Behavioral Health

Behavioral Health services offered in Mcallen, TX

Behavioral health includes the diagnosis and treatment of mental, behavioral, and developmental disorders. Though many conditions fall under the behavioral health umbrella, Maria Hoffman-Guardia, MD, at Pediatric Associates at Ridge specialize in helping children who struggle with anxiety and depression, two psychological disorders that are increasingly found in children of all ages. If your child struggles with a behavioral health challenge, call the office in McAllen, Texas, or book an appointment online today.

What disorders are included in behavioral health?

Autism and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are classified as behavioral health disorders. Many mental health conditions are included under the behavioral health umbrella, such as:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Your child may also have an actual behavioral disorder. These conditions cause an ongoing pattern of disruptive, destructive, oppositional, and disrespectful behaviors.

What are the signs of behavioral health problems?

Behavioral health conditions cover a vast array of possible symptoms. These are the signs parents may notice if their child has anxiety and/or depression:

Anxiety symptoms

Children naturally go through phases where anxiety is common. From 8 months through 5 years, they may have separation anxiety. Young children also fear many things, like the dark and storms. These anxieties should improve as they get older.

Children can also have many types of anxiety that aren’t part of growing up and have a negative impact on their life. Your child could develop ongoing separation anxiety, a phobia, social anxiety disorder, or generalized anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorders cause symptoms such as:

  • Ongoing or severe worry or dread
  • Constant fears
  • Difficulty making friends
  • Trouble sleeping
  • School refusal
  • Avoiding social activities

Frequent stomach aches and headaches are also signs of anxiety.

Depression symptoms

Children and teens experience depression the same as adults. If your child is sad or isolated day after day, they may suffer from depression. Your child may also:

  • Appear tearful or irritable
  • Stop participating in favorite activities
  • Spend less time with friends
  • Sleep more or less than usual
  • Eat more or less than usual
  • Feel tired or out of energy
  • Say they’re not good at anything
  • Say everything is their fault
  • Stop doing schoolwork
  • Express a desire to die

Like anxiety, depression often causes headaches or stomach aches. Teens may turn to alcohol or drugs to make themselves feel better.

How are behavioral health disorders treated?

Your provider evaluates your child’s symptoms and determines if they have a condition treated at Pediatric Associates at Ridge. When needed, they refer you to a trusted mental health provider with experience treating children’s mental and behavioral health problems.

Treating anxiety and depression may include therapy or medication. However, many children achieve the best results with a combination of both.

If you’re concerned about anxiety or depression in your child, call Pediatric Associates at Ridge or request an appointment online today.