Mental Disorder in Children and Adolescents

This is a mental disease of the youth, usually begins in adolescents and is characterized by pervasive moods instability, self image, interpersonal relationships and even behavior. The instability, more often than not, does disrupt the work and family life, the person’s idea of oneself as well as long term planning. Even though this mental disorder is not widely known like the others, it affects a considerably large number of adults, especially women (up to about 2%) (Swartz et al, 1994).

Out of the total the number of patients being admitted for psychiatric hospitalization, it has been established that about 20% of them do suffer from this mental disorder and this is just an indicator of the prevalence of the disease (Zanarini and Frankenburg (n. d)). The patients have a high rate of injury inflicted by oneself without the intent of suicide. Causes There is no single factor that can be associated with the disorder, but rather a combination of a number of risk factors that can either be etiological, psychological or even social.

Biological factors normally consist of inborn abnormalities in temperament of the person and are known to be heritable. Researchers have pointed out that the impulsivity associated with this disorder could be due to decreased brain serotonin. Psychological factors do vary to a great extent that may include very high traumatic childhood experiences like sexual and physical abuses whereas other are due to general emotional neglect by the parents.

Social factors on the other hand, do reflect the problems within the modern society, which is rather considered to be fragmented whereby the extended families and the community at large no longer provide the support they used to provide sometime back and the children end up with difficulty in meeting their needs for identity and attachment (http://www. jwoodphd. com/borderline_personality_disorder. htm). Symptoms The patients undergo intense bouts of depression, anger and anxiety that can take up to some hours and at most it can last for a single day.

These people may have some periods of self-injury, impulsive aggression and even drug abuse. There can be frequent changes in long term objectives like jobs, gender identity as well as values, career plans, and friendship. Sometimes these people become too critical of themselves to the extent that they view themselves as worthless and fundamentally bad with a sustained perception that they are unfairly being mistreated or misunderstood. They do have very slim idea of who they are and are mostly bored and empty.

The symptoms move from bad to worse in circumstances that the patients develop a feeling of being deserted by the society or are simply being isolated from the mainstream These people do have rather unstable social relationships. At one moment they may be in stormy attachment, but there can be a sudden change of perception towards the friends, family, and the loved ones can all over sudden turn from idealization to devaluation. This can change again with just a little separation and or conflict.

These people are very sensitive to any form of rejection and often react angrily and with distress to any short separations like holidays or even just simple changes in plan. They also do show such impulsive behaviors like eating binge, spending excessively as well as risky sex (http://www. nimh. nih. gov/health/publications/borderline-personality-disorder. shtml#1). Treatment In the recent years, a psychological treatment commonly referred to as DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) just to treat this disorder has been developed and has since looked very promising in the treatments conducted as part of the study (Koerner and Linehan, 2000).

Based on the individual’s symptoms, pharmacological treatments have often been recommended. Such drugs like mood stabilizers and antidepressants are also ideal in restoring one’s moods and relieve stress. Antipsychotic drugs have also been used in cases where there are some distortions on the way one thinks (Siever and Koenigsberg, 2000).

References http://www. jwoodphd. com/borderline_personality_disorder. htm. Accessed on 9th December, 2008

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