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Emotional Disturbance (Links updated, November 2021) (English and Spanish) (Center for Parent Information & Resources, CPIR)


The mental health of our children is a natural and important concern for us all. The fact is, many mental disorders have their beginnings in childhood or adolescence, yet may go undiagnosed and untreated for years.

We refer to mental disorders using different “umbrella” terms such as emotional disturbance, behavioral disorders, or mental illness. Beneath these umbrella terms, there is actually a wide range of specific conditions that differ from one another in their characteristics and treatment. These include (but are not limited to):

  • anxiety disorders;
  • bipolar disorder (sometimes called manic-depression);
  • conduct disorders;
  • eating disorders;
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD); and
  • psychotic disorders.


After High School Behavior Disability Characteristics Elementary Emotional Disability High School Mental Health Middle School Paraprofessional Parent/Family Preschool Professional Resources State/National Organizations