Recognizing Mental Problems In Children

Recognizing Mental Problems In Children

The goal of all parents is to raise healthy, happy, well-adjusted children. We carefully watch for signs that they are sick. But, how can we recognize signs that the sickness is of the mind, not of body? Mental health of our children has been pushed into the headlines recently, after the tragic shooting in yet another American school. If anything good is to come from this, it is to teach us to recognize signs of mental problems in our own children, in order to address them before it is too late.

 

What is mental illness?

Mental illness is still something we are reluctant to address and accept. Mental Health America reports that mental illness is much more widespread than it is commonly believed. In any given year, there are 54 million Americans suffering from some type of mental disorder. According to the National Institute for Mental Health, most of mental illnesses start developing before children reach the age of 14.

Mental illness is a disturbance in thought and behavior, and it can be mild or severe. Its consequence is an inability of a person to lead normal life, work and socialize.

There are about 200 recognized types of mental illness. Some of the more recognizable and common are: depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and dementia.

 

What are the signs?

Looking for signs of mental issues and troubles starts with observing your child and noting the changes in behavior. Occasional misbehavior is something all parents learn to cope with, but if it persists, it is time to look for help. Some of the common signs that something is wrong are:

  • Frequent temper tantrums
  • Hyperactivity
  • Sudden changes in school performance and behavior
  • Poor grades in spite of hard work
  • Excessive anxiety to the point of refusing to go to school or to sleep
  • Frequent nightmares
  • Persistent aggression and disobedience

 

Teenagers and young adults have their own signs:

  • Excessive outbursts of anger
  • Substance abuse
  • Problems coping with daily activities and problems
  • Sudden changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Complaints of unsubstantiated physical illness
  • Problems with authority, vandalism, truancy and theft
  • Obsession with weight gain
  • Long periods of dark mood, thoughts of death
  • Depression and sudden extreme highs and lows, which are the common signs of mental problems in adults, are also present in children and young adults.

 

Not all these signs will be actually diagnosed as mental illness, but they are signs of problems your child is going through and have to be addressed by a trained mental health professional. The sooner you address the problems, the sooner your child will get help. Don’t be deterred by the lack of trained psychiatrists and psychologists in our schools. Be there for your child and look for help you need. It is almost impossible for anyone to tell you if your child’s problems will result in violent and aggressive behavior, towards himself or others. Your goal is addressing problems long before they escalate to that level.

 

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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our blood alcohol, body fat and calories burned calculators.

The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

Our team of health professionals, and researchers use peer reviewed studies as source elements in our articles.

Our high quality content has been featured in a number of leading websites, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, Live Strong, GQ, and many more.
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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our blood alcohol, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years. Our team of health professionals, and researchers use peer reviewed studies as source elements in our articles. Our high quality content has been featured in a number of leading websites, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, Live Strong, GQ, and many more.