- Psychological Issues
Identifying mental illness in children can be tricky for parents and health care providers. As a result, many children who could benefit from treatment don’t get the help they need in the very initial stages.
Children are different from adults. They experience an array of physical, mental, and emotional changes as they progress through their natural growth and development phases. The kids, during their growing years, are also in the process of learning how to cope with, adapt, and relate to others and the world around them.
Each kid matures at his or her own pace, and what is considered “normal” for one child, may be too slow or too fast for another.
Unfortunately, many adults (parents, guardians, and caretakers) don’t recognize the early signs and symptoms associated with mental illnesses in children. Even if they figure them out, it can still be difficult to distinguish signs of a problem from normal childhood behavior.
For these reasons, any diagnosis of a psychological illness must consider how well a child functions at school, at home, with family, and with peers, and also bring elements like the child’s age and symptoms into consideration.
There are various types of mental disorders that can affect children and adolescents, some of them are;
How to find out if your child has any mental disorder/warning signs/symptoms
Some warning signs/symptoms that your child might have a mental health condition include:
How is mental illness in children treated?
Once the illness is diagnosed, the next step is choosing the right treatment. Although there has been a remarkable advancement in the treatment of adults with mental disorders, the treatment of children is still not as well understood. Scientists and healthcare professionals are still exploring which treatments work best for specific conditions in children. For now, most of the treatment options used for children, including many medications, are the same as those used in adults but with a slight difference in dosage and duration. The most common treatment options used include:
How to deal with them
Your child needs your support and assistance now more than ever. After a child is diagnosed with a mental health condition, parents and children commonly experience a gush of feelings like helplessness, anger, and frustration. Consult your child’s mental health care professional for advice on how to change the way you think and interact with your child, as well as how to handle difficult behavior and mood swings.
Look for ways to relax and have fun with your child. Introduce mind games to him or her. Praise his or her strengths and abilities. Discover new stress management techniques, which might help you understand how to calmly respond to difficult and stressful situations.
It’s good to seek family counseling or the help of support groups, too. It’s important for you and other family members to understand your child’s illness and his or her feelings, and also what all of you can do to help your child.
To see your child progressing in school, inform your child’s teachers and the school counselor that your child has a mental health condition. If necessary, sit and work with the school staff to develop an academic plan that meets your child’s specific needs.
If you are worried about your child’s mental health condition, don’t hesitate to seek help and advice out of shame, embarrassment or fear. With adequate support, you can find out whether your child has a mental health condition and explore appropriate treatment options to help them live a full life.
Usually, mental illnesses in children are caused by a combination of factors and cannot be stopped. However, if warning signs are recognized well in time and treatment is started early, many of the stressful and disabling effects of a mental disorder may be prevented or at least minimized to some extent before its too late.