Mental illness in children has been steadily increasing, and among children aged 13-18, 1 in 5 will have a serious mental illness. The most common childhood mental disorders are anxiety disorders, depression, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Any potential sign of mental illness should immediately be addressed through the help of a physician in order to ensure that the illness won’t escalate further to adulthood. However, developmental disorders and psychotic disorders in children can have a lifelong impact on the child and his or her family
Here are some of the warning signs of mental illness in children:
- Mood swings that last for more than two weeks can be a sign of Bipolar Disorder or Manic-Depressive Illness
- Fears and worries are common amoung children. However if these fears become too excessive, it can be a sign of anxiety
- Defiance and questioning authority are common behaviors among kids. However defiance just for the sake of it can be a possible sign of mental illness. These can include ADHD, anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, and depression.
- A sudden change in physical appearance can indicate a disorder, especially if its not related to puberty. An estimated 80 percent of with serious mental illnesses are obese or overweight. And weight loss due to a lack of appetite can be related to depression. Inability to concentrate on a simple task can be a symptom of ADHD or depression. Lack of focus might result from excessive thoughts of shame, guilt, death and dying. And this can manifest in their social and academic life.
Childhood mental disorders can be hard for parents to identify. It is crucial for family members to be aware of any changes in their children at all times to find out for any sign of mental illness.
This article first appeared on TheAsianParent.com.