The stigma on mental health and mental illness has caused more harm than good. It has made it so that grown adults are unable to truly express how they are feeling mentally without worrying about being attacked or shunned. Where does this leave our children?
It’s time to take a stand. As a parent, you need to understand that mental health is real and so are the mental illnesses that prevent our children from getting the help that they need to move forward in their lives. Continue reading to learn the warning signs of child mental health issues.
What Is “Mentally Healthy” for Children?
Children who are mentally healthy are mostly happy and have a positive outlook on their lives. Mentally healthy children enjoy their lives. They have healthy relationships.
They are resilient and bounce back easily during tough times in their lives. Children who have good mental health can safely manage their emotions. They can feel their emotions without losing control or becoming completely overwhelmed by them.
What Mental Health Problems May Children Face?
Unfortunately, many children deal with mental health issues. The most common mental health problems among children are mood disorders, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and psychotic disorders. This includes issues like anxiety and depression. This also considers bulimia and schizophrenia. Autism and ADHD are also common.
Early intervention is one of the best things for children dealing with mental health problems in today’s society. Learn about the benefits for children who are showing signs of mental illness.
What Causes Mental Illness in Children?
Mental illness is influenced by several factors including biology, psychology, and the environment they are exposed to. These things contribute to the overall development of a child. When these factors are affected negatively, it can cause them to develop the symptoms of mental illness.
What Are the Signs of Mental Illness in Children?
Some of the general warning signs that point to mental illness in children include:
- Sleep changes
- Eating changes
- Loss of interest
- Poor academic performance
- Inability to complete normal tasks
- Inability to control emotions
More specific signs of mental health issues depend on the condition.
With Autism, signs present themselves in the first two years and include little to no eye contact, little to no smiling, parallel play, and avoidance. ADHD can also trigger fidgeting, squirminess, and an inability to focus (daydreaming).
Anxiety exhibits irrational fears or phobias which can present as psychosomatic symptoms, crying, and clinginess. Depression displays persistent sadness of more than two weeks and too much or too little sleeping and eating. It can also be presented as hopelessness and suicidal thoughts.
Be Aware of Child Mental Health
As a parent, you are probably wracking your brain trying to figure out how you can help your child who is struggling with mental illness. The best thing that you can do is be there for him or her. Be aware that there is a problem, and be open to listening to and validating your child’s feelings.
You being there is the best you can do to make sure that your child doesn’t become another child’s mental health statistic.
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