Childhood and Adolescent Disorders

ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER (ADHD)

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is one of the most common childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. Symptoms include difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity (over-activity).

Treatments can relieve many of the disorder's symptoms, but there is no cure. With treatment, most people with ADHD can be successful in school and lead productive lives. Researchers are developing more effective treatments and interventions, and using new tools such as brain imaging, to better understand ADHD and to find more effective ways to treat and prevent it.

CONDUCT DISORDER

This condition includes behaviors in which the child may lie, steal, fight, or bully others. He or she may destroy property, break into homes, or carry or use weapons. These children or teens are also at a higher risk of using illegal substances. Kids with conduct disorder are at risk of getting into trouble at school or with the police.

It is normal for children and teens to have some behavior-related problems. Conduct disorder involves long-term (chronic) behavior problems that can harm others, such as:

  • Defiant or impulsive behavior
  • Drug use
  • Criminal activity

Children with conduct disorder tend to be impulsive, hard to control, and not concerned about the feelings of other people. Symptoms may include:

  • Breaking rules without obvious reason
  • Cruel or aggressive behavior toward people or animals (for example: bullying, fighting, using dangerous weapons, forcing sexual activity, and stealing)
  • Failure to attend school (truancy — beginning before age 13)
  • Heavy drinking and/or heavy illicit drug use
  • Intentionally setting fires
  • Lying to get a favor or avoid things they have to do
  • Running away
  • Vandalizing or destroying property

CHILDHOOD BIPOLAR DISORDER

Bipolar Spectrum Disorder is rare among children. But for parents who may have concerns about their child's behavior, Dr. Ellen Leibenluft talks about possible warning signs. Dr. Leibenluft is Senior Investigator and Chief of the Bipolar Spectrum Disorder Section at the National Institute of Mental Health.

Source: National Institute of Mental Health

Local Resources

Ventura County Behavioral Health
Mental health & substance use treatment services
Countywide – All Ages
www.vcbh.org
Call Toll-free • Confidential • 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

  • Crisis and Referral Line
    1-866-998-2243 
  • Early Detection & Intervention for the Prevention of Psychosis 
    1-866-998-2243

211 Ventura County
Free service connecting people to health and human services in the community
Countywide – All Ages
www.211ventura.org
Call 2-1-1 or text your zip code to 898211

Clinicas del Camino Real
Healthcare, including mental health services
Oxnard, Santa Paula, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Ventura – All Ages
www.clinicas.org
(866) 885-7900

Interface
Support and resources, including youth shelter and housing referrals
Countywide – Children & Youth
icfs.org
(
805) 485-6114

Kids & Families Together 
For children and their families, including kinship and foster caregivers
Countywide – Children & Youth
www.kidsandfamilies.org
(805) 643-1446

Logrando Bienestar
Mental health screenings 
Santa Paula, Oxnard – All Ages
www.vcbh.org
(
805) 973-5220

Project Esperanza
Family classes & activities
Santa Paula & Fillmore – Youth
www.guadalupechurchsp.com
(805) 276-7671

United Parents
Local support and referrals for parents
Countywide – Youth
www.unitedparents.org
(805) 384-1555

Ventura County SELPA
Helping your child succeed at school
www.vcselpa.org
(805) 437-1560