ABCs of Child Psychiatry

Real info about children's mental health

Why “Just” is Such a Dangerous Word in Mental Health

While there are valid reasons to question many psychiatric diagnoses, ascribing behaviors as being JUST someone’s personality implies a huge difference in the origin of these behaviors that likely just doesn’t exist. Traits, symptoms, quirks: it all comes from the same brain. Read More


My child was late in getting a diagnosis despite seeing 2 psychologists she is only just diagnosed with Dyslexia this year (she is 30). Her headmaster assessed her and told me she was "just" lazy, when her tests came back from one psychologist indicating she was 2 1/2 years behind in some fields although in others 6 years advanced, sadly the behind was in academic subjects, the headmaster said "what a shame she wasn't 3 years behind, then we could get some help for her, currently she is 'just' outside the criteria". I don't believe in "just".

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David Rettew, M.D., is a child psychiatrist at the University of Vermont and author of Child Temperament: New Thinking about the Boundary between Traits and Illness.


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