Children and adolescents experience mental health issues the same way adults do. The faster it is recognized, then the faster the treatment for the children, which will help them in the long run. Children’s mental illness is more common than most people think. One in five adolescents aged 13-18 have a serious mental illness. If it goes untreated, it can disrupt the kid’s home life, and ability to function in school and the community. Parents and teachers are usually the first ones to realize if there is a mental health issue with a child. It can be hard for a parent to accept that their child may have a mental health issue. There are signs to look for in a child so you can get them the appropriate help needed. And because mental illness and disorder is such a stigma, myths were created about them. Find out the signs and facts.
Signs Of Mental Illness
Observing your child’s behavior is key to getting them the appropriate help. It is normal for kids to throw temper tantrums and be moody, because they are learning boundaries and the world around them. But a mental illness goes beyond the typical tantrums. Some signs that may require you to seek out professional help are:
- Poor grades in school
- Persistent disobedience
- Decline in school performance
- Temper tantrums more than normal
- Depressed or extra irritable
Myths & Facts
It is important to debunk mental health myths so that parents can get a better understanding of mental health. With the correct information, children can get effective treatment.
Myth: Bad parenting causes mental health disorders.
Fact: A kid’s home environment and relationship with their family is detrimental to their life and development. However, it does not cause a mental health disorder. Depression, autism, learning disorders, and anxiety is biological. It is not a parent’s fault.
Myth: Children need medication to take care of the issue.
Fact: Although medication is helpful, it takes more than that for a treatment plan. Attention, therapy sessions, and providing children with the necessary tools to cope and handle with stress and other factors is also important.
Myth: A mental health illness in a kid means they will struggle and not succeed.
Fact: Mental illness does not indicate a child’s future success and happiness. As long as the illness is caught early and treated so they can learn to manage it, then the child’s future is limitless.
Myth: Therapy is a waste of time.
Fact: This is the furthest thing from the truth. Therapy is very effective for a child to understand what is going on with them, how to cope with it, and how to manage their illness. There are different forms of therapy than just the talking to a therapist method. Cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on changing the feelings and thoughts associated with their illness. Doing this kind of therapy can change the kids outlook and symptoms related to their mental illness.
Myth: A child can just outgrow their mental illness.
Fact: If you put off seeking help for a child that needs it for their mental health issues, the harder it is to treat them as they grow older. A kid’s brain is more responsive to treatment rather than waiting until they become an adult.
Conditions and symptoms may worsen as the child gets older.
It is very important that a parent accepts that their kid may have a mental illness and be open-minded towards it. Children need the assurance that everything will be okay from their parents. Check in with your kid everyday when you can. Observe your child’s behavior and encourage them to talk about their day and their emotions. It is important to acknowledge a child’s emotions and listen to them when they talk. Talk about what is going on and help them understand what is going on with them. Early diagnosis and treatment can help a child greatly. It will help them reach their full potential.