Conditions We Treat

We specialize in treating the conditions listed below. For a brief description of each condition, click on the corresponding link.

   Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition marked by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity that affects 3% to 5% of children. Children with ADHD have more trouble than other children their age with things like concentrating or paying attention, remembering things, following directions or finishing tasks, sitting still, staying quiet, or waiting their turn. In order to be diagnosed with ADHD, these symptoms must cause problems for children in at least two settings, such as school, home, or sports. There are three different types of ADHD: inattentive type, hyperactivity-impulsive type, and combined type.

Treatment for ADHD typically involves medication, most commonly stimulants. Sometimes therapy, such as behavioral therapy, can be helpful in learning ways to manage symptoms.

   Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is the combination of extreme highs and severe lows that last for days, weeks, or months at a time. During the periods of heightened or irritable mood, called mania or hypomania, children are distractible, hyperactive, and speak rapidly, need less sleep, and behave impulsively. Children and adolescents with bipolar disorder also experience severe lows. During these periods of depression, they experience sadness, low energy, lack of interest in activities, guilt or worthlessness, sleeping and eating difficulties, difficulty concentrating, and thoughts of death or dying.

Bipolar disorder is more than just routine mood swings and can have serious implications for your child's life. If you feel your child may be experiencing any or all of the symptoms described above, it is important to seek treatment.


Major depressive disorder (MDD) is more than just feeling sad. MDD symptoms include sadness or irritability, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, low energy, sleeping difficulties, weight loss or gain, somatic complaints, feeling worthless or guilty, difficulty concentrating, and contemplating death or suicide. Importantly, these symptoms may be misinterpreted or under-recognized in children and adolescents.

In MDD, most or all of these symptoms are present for at least two weeks, usually longer, and cause significant distress. These changes also cause difficulties in social and school functioning, with children often withdrawing from peers and family, avoiding school, and having difficulties completing routine tasks. If you suspect that your child may be suffering from depression, it is important to seek consultation and, potentially, treatment.


Dysthymia is a less severe, more chronic type of mood disorder. Children and adolescents with dysthymia experience sad or low mood most of the time for at least a year, oftentimes longer. People with dysthymia may also feel other symptoms of depression, including irritability, hopelessness, low self-esteem, low-energy, difficulty concentrating, and sleep and appetite disturbances.

Dysthymia is more than just a bad/sad mood, and can affect the way children think about themselves and their future. People with dysthymia can benefit from treatment with either therapy, medication, or both.

   Eating Disorders

Eating problems are common in children and adolescents and eating disorders may begin to appear around this age. Anorexia nervosa, usually beginning between ages 12 to 15, is a serious and potentially life-threatening disorder associated with severe food restriction, overexercise, malnutrition, and distorted thinking about body shape and weight. Bulimia nervosa is characterized by periods of restriction followed by binge eating and purging behaviors (e.g., vomiting, laxative use) and often begins between ages 15 to 17.

Treatment for eating problems and eating disorders often revolves around cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or family therapy. The Healthy Eating and Weight Services (HEWS) program at CAMP provides treatment informed by CBT, dialectical behavior therapy, and appetite awareness training for children, adolescents, and young adults with eating concerns.

   Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Children and teens with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) feel worried, anxious, or tense much of the time about a variety of topics or situations. This anxiety may feel consuming or overwhelming, and even when people with GAD know they are worrying too much, it feels hard or impossible to stop.

People with GAD also experience tension in their bodies, such as restlessness, muscle tension, headaches, stomachaches, pains, sleeping difficulties. They may also experience difficulty concentrating, become fatigued easily, and feel irritable. GAD is when these symptoms have been present for 6 months or longer and causes children significant distress and impairment in their daily lives.

   Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia

Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder marked by recurrent, bothersome, panic attacks, as well as the intense fear of future unexpected attacks. Panic attacks consist of short, intense periods of anxiety that occur out of the blue and involve symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, faintness, racing heart, sweating, nausea, shaking, and feeling like one is dying or "going crazy."

Agoraphobia is the fear of being in a situation in which it might be difficult or embarrassing to escape. This can manifest as the fear of being outside alone, at school, in crowds, or in other uncontrollable situations. Panic disorder with agoraphobia is marked by an intense fear of having a panic attack in a situation in which escape might be difficult or help might not be available, and thus the fear of public places.

   Social Phobia

Social phobia is a persistent, intense, and irrational fear of social situations in which one may feel judged by other people. This fear of negative judgment and embarrassment can lead children to avoid or endure with intense anxiety social situations, such as classroom speaking, school performances, recitals, meeting new people, and birthday parties.

Children and adolescents with social phobia may have difficultly functioning in daily, routine situations, becoming overwhelmingly anxious and self-conscious, with physical symptoms such as blushing, sweating, rapid heartbeat, nausea, and trembling. Social phobia can make it difficult for children to make and maintain friends. Treatment can significantly improve the quality of life of people suffering from social phobia.

   Specific Phobia

Children and teens with a specific phobia have an intense and irrational fear of particular object, animal, or situation. Common phobias include the fear of insects, snakes, heights, water, dogs, blood, flying, public transportation, and storms. People often seek to avoid these situations, or endure them with intense anxiety, with physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, rapid heartbeat, nausea, or lightheadedness.

Although they may be aware that their fear is unreasonable or excessive, people with a specific phobia still have difficulty controlling their anxiety. Having a specific phobia can interfere with children and teen's daily lives and functioning, and treatment is essential to reducing their fears.

   Substance Use Disorders

The Emory Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment (EAST) Service implements a multidisciplinary treatment approach for the management of substance use in individuals ages 14-25. The EAST Services provide individual and group therapy, psychiatric consultation, and medication-assisted treatment.

As part of an academic clinical facility, EAST staff are involved in empirical research and follow evidence-based practice approaches to treatment. Our clinicians are either certified, or undergoing certification in the Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach (A-CRA), which emphasizes prosocial and healthy lifestyle choices over the use of alcohol and other drugs. Additional treatment approaches utilized by our clinicians include motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy, and parent guidance.

Conditions We Do Not Treat

We do not treat the following conditions, especially if these conditions are the primary concern:

  • Self-Injurious Behaviors
  • Autism and Developmental Disabilities
  • Cognitive Delays and Disabilities
  • Conduct Disorder