Selective Mutism

When Brandon first started kindergarten, his teacher just thought he was a very quiet boy, that he would come out of his shell in a week or two. As the weeks passed into months, though, Brandon still never spoke a word at school, even when the teacher called on him.


Everyone has a mental picture of his or her strengths, weaknesses, characteristics, and abilities. This mental picture, often called self-image, begins to develop in infancy and continues to grow and change throughout life.

Sexual Development

"Mostly I'm pretty scared because I don't know if I'm normal or, you know, just strange. My body seems to be changing but not like some of my friends.


While it might sound like the title of a new science fiction movie, this phrase actually describes the typical experience of most people who live to the age of 75. The fact that people spend about one-third of their lives asleep (roughly eight hours out of every twenty-four-hour day) suggests that sleep is very important to how their brains and bodies function.

Social Anxiety Disorder

Kim was shy. She did not like to raise her hand in class, but when the English teacher asked her a question, she answered in a soft voice.

Soiling (Encopresis)

Young children routinely have bowel movements in their diapers or underwear, but by about age 3 most children are able to maintain good bowel control and can be toilet-trained. When people who have established bowel control begin to have a bowel movement in their pants, the condition is called soiling, or encopresis.

Somatoform Disorders

Somatoform disorders are alike in that they each involve physical symptoms without evidence of physical disease. The symptoms stem from an emotional cause.


Everyone experiences stress, which is the body's general response to any event, real or imagined, that requires an adaptation or extra effort. In most cases, an event or situation is not stressful by itself.


People who stutter may repeat a speech sound over and over (st-st-stuttering), or they may hold a sound longer than normal (sssssstuttering). In some cases, they may have trouble starting a word, leading to abnormal stops in their speech (no sound).

Substance Abuse

The statistics are startling: In 1998, 1 out of every 10 young people ages 12 through 17 in the United States said they were a current user of illegal drugs. In that same year, over 10 million Americans under age 21 reported that they drank alcohol.


As shocking as it may seem, in the United States every year there are more suicides than murders and twice as many suicides as deaths from acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Yet suicide gets far less press than murder or AIDS.

Testing and Evaluation

Neil was glad that he had remembered to bring an extra pencil with him to school today. He tapped it nervously on the desk while the teacher passed out booklets for the standardized test his class was about to take.


Many people believe that therapy is one of the most effective ways to achieve and maintain good mental and behavioral health. Therapy can help people understand, solve, and prevent problems as well as live more comfortably with problems that cannot be solved or prevented.

Tic Disorders

Tics have been described as brain-activated "involuntary" movements or sounds, meaning that the person does not produce them intentionally. People with tics often can suppress them, sometimes for up to hours at a time, just as one might suppress a cough or a sneeze for a period of time.

Tobacco Addiction

Cigarette smoking can be hazardous not only to your physical health but also to your social health. Contrary to popular belief, most young people do not smoke.

Tourette Syndrome

*genetically means stemming from genes, the material in the body that helps determine a person's characteristics, such as hair or eye color.


Penny put on her favorite baseball cap and headed out the door for school. The cap hid the bald spot on the side of her head pretty well.


Violence is a social and health problem for all who experience and witness it.