Just like adults, kids can develop mental health problems. However, in kids, symptoms can be different, so you need to know what to look out for and how to help the child. Most health experts note that it can be difficult for parents to identify Irvine child mental health conditions. This leads to children not benefiting from treatments early to manage the condition.
What Exactly Is a Mental Illness?
A mental health condition is characterized by a change in how you think, behave, or feel in a way that disrupts your ability to function. Child mental health condition is the delay of the child developing expected age-appropriate behaviors, thinking, social skills, and emotional regulation. The issues are usually distressing to kids and disrupt their functioning at home, in social situations, and in school.
Barriers Preventing Effective Treatment of Child Mental Health Conditions
Understanding child mental health conditions is difficult as normal child development involves change and is a process. The symptoms of this condition vary depending on the age and the child may lack the ability to explain their feelings, or behaviors.
The stigma associated with mental health, cost, logistical challenges regarding treatment, and the use of medications may scare parents from getting the child the necessary treatment for the suspected mental health condition.
What Are the Common Mental Health Disorders in Children?
Developmental disorders are handled by mental health specialists and can include:
Anxiety disorders – these are persistent fears, and worries that disrupt the ability of the child to act properly in age-appropriate social situations, in school, and at home. Diagnoses include obsessive-compulsive disorders, general anxiety, and social anxiety.
Proactivity disorder – the child has difficulty with impulsive behaviors, attention, or hyperactivity. It can be a combination or one of these problems.
Autism spectrum disorder – this is a neurological condition appearing in early childhood before the age of 3 years. Severity varies but can include difficulty in interacting or communicating with others.
Eating disorder – involves disordered thinking regarding weight loss or weight to achieve an ideal body type, unsafe dieting, and eating habits. Eating disorders like bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, and anorexia nervosa can be due to social and emotional dysfunction or a life-threatening physical condition/ complication.
Depression/ mood disorders – loss of interest and persistent feeling of sadness that disrupts the child’s ability to function, and interact with others. Bipolar disorder comes with extreme emotional, mood swings, and behavioral highs that are unsafe, or risky if unguarded.
Post-traumatic stress disorder – occurs due to prolonged anxiety, nightmares, emotional stress, distressing memories, and disruptive behaviors as a result of abuse, violence, or injury.
Schizophrenia – a disorder in thoughts and perceptions leading to psychosis or loss of touch with reality. Mostly appears in late teens and 20s. The condition results in delusions, hallucinations, disordered behaviors, and thinking.
Warning Signs of Child Health Conditions
The warning signs to look for are:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Missing or avoiding school
- Change in eating habits
- Extreme irritability or outbursts
- Talking about suicide or death
- Drastic change in personality, behavior or mood
- Change in school academic performance
- Difficulty concentrating
- Weight loss
- Frequent stomach aches or headaches
- Speaking about hurting oneself or hurting oneself
- Persistent sadness (monitor for 2-3 weeks)
- Withdrawal from social interactions
If you notice the above signs consult a mental health professional and describe the disturbing behaviors. Mental health professionals treat child mental health conditions based on symptoms and their effect on daily life. The specialist can recommend a psychiatric, clinical social worker, psychologist evaluation.
Consult your mental health professional when you notice the above signs. Early detection is vital to treat the condition effectively. Treatment includes medications and psychotherapy.