How To Spot Mental Health Issues In Children
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How To Spot Mental Health Issues In Children

Smiling childLike adults, children can also suffer from mental health issues. In fact, it’s been found that as many as one in every five children has a mental illness that interferes with their everyday life.

Unfortunately, young children are much less likely than adults to receive mental health treatment. This is usually because adults expect children to outgrow their problems. This is why it’s so important for parents to be aware of the signs and symptoms of a mental health issue and seek help for their children accordingly.

Signs & Symptoms Of Childhood Mental Illness

Below are a few of the signs of mental illness during the different stages of childhood:

Preschool/Early Elementary Ages

  • Reported behavior problems in daycare or school
  • Sleep problems
  • Excessive worries, fears, and anxieties
  • Extreme hyperactivity
  • Extreme aggression or disobedience (such as deliberately destroying things or hurting people or animals)
  • Parental separation anxiety – Many children experience this issue, but if it goes on for months, there may be a problem

Grade School Ages

  • Extreme hyperactivity
  • Excessive worries, fears, and anxieties
  • Sudden drop in grades
  • Sudden changes in weight
  • Sudden changes in sleeping habits
  • Loss of interest in favorite activities
  • Withdrawal from friends
  • Prolonged sadness

Teenage Years

  • Running away or constantly threatening to run away
  • Destroying property
  • Setting fires
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Visible, prolonged sadness
  • Comments or threats to harm themselves or others

If your child is experiencing the symptoms above, it’s important to have him or her evaluated. Your child’s pediatrician can refer you to a child psychologist or counselor who can help. You should also be aware of the importance of your participation in your child’s treatment and evaluation. Therapy, behavior changes, medications, and a change in the school setting may be warranted, and you are child’s best advocate.

To make an appointment for your child to receive a dental cleaning and exam, please contact Great Outdoors Pediatric Dentistry. Our child’s dentist is located in Dover, New Hampshire.

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