mental illness in children


Being a parent is a hard job. You may wonder if the signs you are seeing in your child are just a normal phase or a sign of a mental health condition. It is far better to discuss any signs troubling you with a health care professional than to ignore them. There are many signs of mental health conditions that parents may notice. You are your child’s primary advocate, so you must act quickly on their behalf.

Trouble at School

One of the first signs you may notice is that the child is resisting going to school. They may complain of having a stomachache or a headache. You may see that the child’s grades are dropping. When the child is doing their homework, you may notice that they have trouble concentrating. Therefore, it may take them longer to do their homework than usual.

Trouble at Home

In other cases, you may notice changes at home. The child may seem sad or depressed for an extended period of time. They may seem more irritable and have more trouble getting along with their siblings and you. Your child may also start picking at their food when they have always been a great eater. It is usual for most children to put on small amounts of weight continually, so if your child is not, this can be a warning sign. Alternatively, your grocery bill may increase because the child always seems to be binge eating. The child may not be sleeping as much as usual or sleeping more. Any changes in mood, behavior, or personality should be discussed with a caring medical professional.

Trouble With Peers

The child may also be arguing more with their friends. Alternatively, they may want to stop going to places they used to enjoy. You may discover that your child is hanging out with a new group of friends and maybe doing dangerous activities.

More Troubling Signs

Unfortunately, a child under the age of 13 commits suicide about every five days in the United States. The statistics are even more alarming, as suicide is the third leading killer of children between 15 and 24. Approximately 5,000 young people commit suicide successfully annually. Therefore, if you see them hurting themselves or hear them talking about death or suicide, you should seek help immediately.

Many parents find the thought that their child may have a mental illness scary. Yet, as their primary advocate, it is your job to get them the help they need.  At American Behavioral Clinics, we are here to help, so reach out today if you have any concerns with your child’s mental wellbeing..