Aren’t Children the most Adorable and the most honest creatures? They are easy to understand but they can become a headache and can be annoying as well and can make our situations difficult sometimes right? And at those times we fail to understand them so we simply shut them down and make them work according to our choices.
But why do you think they act like that? Is there something that needs our attention and should be taken care of?
What do you think is affecting their behavior and why is this sudden change of behavior happening?
The answer to all these questions is that there’s a possibility that they are developing mental health problems. Yes, Children also face Mental Health problems and most of the parents fail to understand this because there’s a misconception that children cannot face mental issues, but that’s not true.
According to the studies, Mental illness can start by 14 years of age but that doesn’t mean children below 14 cannot face mental issues. They do face some amount of mental illness but it develops with age. Children below 14 can become apathetic and develop anger issues and can feel disengagement.
Here are some of the common Mental Disorders found in children:-
- Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD)– Children with this disorder show lack of concentration as they face difficulty with attention and are hyperactive. They do not tend to sit in one place for a moderately long period of time.
- Autism Spectrum Disorder(ASD)– It is a neurological condition in which a child faces difficulty in understanding common things, get confused between similar-looking things or words, also find difficulty in communicating too.
- Depression– Having pessimist or negative thoughts and comfortable in sitting alone, shows suicidal tendencies, and has a loss of interest.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder(OCD)– Children with this disorder lack serotonin in their brain so the symptoms might be washing hand again as they do not like dirt, shows extreme hatred towards dirty things, and repeats everything.
- Oppositional Defiant Disorder(ODD)– Children with this disorder show behavioral changes like talking rudely and are argumentative and will get annoyed easily and will show a terrible attitude towards everything.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD)– this is prolonged emotional distress due to which child might have nightmares and might hallucinate and have anxious thoughts all the time and because of all this they show rude behavior and lack of trust.
- Anxiety– Children with this disorder worry a lot and might face difficulty in participating in school functions and avoid socializing and think a lot which is not healthy.
What can be the symptoms of Mental Problems in children or how can a parent know if their child is suffering from any kind of Mental illness?
- Sudden change in Academic performance
- Sudden Disengagement in anything
- Mood swings
- Facing Difficulty in talking
- Hesitating a lot
- Change in sleep schedule
- Outbursts or show irritability
- Trying to avoid Friends
- Shows harmful behavior
How can all this be treated?
First, the parent/parents need to contact their child doctor or child care professional and should discuss their child’s behavior and after that, they could concern a Child therapist. A child therapist will give professional help to the child and can use Psychotherapy or some medications if needed.
When to know if a child requires Professional help or Parental Help?
A child’s Best Therapists can be his/her parents and if parents need to know that their child requires professional therapy, they must first talk to their child as the child might have a problem due to his/her parents only and if the child feels open about discussing his/her issues then the parents can help him/her. But in cases like Autism, a therapist is needed so if parents want to know the difference between professional help and parental help they must first learn about the disorders. This is called Parental Awareness that’d be helpful to the child.
How can you as a parent prevent your child from getting affected by mental illness?
We all know how much parents think about their child’s future and career and how they do every possible thing to provide every facility to their child, But because of all this parent start developing a sense of protection, that means they start protecting their child so much that they don’t even realize how this has started to become a negative impact on their child’s growth.
Being a parent is not an easy task to do as children require all of our attention but sometimes parents forget that due to their work-life or maybe because of their own issues.
The following can be the possible reasons that show lack of attention towards children by the parents:
Parents fighting all the time, Working parents, Strict or conservative, Domestic violence, etc.
Children with these types of parents show disinterest and lack of communication which further leads to either depression or drug abuse. Children later in their teenage find company which affects them badly and end up ruining their life and this all happened as they needed friends who can listen and help them and then children in their teenage starts drifting from their parents as they start finding family in friends. They start enjoying their company more which is not wrong but not all friends help you stay on the right path.
Parents who are strict and conservative only think of their child’s studies which is not wrong but they start over expecting and due to this they do not even communicate and try to understand if their child is able to cope up with their own issues, they just keep on expecting good grades and good job then good earning and then the good family as per the society but they don’t even think how this is affecting their child’s mental growth.
Parents need to understand that their child’s mental health and emotional well being is as important as their physical health. Bad Physical Health also sometimes leads to mental illnesses so both Physical and mental health goes hand in hand. A child having good mental health helps him/her develop confidence and make them strong and unbothered to whatever situation life might throw on them in the future. They will fight and will be able to tackle any situation calmly.