Below you will find questions often asked by parents and adult patients about different behaviors and symptoms, as well as about Diablo Behavioral HealthCare's services.

Q1.  How do I know if my child is Autistic?

A1.  Autism is a spectrum disorder, which means that the behaviors and symptoms of children with autism may vary quite a bit.  Fortunately, much research in recent years has gone towards identifying signs of autism at the earliest possible age.  You may find our Concerns & Symptoms page a good area to start gathering information.  We at Diablo Behavioral HealthCare have evaluated children as young as age 2 for autism, and can refer to both in-house and outside resources for the autistic child.

 What are the symptoms of manic-depression?

A2.  Known as Bipolar Disorder, mood swings primarily define the basis of manic-depression.  A child, adolescent, or adult may go from acting irritable or "high" in mood to feeling sad and hopeless, then back up again.  Changes in behavior usually accompany the change in mood.  Refer to our Concerns & Symptoms page for additional information.  If a person's mood or behavior changes to the extreme that they are feeling suicidal or are at risk of otherwise harming themselves or someone else, do not hesitate to call 911 for immediate help.

Q3.  Will my medical insurance cover your services?

A3.  Every insurance carrier or policy is different, and each one needs to be verified by the business office staff.  Please contact our business office at 925-648-2650, and we will assist you in determining if your insurance provides coverage for our services.

Q4.  My child has done reasonably well in school up until now.  He just entered the 5th grade and is having problems with remembering his assignments, writing down his assignments, and other memory lapses.  Does this mean he has ADHD?

A4.  No, this doesn't automatically mean he has ADHD.  He may have a high IQ with some mild ADD symptoms, and often these children do OK until they hit the grade when significant change starts to happen.  We call this," hitting the wall".  Sometimes having a real evaluation with a focus on learning styles can assist in putting the child on the right track.

Q5.  My daughter just entered Kindergarten and the teacher reports that she seems to have difficulty playing with the other children.  She is left out of others play,  and doesn't seem to understand how to interact with other children.  Also, the teacher says she seems to look past her when she is talking to her.  We always thought she was just a little different.  Does this mean she has a problem?
A5.  Social skills are some of the most important skills that a child can learn for the sake of their relationships with others.  Your daughter sounds as if she really doesn't understand the rules of social interaction.  Also, the fact that she has some lack of comfort looking the teacher in the eye is a red flag.  You should definitely get your daughter evaluated by someone well versed in developmental issues.

Q6.  My son likes to line up all of his little cars before he goes to bed.  If just one car is crooked he will not settle until he can get up and put it in order.  My husband's brother did this as a child as well.  Can this run in families?
A6.  These types of behaviors absolutely run in families.  The idea that these are control issues, or have something to do with whether or not one "bonded with their binky" are part of the past and need to be understood in that light.  The beginnings of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder can start in many different ways.  The amount of distress that an individual feels in response to not being able to do the behavior (in this case, straightening up the cars) is a central feature that is addressed in responsible treatment, both medically and through certain therapeutic techniques.  Your child will need a proper evaluation to sort all of this out.

A7.  My daughter is in High School and looks and acts depressed.  She has agreed to see someone; however, due to what I have been reading in the press about suicide in children associated with the use of anti-depressants, I am very worried.  How should I proceed?

Q7.  Excellent question!  The use of antidepressants by children has been controversial for some time.  It is important to know that the vast majority of these medications have not been prescribed by trained Psychiatrists, but rather by General Practitioners and Pediatricians.  The use of a comprehensive history, taking into account the genetic history of a family, can avoid most of these pitfalls.  Another factor that insures positive outcome is that any patient starting medications must be seen frequently to ensure the medication(s) is working properly.  Your daughter needs to be evaluated by professionals that understand psychiatry and genetics. We at Diablo Behavioral HealthCare work with the whole family to return it to stability. 

Q8.  My daughter recently began thinking that there was something strange about her thighs.  She will look at them endlessly in the mirror and ask others if they see this problem that only she seems to see.  Is this some kind of OCD, or what?  It's driving our family and some of her friends away from her.

A8.  What it sounds like is, your daughter is suffering from a poorly understood diagnostic area known as BDD, or Body Dysmorphic Disorder.  This is an Obsessive Compulsive Spectrum Disorder that generally becomes evident during adolescence or early adulthood.  It is treated with a combination of medication and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.  This condition can have dire consequences if not treated.  Sufferers will often attempt to get unnecessary cosmetic surgery, often become depressed and suicidal, and really need proper intervention.  We at DBH are more aware than most about this unusual disorder and know how to treat it.

Q9.  While looking over some questionnaires about ADD for my child I noticed that I have many of these symptoms myself.  My question is, can adults be diagnosed and treated by your office as well as children?

A9.  Absolutely; we see many adult patients that have suffered with this disorder their whole lives.  Our trained staff is well aware of the under-treated status of adults with ADD and associated issues that accompany this.  Very prominent is depression in women that is actually related to undiagnosed ADD.  This relates to their feeling of inadequacy due to ADD and then subsequent depression.  Diablo Behavioral HealthCare is able to tease out the difference and arrive at proper treatment plans.

Q10.  I have real anger management problems and it has been suggested that I get involved in some sort of anger management group.  Does your group provide anger management services?

A10.  Diablo Behavioral HealthCare does not provide anger management services as you are referring to.  Excessive anger and the inability to control it is a "brain issue", not something that you gain control over by getting involved in a group that suggests that this will "fix" this problem.  Excessive anger and emotional outbursts generally run in families and are related to "disorders of mood".  Diablo Behavioral HealthCare does treat this condition on the individual and family levels.

Q11.  My husband has repetitive thoughts that he can't get out of his mind.  He does math problems in his head and sometimes can't move on to the next task he has before him until he has this thought in his head figured out.  It causes real difficulties for him and our marriage.  Does Diablo Behavioral HealthCare understand this type of problem and if so, what is it?

 A11.  Your husband sounds as if he has obsessive thinking and it is a variant of OCD, or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  This type of "brain" problem is related to one part of the brain being more active that it should be.  Diablo Behavioral HealthCare is very aware of this phenomenon and is able to devise treatment plans to address this painful condition.

Q12.   My daughter's school does not seem to be able to come up with a plan to address her educational needs.  Does Diablo Behavioral HealthCare assist parents in coming up with a reasonable plan that will work for my daughter?

 A12.   Yes! Diablo Behavioral HealthCare has been assisting parents with their children in the school for over 20 years.  We do a complete assessment of the child to better understand their emotional and educational status.  We then assess the child's unique learning style and develop a plan that can be implemented at the school site.  If necessary, we accompany the parent to the school for the SST (Student Study Team), IEP (Individual Educational Plan), or to develop a 504 Accommodation Plan.  The 504 Plan is poorly understood by many parents.  It is section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  This is part of the ADA, or American's with Disabilities Act that is Federal Law.  School Districts are required to make accommodations for students with special needs.

Q13.   I have a sort of peculiar question.  I am an adult and have had social problems my whole life.  I just don't get many things that others seem to take in stride.  I don't get jokes that others do, I don't seem to be included as part of the group at work.  I don't understand social things and frequently others think I'm angry when I'm not.  Does Diablo Behavioral HealthCare understand this sort of thing that doesn't seem to fit into any "disorders" category?

 A13.   Yes!  Many adults were never assessed or diagnosed as children with a vague area known as "developmental disorders".  These individuals are often very intelligent and are often found in the high tech area.  They frequently are socially isolated and do not understand social nuances and abstract meanings.  They often have great difficulty in understanding facial expressions in others.  Diablo Behavioral HealthCare assists these adults in better understanding their condition and arriving at treatment plans that can assist them in leading more productive lives.

Q14.   I recently had my second child three months ago.  With my first child I was a little "blue" for a couple of weeks, but this time I just can't seem to shake these depressive feelings and sometimes scary thoughts.  How does Diablo Behavioral HealthCare help?  My OBGYN just said it will clear up.  I'm afraid it might not.  My mother had the same thing as well as her sister.

 A14.   Great question!  You are dealing with what Tom Cruise made light of with Brooke Shields.  Post Partum Depression is nothing to take lightly.  The fact that you, and your mother, as well as your aunt had this condition points to the highly genetic transmission of this condition.  In her book, "Behind the Smile", Marie Osmond explains in detail what this period of time was like for her.  This condition requires immediate treatment and Diablo Behavioral HealthCare is well versed in dealing with this condition.  Contact our office as soon as you can. We will assist you in finding the help you need, whether it's with us or with another provider. Read my article on Post Partum Depression in our Featured Article area here in our website to learn more.

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