Depressed child

When Mental Health Issues Develop In Children

Children often don’t follow all the rules. They may also throw a tantrum, have inappropriate outbursts of emotion, or struggle with other behavioral issues. Early in development, these are opportunities to teach them proper ways of managing their emotions and the importance of following rules established for their safety. Your child’s developmental years can be challenging for both of you. Even more challenging is when behavioral issues persist longer than they should. Throughout their life, these issues can cause ongoing difficulties for them. Thankfully, you can take steps to avoid this concern and address it should it occur.

When Mental Health Issues Develop In Children

It can be tricky to gauge mental health, especially early in development. When children begin developing abnormal behaviors when weighed against their typical personality and peers, it indicates a cause for concern. As a parent, when you notice these signs, it’s time to seek help from a mental health professional. This is particularly important as it can be difficult to identify mental health issues in children. Some observed changes can be attributed to perfectly healthy growth and development. Others may indicate a problem in its earliest stages.

The ACMH, or Association for Children’s Mental Health, reports that as much as 20% of children develop some diagnosable mental, emotional, or behavioral health disorder. In addition, their studies show that 10% of adolescents struggle with mental health concerns that impair their ability to function normally in school or at home. Mental health isn’t the only reason that a child may be experiencing difficulty in school, but it shouldn’t be ruled out. Some potential underlying reasons for difficulties in school include:

  • Socioeconomic status
  • Learning disabilities
  • Environment at home

Mental health is just one of the potential causes that should be investigated when getting to the root of this kind of concern. The most common mental health struggles faced by children include:

  • Anxiety Disorder – Anxiety disorders, in particular, can be difficult to pin down as they come in numerous forms. They can appear as generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social phobias, PTSD, and countless other manifestations.
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) – This disorder has been under constant study in recent years and has been further refined and better understood as time goes on. While the underlying cause still isn’t well defined, it’s clear that it occurs on a spectrum, with different individuals demonstrating varying degrees of severity and presentation.
  • Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – There are numerous symptoms that can indicate the presence of ADHD. This condition makes it difficult for sufferers to process their needs, including emotional needs. Fidgetiness and impatience are common indicators, as are difficulty following instructions and a tendency to daydream.
  • Mood Disorders
  • Eating Disorders

Speak to Your Mental Health Provider For Further Guidance

Schedule an appointment with a mental health provider if your child may be experiencing struggles associated with mental health concerns. They’ll discuss your child’s symptoms with you and assess to determine what form of treatment may help. During their treatment, they’ll be taught effective methods of managing their symptoms and overcoming the struggles presented by their mental health concern.

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Helene A. Miller / And Other Providers
Family Psychiatry and Therapy brings compassion, understanding, and skilled care to patients throughout New Jersey. Our team of mental health professionals focuses on providing a positive and uplifting experience that aids our patients in facing life’s toughest challenges.