The Seriously Disturbed Youngster




Gotts, Ernest A.

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Hogg Foundation for Mental Health



There are many youngsters who face prolonged years of depression; disabling anxiety and fear; uncontrolled anger; social isolation; or absorption in a fantasy world of their own creation—unless they receive timely and appropriate help. These children are variously called mentally ill, emotionally disturbed, emotionally handicapped. Regardless of the specific symptoms of their emotional problems, they are all limited in their choice of emotional response. They are unable to establish adaptive and creative living patterns at home or at school although their intelligence may be normal or above average. They may display complete withdrawal, overcompliance or aggressive and often self-destructive behavior. They alert us to their problems because of their inability to cope with situations or demands handled by other children of their age and because of their continued unhappiness.

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