Treating mood, anxiety, and behavioral conditions

Reviewed by:
July 19, 2021

Talkiatry delivers outpatient mental health services, including diagnosis, psychotherapy, and medication management. Our goal at Talkiatry is to provide accessible psychiatric care by offering in-network mental health care solutions that fit your unique needs so that you can get the right level of care and start feeling better. 

Our psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, and therapists provide treatment for various mental health and behavioral disorders, including the following conditions affecting women, children, and adolescents.  

Women's mental health disorders

Talkiatry works with women experiencing mental health disorders such as perinatal depression and anxiety or menopause-related depression. These particular disorders stem from hormonal imbalances in the female body and can be treated by our psychiatrists through psychotherapy and medication management. 

Mental health and pregnancy

Perinatal depression is a collective term for prenatal depression, which occurs before the baby is born, and postpartum depression, which occurs after the baby is born. While postpartum depression is better known, experts now believe mood disorders occurring during pregnancy are relatively common. In general, perinatal depression treatment has a high success rate, with 80-90% of patients experiencing relief from therapy, medication, or both. 

It's important to note that pregnancy can mask symptoms of depression as the symptoms can overlap with typical symptoms seen in normal pregnancies (like weight gain or trouble sleeping). For this reason, it's essential to work with a mental health professional to get an accurate diagnosis. 

  • Prenatal depression occurs when the combination of biological and emotional factors in moms-to-be results in anxiety and depression. Between 10-20% of women develop some form of mood disorder during pregnancy. Additionally, 1 in 20 American women will experience a major depressive disorder (MDD) while pregnant. Therefore, when appropriate for a patient's specific circumstances, our psychiatrists will prescribe medication that's safe to use during pregnancy, such as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), a type of antidepressant. 
  • Postpartum depression (PPD) occurs when a woman feels depressed for longer than two weeks after giving birth. Between 10-20% of new mothers experience postpartum depression. It's believed that PPD (and the much milder, shorter-term "baby blues") result from the sudden drop in levels of progesterone and estrogen just after giving birth. As a result, a woman may experience feelings of emptiness, exhaustion, worthlessness, loss of control, or even suicidal thoughts. Untreated, PPD can negatively affect the mother’s ability to care for herself and her newborn during this vulnerable stage in both the mother’s and the infant’s life. In addition, it can last from several months to a year and increases the risk of developing major depression later in life.

Mental health and menopause

Menopause and the years preceding it (known as perimenopause) can be especially difficult on women emotionally and physically. It is common for women to experience symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety as a side effect of the hormonal shifts that happen in menopause. In fact, depression is twice as common in women during this period; however, major depression does not clearly link to these hormonal shifts. Instead, if a woman has previously experienced major depression, she may have recurrent symptoms during perimenopause and menopause. 

Symptoms of perimenopause and menopause can include low energy, sadness, sleep disturbances, weight changes, and irritability. Since many of these symptoms can be confused with other conditions—for instance, hot flashes and panic attacks may look similar—women must communicate effectively with their doctors and seek help if mental health symptoms become unmanageable. This can include notable shifts in anxiety and stress levels, sleep patterns, and mood that are severe and interfere with daily life. 

At Talkiatry, menopause-related mental health issues are treated primarily with psychotherapy. Medication may be recommended when necessary and appropriate to manage symptoms. Women do not have to face this difficult transition alone and should not hesitate to seek help. 

Children's and adolescents' behavioral health disorders

Talkiatry offers treatment for psychiatric disorders that arise in children and adolescents. While some mental health disorders present in children and adolescents as well as adults, they usually look very different from their adult counterparts. Suppose a youngster has difficulties with their usual activities, has significant changes in sleeping or eating, a change in school performance, or becomes angry, sad, withdrawn, or disruptive. In that case, parents should investigate these warning signs. Symptomatic behaviors can include anger, arguing with adults, resentfulness, or blaming others for their own mistakes. 

Through psychotherapy and medication management (as appropriate), Talkiatry's psychiatrists strive to promote healthy growth in children experiencing these problems. Our providers will work with children and adolescents to minimize disruptive behavior and to help them learn healthy ways to cope with emotions. In addition, they will provide parents with behavior therapy training and support to help them manage their child's behavior. Behavioral support in school is also key to treating these disorders. 

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is the most common behavioral disorder diagnosed in children and adolescents and is more frequently diagnosed in boys than in girls. ADHD presents with a pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with a youngster’s functioning or development. Typically, this becomes problematic in school. While there are subtypes, hallmark symptoms include inattention, distractibility, difficulty focusing, difficulty organizing tasks, often losing things necessary for tasks or activities, and poor follow-through. Youngsters also manifest hyperactivity, impulsivity, fidgeting, difficulty waiting for one’s turn, blurting out answers, and interrupting. These issues can persist into adulthood. To read more about ADHD, check out our blog, What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and how does Talkiatry treat it?

Disruptive behavior disorders (DBD) 

Disruptive behavior disorders refer to a group of disorders that include Oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, and intermittent explosive disorder, in addition to other associated conditions. While most kids will act out or become defiant at times, disruptive behavior and conduct disorders involve more severe and longer-lasting behaviors than the short episodes typically seen in individuals without these disorders.

Children and adolescents with DBDs respond to authority figures with attitudes ranging from indifference to hostility.  They can behave angrily and/or aggressively toward people and property, often have difficulty controlling their emotions and behavior, and may break the rules or laws. These disorders can be challenging to diagnose because symptoms may overlap with other mood and behavioral disorders. However, mental health professionals can provide an accurate diagnosis by assessing the severity, intensity, and intentionality of the child's behavior. Children and adolescents typically experience the onset of these behavioral disorders by the age of 8 or 12 at the latest.

Oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorders are two of the most common DBDs in children and adolescents. These conditions are separate, but both are related to impulse control issues and might even occur in an individual simultaneously. 

  • Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is characterized by the inability to control the individual. This disorder involves recognizable and negative behavioral patterns, including an overall negative or agitated mood, a quarrelsome attitude, or vengefulness for at least six months. Some signs and symptoms include often displaying anger or resentment, purposely disobeying established rules, frequently causing commotions or disruptions, placing blame on others, and easily losing control of one's temper. 
  • Conduct disorders (CD) are characterized not only by the inability to control the individual but also by a need to exert control over others. In many cases, this involves deliberately breaking the rules and violating the rights of others. Other signs and symptoms of CDs include physical aggression and cruelty toward humans or animals, aggressive behaviors like bullying and intimidation, starting fights, and stealing or destroying property. 

Causes of behavioral health disorders

Although the causes of these disorders are not yet known, experts believe they stem from a combination of hereditary, psychological, physical, and environmental factors that increase the likelihood of developing behavioral issues. 

  • Hereditary factors can include a parent with mental illness such as mood or anxiety disorders, ADHD, and/or substance abuse issues. 
  • Psychological factors include the presence of other mood or behavioral disorders, such as ADHD or learning disorders. In approximately one-third to one-half of children with ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder coexists. It is estimated that 25% of children and 45% of teens with ADHD will develop conduct disorders. 
  • Physical factors may include neurological problems or low birth weight. 
  • Environmental factors can range from poor living conditions to experiencing physical, emotional, or sexual abuse to witnessing domestic violence or substance abuse. 

Individuals with behavioral or conduct disorders should be diagnosed and treated early. Otherwise, significant issues can occur in adulthood, such as the inability to maintain a career or healthy relationships.  

Get the right care, even if it's not with Talkiatry

We care about your well-being above all else. Even if Talkiatry is the right fit for your mental health needs, we will provide detailed clinical recommendations so you can walk away informed about the best treatment solutions available and the correct level of care for your condition. Start by taking our free assessment, which will provide you with a preliminary diagnosis so that you may gain a better understanding of your symptoms. 

Take the assessment today to get started.

Talkiatry is a mental health practice, and our clinicians review everything we write. However, articles are never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you think you may need mental health help, talk to a psychiatrist. If you or someone you know may be in danger, call 911 or the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 right away.

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