Coming to the realization that a child might have a mental disorder can be devastating for parents, and it is vital to address those issues as quickly as possible. Finding the proper treatment when they are younger will improve their happiness and overall outlook on life as they grow older. With an early diagnosis, many of these disorders can be managed with a combination of medication, therapy, and other key mental health services.
Mood Swings That Last for More Than a Few Days
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, children who are struggling with depression often experience extreme highs and lows that affect their schooling, relationships, and quality of life. Many children become excessively hyper and full of energy only to crash for multiple days at a time. If these swings only last for a short period of time and are not disruptive, then the child is most likely exhibiting normal behavior.
Crippling or Excessive Fears
Worry is a completely normal feeling for a child, but their overall happiness should not be hampered by constant fear. Parents must immediately contact a professional social worker with a degree (find out more here) or another mental healthcare professional if their child’s daily functions are being impacted by constant fear. These professionals can help children come up with coping techniques to overcome their anxiety.
Unexplained Physical Changes
Every child will experience major physical changes as they grow older and puberty starts, but parents should by wary of sudden or unexplained issues. Children who are depressed or suffering from anxiety often gain or lose quite a bit of weight in a short period of time. In some cases, this can lead to secondary issues such as anorexia and bulimia. Other children binge eat to self-medicate and cope with their mental health disorders.
Inability to Concentrate
Unfortunately, concentration issues are often misdiagnosed due to their prevalence. A perfectly healthy child would rather play with their friends than do homework, but there may come a point when their lack of concentration is severely impacting their life. If a child is not able to concentrate on a simple subject for even a few moments, then they might have ADHD or another similar condition. Their concentration issues can also lead to guilt, shame, and other unhealthy thoughts when they are older.
Keeping an eye out for these few warning signs will help you catch, properly diagnose, and treat your child’s mental health disorders in their earliest stages.