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Frequently Asked Questions 

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Behavioral Health

Susan J. Watson, MD

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How old does my child have to be before seen my Dr. Watson?

  • Typically, Dr. Watson does not see patient’s for an initial evaluation before age 3. However, do not hesitate to call our staff for any questions or inquiries for children under age 3

Where is Dr. Watson’s office located?

  • Dr. Watson is located in Maryville, MO at the South Hills Medical Building, 114 East South Hills Drive 

What do I need to bring to the initial appointment?

  • Any school paperwork is helpful for the initial appointment. If your child has a 504 Plan/IEP/or any other school accommodations it is helpful for our facility to have that on our records. Any records from previous evaluations you would like to include is also helpful in the treatment process.

Is there a 24 hour hot-line available to call for emergency support?

  • Our clinic does not have a hot line or someone on call 24/7. However, do not hesitate to call 911 for emergency services. You may also call ACI (Access Crisis Intervention) hotline. ACI is staffed with mental health professionals who can respond to your crisis 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 888-279-8188.

What are some common side effects of medications?

  •  Lack of appetite, sleeplessness, emotional problems, etc.

How does medication work?

  • Brain functions are regulated by a complex system of neurochemicals, which influence not only the way we think, but also the way we feel. Psychiatric medications balance the effects of neurochemicals so that we can feel better and think more clearly.

Are brain disorders genetic?

  • Variations in brain structure and chemistry may predispose some people to develop schizophrenia, mood disorders, personality disorders, anxiety or alcoholism. Though scientists are uncovering the genetic causes to these disorders and others, they also point out that mental illnesses are often the result not only of genetics, but also of environmental and social factors. Environmental stress also plays a role in the development of anxiety and depression. While researchers continue to uncover the secrets of the role genes play in mental illnesses, they also note that genetic abnormalities are merely one factor that may contribute to the onset of mental illness.

Are brain disorders related to gender?

  • Some researchers suggest that gender differences in mental illness diagnoses are related to stigma associated with certain disorders as well as cultural differences. Research literature on mental disorders suggest that social stresses and the roles women play contribute to more incidence of the diagnoses of depressive disorders among females. Current statistics indicate that males are more likely to be diagnosed with Autism and ADHD. Females are more likely to develop eating disorders, PTSD and depression.

What causes ADHD?

  • ADHD is nobody's fault. Researchers believe that biology plays a large role in the development of ADHD. Thirty to 40 percent of children diagnosed with ADHD have relatives with the same disorder, suggesting that genes are at least partly responsible. Brain scans reveal that the brains of children with ADHD differ from those of children without the disorder. Children with ADHD are thought to have problems with the part of the brain that controls the organization and direction of thought and behavior.

How does ADHD affect school and social life?

  • Symptoms of ADHD - such as trouble sitting still, paying attention to details, and listening - can make school difficult for a child with ADHD. Although most children with ADHD have normal or above-normal intelligence, 40 to 60 percent have serious learning difficulties. Many others have specific problems with schoolwork or maintaining good grades, and face particular challenges with assignments and tests that require focused attention or lengthy writing, or have time limits. On a social level, children with ADHD often have trouble developing meaningful relationships with peers and family members. Other children may find it frustrating to play with a child who has ADHD, because classic symptoms include difficulty following rules, waiting one's turn, or excessive talking.

What are the signs and symptoms of ADHD?

  • There are three main types of ADHD. One type is characterized by inattentiveness, one type is characterized by hyperactive or impulsive behavior, and the third type is combined-when children exhibit signs of both types. Symptoms are often unnoticed until a child enters school. To be diagnosed with ADHD, a child must show symptoms in at least two settings, such as home and school, and the symptoms must interfere with the child's ability to function at home or school for at least six months. Specialists have agreed that at least six symptoms from the following lists must be present for an accurate diagnosis, and symptoms must begin by age 7.

Signs of Inattentive Behavior:

Signs of Hyperactive Behavior:

Difficulty following instructions

Fidgeting excessively

Difficulty focusing on tasks

Difficulty staying seated

Losing things at school and at home

Running or climbing inappropriately

Forgetting things often

Talking excessively

Becoming easily distracted or having difficulty listening

Difficulty playing quietly

Lacking attention to detail, making careless mistakes or being disorganized

Always seeming to be "on the go"

Failing to complete homework or tasks

Blurting out answers or frequently interrupting

Having trouble waiting his or her turn

Interrupting or intruding on others

  • The presence of some symptoms, however, does not confirm a diagnosis of ADHD. Just because a child has a lot of energy or difficulty paying attention in school does not mean the child has ADHD. An accurate diagnosis relies on the presence of a range of symptoms and difficulties that prevent the child from performing at an appropriate level for his or her age and intelligence level. Teachers often first observe these issues, and their input should be strongly considered.

 

 
 
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