MENTAL ILLNESSES IN KIDS: 10 COMMON DISORDERS AND WARNING SIGNS
Most children can be moody or hyperactive at times, but that state should not be the norm. Parents want nothing but the best for their children. Unfortunately, they can’t save them from the rising health concerns and illnesses. The new decade is putting all of us under a challenging time, especially children. Children are supposed to spend their time to explore the world, play games, and chill with their friends. But amid Covid-19, they are limited to the four walls of the home.
As a result, children can develop mental health conditions like adults because coping with the current situation is not everyone’s cup of tea. It impacts children’s wellness, the way they feel, think, and their behavior as they are stuck inside the home for months. Alongside causing distress, it might impair their ability to function correctly.
At times, parents keep wondering what is wrong with their little bundle of joy. It is hard to understand the mental health disorders in children because they are growing up while experiencing these disorders. Hence, the symptoms are likely to differ depending on the child’s age, and some children might not be able to explain how they feel.
Parents have to recognize mental illnesses like they identify physical ailments. Only after this, they would be able to protect their children from Covid-19 and mental health concerns.
Here we are discussing ten common disorders and their symptoms:
In today’s competitive world, many children suffer from anxiety. These are persistent fears and worries that disrupt their ability to participate and perform properly. It typically shows up as social anxiety – the fear of communicating with people. Usually, it happens due to procrastinating, meaning parents should proactively remove communication barriers and comfort children.
Symptoms: Nervousness, rapid heartbeat, and excessive sweating.
Many parents complain of their child, not eating and drinking correctly. It happens when children create pre-set assumptions of body image. If your daughter plays with Barbie dolls, which is super thin – she might want to become like Barbie, resulting in eating disorders. Such toys make them conscious of their weight, creating many physical implications.
Symptoms: Intense emotions, attitudes, and unusual behavior with food.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – PTSD
Is your child having nightmares? PTSD is a condition of prolonged emotional distress due to odd memories and dreams. It also happens if the child has been through violence, abuse, injuries, or other traumatic experiences. If your child is displaying any signs, immediately consult a therapist because it can take ages to recover from trauma.
Symptoms: Fear, sadness, nightmares, sleep problems, irritability, anger, and outbursts.
It is one of the most undesirable mental disorders that disrupt a child’s rational thought process. It causes a person to lose touch with reality, as they start perceiving the world in some odd way. Children hear voices, witness hallucinations, experience disordered thinking, and indulge in strange behaviors. It can be by birth or occur over time so seek help from mental health experts.
Symptoms: delusions, disorganized speech, negative symptoms, and abnormal behavior.
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism is a neurological disorder that appears in early childhood years. It impacts social and communication skills since the brain is unable to receive commands properly. Autistic children need 24/7 support to make sure they are doing fine. It occurs before the age of 3, as those are the most critical development years.
Symptoms: Avoiding eye contact, not responding to their name or smiling, and repetitive movements.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder -OCD
Sometimes, children use compulsive rituals to control their fears, but the exact cause of OCD remains unknown. In severe cases, OCD happens because children don’t have enough of the serotonin in their brains. They face repeated doubts and go to extremes. For instance, your child might wash hands 50 times a day to fight germs.
Symptoms: Lucky and unlucky numbers need for symmetry, order, and precision, fear of germs, contamination, and dirt.
Depression is the same for adults and children. Everyone goes through persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest. For children, it disrupts their ability to function in school and interact with others. It happens because of daily uncertainties of life – parent’s separation, bullying, lack of attention, and many other reasons. Notice the evident symptoms and talk about it with your child or seek help if necessary.
Symptoms: Excessive crying, loss of interest, behavioral highs, and lows.
It is another nervous system disorder, causing children to have tics. These are sudden twitches that people make repeatedly but unintentionally. Children can’t stop their bodies from doing them since they have no control over it. For example, your child might blink excessively or make grunting sounds. In short, tics are like having hiccups with weird noises.
Symptoms: eye-rolling, shoulder shrugging, jumping, twirling, blinking, and touching objects.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Is your child slow? If your child is not doing as good as children of his/her age, they might be having difficulty paying attention to things. It happens as children are likely to get distracted super quickly. However, if it results in impulsive behavior or hyperactivity, consider looking for help to ensure your child’s best health.
Symptoms: Disorganization, weak time-management skills, trouble in multitasking, and frustration.
Bipolar disorder causes a plethora of mood swings among children. Your kid might be jumping out of joy one moment but can end up crying the next moment due to this disorder. Children suffer from the highs of hyperactivity and lows of depression, leaving parents clueless about their condition.
Symptoms: Aggressiveness, socially inappropriate behavior, and severe mood swings.
Mental illnesses are brutal on children, making them miss some precious years of their life. It can be unjust if parents ignore these problems, considering things will be fine once the child grows up. Unfortunately, mental illnesses can take an ugly turn when left untreated. Therefore, consult a mental health specialist for children and help them cherish their happy childhood years.