quickly

Mental illnesses such as ADHD, anxiety or depression are increasingly being discovered in children. For many, they lead to stressful problems later in school. Experts believe that they can and should be treated much earlier.

Children under the age of six affected Studies have shown that around ten percent of preschool children have clinically relevant mental disorders. This refers to impairments with a high level of suffering, such as eating disorders, excessive screaming or post-traumatic stress disorders to autistic and ADHD disorders. Many parents often do not know what is going on with their child and are overwhelmed. The first contact is always the pediatrician. Educators and early intervention centers should also pay more attention to signs and stimulate a visit to the specialist or psychiatry in the event of psychological abnormalities.

Waiting times of more than 6 months are often accepted as there are not many centers in Germany that specialize in the treatment of preschool children. The offerings need to be expanded in the future in order to be able to adequately counter the increasing number of consultations and necessary treatments, says Professor Alexander von Gontard, director of the clinic for child and adolescent psychiatry at the Saarland University Clinic.

Advice is often enough In the beginning, the parents should always clarify whether there is a real disorder that needs to be treated. In many cases, advice is sufficient. The next step is parent training, parent interaction training and visiting a parent group. It is important that the younger the children are, the more work has to be done with and with the parents. The earlier treatment is started, the more suffering and secondary consequences can be prevented. Only from the age of four can individual therapies be carried out with the child.

ADHD noticeable at the earliest at the age of three. More and more school children in Germany are diagnosed with ADHD and often treated with drugs such as Ritalin. Often without accompanying psychotherapy. One can determine ADHD at the earliest at three years, according to the expert. ADHD usually has significant social consequences for young children. Problems arise when dealing with peers. For the experts, parent-child training is the top priority for treatment. Only if this shows no significant success and the child is over four years old should drug treatment be considered. (fr)

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