Posts for tag: Behavioral Health

By Royal Oak Pediatric Associates
September 16, 2022
Tags: Behavioral Health  

Children exhibit all kinds of interesting behaviors. Many of these behaviors are normal boundary testing, showing independence, and other healthy milestones you want to see.

Children can also exhibit behaviors you don’t want to see, like aggressiveness, sadness, and fear. Your pediatrician is an expert on child development and can help you with your child’s behavioral health.

First let’s look at normal behaviors you want to see. These include:

  • Defiance, because your child may be testing boundaries and exerting independence
  • Withdrawing, because your child needs to show autonomy, and wants to accomplish things without your help
  • Acting out, because your child may be reacting to major changes in life, like moving to a new school, divorce, or death of a close family member

Now, let’s look at behaviors that could be warning signs of a behavioral disorder. These include:

  • Threatening or harming others, pets, or themselves
  • Damaging possessions belonging to others
  • Having difficulty forming or keeping relationships with others
  • Showing frequent signs of unhappiness or depression
  • Demonstrating anxiety about going to school
  • Exhibiting defiance and hostility toward authority figures
  • Frequently lying, arguing, stealing, or skipping school
  • Using drugs, drinking, or smoking at an early age

If you notice any of the signs or symptoms listed above, it’s time for a behavioral health evaluation from your child’s pediatrician.

When you bring your child in for a visit with the pediatrician, a complete medical examination is necessary to make sure there are no underlying medical conditions which may be causing your child’s behavior or making it worse. Your pediatrician may also request additional testing including lab work and other studies.

Your pediatrician will develop a treatment plan designed to help with your child’s behavior. Treatment may include:

  • Individual, group, and family counseling
  • Lifestyle modification including diet and exercise
  • Medication if necessary to modify behavior
  • Additional specialty care with a child psychologist

Your child’s behavioral health is just as important as physical health. You want the best for your child, so call your pediatrician today.

By Royal Oak Pediatric Associates
July 21, 2022
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Behavioral Health  

Is your child acting up? Here’s how a pediatrician can help.

Poor grades, fighting with others, lashing out at parents—If you find yourself dealing with these issues, no doubt you’re concerned about your child’s behaviors. Whether the teachers have complained or you’ve seen these issues in your household, it’s essential to address these concerns with your pediatrician.

Pediatricians and Behavioral Health

While a pediatrician is there to provide your child with medical care, which means that they are focused on physical health, that doesn’t mean they can’t recognize behavioral, mental or emotional issues. Since pediatricians often spend the most time with your children and have seen them grow up through the years, they are often the first to spot problems. That’s why you must have a long-standing pediatrician you know and trust.

When to Be Concerned

It’s natural for a child to be sad when they get sick or lose something important to them or a date with a friend gets postponed; however, if your child is dealing with recurring emotional and behavioral issues that are impacting their daily life, well-being and routine, then it may be time to speak with your pediatrician. Behavioral health concerns that may require a further evaluation with a pediatrician include,

  • Anger and irritability
  • Outbursts and temper tantrums
  • Defying adults and acting out
  • Harmful behavior, whether harming themselves or others
  • Avoiding social interactions
  • Trouble focusing and a drop in academic performance
  • Changes in mood
  • Sadness or hopelessness that lasts more than two weeks
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Stealing, lying and other risky behaviors

How a Pediatrician Can Help

There are many factors a pediatrician will take into account when a child comes in for a behavioral health assessment. Certain factors include,

  • Physical
  • Environmental
  • Social
  • Mental
  • Emotional
  • Socioeconomic

Any changes to your child’s environment could impact their behavioral health, leading to these problematic behaviors and habits. It’s essential to take all aspects and factors into account so that we can provide the proper diagnosis and treatment plan to help manage behavioral issues. From learning disabilities and separation anxiety to autism and ADHD, a pediatrician can help your child cope with many behavioral health problems.

Yes, kids will be kids, but that doesn’t mean you should let recurring or problematic behaviors slide. If you are concerned about your child’s behavioral health, it’s time you turned to a pediatrician to discuss behavioral health options.

By Royal Oak Pediatric Associates
March 18, 2022
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Behavioral Health  

While everyone knows that it’s important to take care of your child’s physical health, it’s important to know that it is just as necessary to care for your child’s mental health. It’s crucial that you address any behavioral issues that your child might be experiencing because they may be a sign of something more severe that your child is dealing with. Your pediatricians at Royal Oak Pediatric Associates in Marion and Abingdon, VA, can help you care for your child’s behavioral health and identify any problems they may be dealing with.

Caring for Your Child’s Behavioral Health

When your child has undiagnosed behavioral issues, they can follow your child into adulthood and cause issues throughout their life. It will help your child in the long run if you’re able to address their behavioral health with their pediatrician in Marion and Abingdon, VA, as soon as possible so that they can be treated and given the proper care that they need.

Some common causes of behavioral health issues include:

  • ADHD
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood disorders
  • Severe phobias

Symptoms of most of these issues may look like sudden outbursts from your child and a lack of concentration in their normal activities. These symptoms can start as early as in their toddler years and should be addressed early on. Your pediatrician can help you determine which form of treatment may work best for your child. This could be through therapy or medication, depending on what your child might be dealing with and how they may handle their emotions.

Contact Your Pediatrician Today!

Make sure that your child is receiving care for their physical well-being and their mental well-being. Contact your pediatricians at Royal Oak Pediatric Associates in Marion and Abingdon, VA, to take care of your child’s behavioral health. Call for more information today at (276) 783-8183 for the office in Marion, VA, and (276) 525-4603 for the office in Abingdon, VA.

By Royal Oak Pediatric Associates
February 23, 2022
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Behavioral Health  

Mental health concerns in children are a more common concern than previously considered. Many adults often come forward to discuss their difficulty in dealing with undiagnosed disorders from childhood. It is why it's important to monitor your child's behavioral health at home just as it is their physical, and with the help of their Marion, VA, pediatrician these concerns can be diagnosed and treated. Learn more by reaching out to Dr. Anita Henley, Dr. Leesa Lawrence, and Dr. Tara Etter of Royal Oak Pediatric Associates.

Physical Changes

Physical changes are typically the most easily noticeable and can often have a behavior reason as the cause. But whether it is a physical or behavioral malady that could be to blame your child's pediatrician will be able to help.

If your child is constantly complaining of headaches or stomachaches, these symptoms can be a result of new sources of stress. Something may in turn lead to loss of sleep that in turn could bring on other physical ailments.

Similarly, if you notice in your children a loss of appetite, weight loss, or perhaps sudden weight gain, there might be a cause for concern.

Behavioral Changes

Children, as they grow, may experience behavioral changes that are very common. So while vigilance is important, not every change is necessarily caused by an underlying behavioral problem. But if these changes are interfering with their school, their relationships, and just their everyday life, it's important to seek professional help.

Significant changes to mood or behavior are worth examining, whether these changes are severe or persistent and if they occur in all settings.

Less outward signs of change are also worth mentioning to their doctor, such as a sudden and drastic change to their grooming, or a loss of interest in things and activities that once excited them.

Behavioral Health in Marion, VA

Take advantage of every visit to your child's pediatrician to discuss any changes of concern, be they physical or emotional. Both their physical and behavioral health can be treated by their Marion, VA, pediatrician. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Henley, Dr. Lawrence, and Dr. Etter of Royal Oak Pediatric Associates by dialing 276-783-8183.

By Royal Oak Pediatric Associates
November 29, 2021
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Behavioral Health  

If you have concerns about your child's behavioral health in Marion, VA, contact the team at Royal Oaks Pediatrics, and Abingdon, VA. Dr. Anita Henley, Dr. Leesa Lawrence, Dr. Tara Etter, and the skilled practitioners and nurses are ready to help with any developmental problems, including social, mental, or physical problems.

Know the Signs of Mental Health Problems In Children

For many parents, behavioral health isn't easy to identify as a problem. Some parents may think their children are just acting out or doing what kids normally do. However, a child who "acts out" is often masking underlying mental health problems.

Sadly, many parents don't see the symptoms and warning signs of serious behavioral problems. What makes it even more difficult is children lack the developmental ability or vocabulary to accurately express what they're feeling.

So, here are some common warning signs of behavioral problems with children.

  • Sudden changes in mood such as withdrawal or sadness
  • Overwhelming feelings or sudden, intense fear for no apparent reason
  • Struggling to concentrate or losing focus
  • Loss of appetite
  • Physical symptoms like weight loss or vomiting
  • Substance abuse among older children or teens

Treatment Options

Counseling or therapy is a common treatment option used by pediatricians. In many cases, a child or teen just needs someone to listen. Cognitive-behavior therapy is also a common treatment option that teaches parents how to interact with their children. In some instances, a doctor may prescribe medication to help children adjust and cope with their problems.

Sometimes a child benefits from a combination of treatments. Start a consultation today about your child's behavioral health in Marion, VA, and Abingdon, VA, with Dr. Henley, Dr. Lawrence, Dr. Etter, and the professional staff.

What You Can Do to Help Your Child Cope

You might feel anger, sadness, helplessness, or frustration over your child's mental health struggles. However, now is the time to give your child struggling with mental health all the support you can. When you receive your consultation, ask how you can interact with your child today if the behavior is getting more problematic.

If your child does have a behavioral issue, consider joining a support group or seek family counseling outside of the doctor's office. Also, inform a child or teen's teachers about their difficulties. Finally, don't avoid seeking help. Fear or shame isn't an excuse for not getting the help a child needs to thrive. 

Explore how behavioral health in Marion, VA, and Abingdon, VA, can have a lasting impact on a child's emotional well-being by calling Royal Oaks Pediatrics and Dr. Henley, Dr. Lawrence, and Dr. Etter at (276) 783-8183 or (276) 525-4603.