I see a broad range of young people from early school age, right through to university students and young adults embarking on their first jobs. They typically present with a variety of subtle or major challenges in mood or health. I not only see children who are ‘ill,’ but also young people who are failing to achieve optimal happiness, or succeed within their social, scholastic, or family spheres.
The types of conditions I most often see are:
- Depression – With or without self-harming behaviour. Sometimes I see patients with bipolar mood disorders where low moods may alternate with times of ‘highs.’ Many patients present with concurrent diagnoses such as anxiety, depersonalisation, or derealisation. Some may have passive or active suicidal thoughts.
- Addiction issues – These may include misuse of legal and illegal drugs, excessive alcohol consumption, or unbridled operation of computer gaming and/or social media. I offer a non- judgemental, confidential, realistic and practical direction or active treatment for these conditions.
- Eating disorders – Including Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia, Selective Food Avoidance Disorders, Over- Eating, Orthorexia and Body Image Disorders such as Body Dysmorphia Disorder. Increasingly I see both young men as well as young women who are presenting with these distressing conditions.
- Anxiety issues – This may or may not include symptoms of panic attacks, generalised free-floating anxiety, or specific phobias to modes of transport, particular animals, insects or exams. Sometimes there may be symptoms of depersonalisation or derealisation. Occasionally, there may be ongoing ‘physical’ issues, such as rashes, excessive blushing or sweating, gut disturbance, or sensory disturbances. In such cases, I will often work in parallel with an appropriate Dermatologist, Gastroenterologist or Neurologist.
- Obsessional Compulsive Disorder– I see many young people with recurrent intrusive thoughts (often of an upsetting nature), with or without compulsive behaviours or rituals.
- Neurodevelopmental issues– Including diagnosis and treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder, as well as cases of mild Autistic Spectrum Disorder or Asperger’s Syndrome.
- Distress or uncertainty relating to sexual or gender identity –Adolescence by definition, and quite appropriately, may sometimes be a time when questions of one’s personal self-identity arise. This in itself may present challenges or difficulties for young people and their families. I endeavour to offer sensitive, sensible and confidential assessment and support and, where appropriate, can refer onwards to highly specialised medical and psychological services.
Sometimes a patient does not fit into a particular category or diagnosis but may be presenting with personality issues. This is another aspect in which I may be able to help, as I have extensive clinical experience and connections with international centres of excellence which offer specialised pioneering programmes for young people with emerging Borderline Personality
This list is not complete, but gives a general idea of the types of cases that I see.