What We Treat

What We Treat

Mental health disorders are common among adolescents and often first appear during this time in life. Across the world, one in seven 10 to 19-year-olds experiences a mental health disorder. Mental health disorders are medical conditions affecting mood, thinking, and behaviors.


Depression in adolescents is commonly diagnosed as major depressive disorder (MDD), disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD), or persistent depressive disorder (PDD). Adolescents with depression tend to sleep more, have more appetite problems, and exhibit an irritable mood.
Treatment For Depression


Anxiety disorders are characterized by persistent, excessive fear or worry in situations that are not life-threatening. There are seven types of anxiety disorders that each have a unique set of symptoms. Anxiety disorders are common in adolescents and can continue into adulthood without treatment.
Treatment For Anxiety


Trauma is physical, emotional, or psychological injuries that can be recurring or a single event. Without treatment, trauma can disrupt the maturing process in adolescents. Trauma-informed care is utilized at MCAW to ensure that adolescents feel safe and supported.
Treatment For Trauma

Attachment Disorder

Attachment Disorders typically develop during early childhood due to difficulties developing emotional connections with parents or caregivers. Reactive attachment disorder (RAD) often presents with a lack of trust and self-worth leading to a lack of attachment to others. Disinhibited social engagement disorder (DSED) presents with seeking comfort and attention from others leading to over familiarity with strangers.
Treatment For Attachment Disorder


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a mental health disorder characterized by attention difficulties, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. This disorder can commonly impact emotions, behaviors, and learning in adolescents. To be diagnosed with ADHD symptoms must impair daily functioning in the child’s home and school environment.
Treatment For ADHD

Substance Abuse

Substances commonly abused by adolescents include alcohol, marijuana, and nicotine. School and relationship difficulities can arise as a result of substance abuse. Continued abuse can lead to challenges with brain development and addiction.
Treatment For Substance Abuse

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme mood swings that include lows and highs. Mania is considered a high mood where feelings of invincibility and impulsive behaviors can occur. Depressive episodes are considered lows that mimic symptoms of major depressive disorder (MDD) including feeling extreme sadness and lack of motivation.
Treatment For Bipolar Disorder


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) usually first appears during adolescence. OCD involves obsessive thoughts and repetitive behaviors that are unwanted. Daily functioning can become challenging with this disorder without proper treatment.
Treatment For OCD

Thought Disorders

Thought disorders are highlighted by a pattern of disorganized thinking that can lead to hallucinations and delusions in adolescents. Thought disorders can often be seen as a sign of a psychotic episode or the onset of schizophrenia.
Treatment for Thought Disorders

Behavioral Disturbance

Every child acts up every once in a while. These spurts of bad behavior are a normal part of growing up. It is pretty standard for teens to be testing boundaries and growing into the adult that they'll eventually become. However, these patterns of behavior are sometimes more prolonged and serious.
Treatment For Behavioral Disturbance

Dual Diagnosis

Dual diagnosis occurs when a teenager experiences both a mental health disorder and substance abuse simultaneously. Common co-occurring disorders in teens include conduct disorder, ADHD, mood disorders, and trauma-related disorders. Early identification and professional intervention are vital in effectively addressing these complex challenges.
Treatment For Dual Diagnosis
What We Treat

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What We Treat

More Information

Mental health disorders can be debilitating for adolescents and affect daily functioning. If an adolescent you know is struggling with symptoms of mental health disorders, reach out to Massachusetts Center for Adolescent Wellness today. Our team can answer any questions you may have and give you a better understanding of our outpatient mental health program.