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Warning signs that your child may have a mental illness

Child with Mental Illness - VishwaRaj Hospital

Many parents find it difficult to identify mental illness in their child, especially when it’s their first child. As a result, the kid who can get better with treatment does not get any help. Parents need to know the sign that shows mental illness in children and how they can help them.

Identify mental illness in your child.

It is hard to detect psychiatric illness, so the warning signs for mental illness are differentiated in section. You can discriminate based on behavior that does not cause any problem by the duration the action lasts. Also, whether the action affects the child’s routine or it affects any other person. However, the signs are:

  • The most widespread mental diseases in children are depression, anxiety, and ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
  • Feeling despairing or lonely for more than two weeks.
  • Not eating, and when eating, throwing it all up or using a laxative for losing weight.
  • Your child acts violently by involving in multiple fights, hurting others, or even using a weapon.
  • Sudden fear rushing the body all over, often followed by fast breathing or a racing heart.
  • Regular use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Drastic mood swings or sudden personality change.
  • A lot of relationship issues.
  • Intensive fear or worries are appearing in the middle of the work.
  • Severe out-of-control action, including hurting themself or others.
  • Making plans to hurt someone or trying to kill someone.
  • Facing difficulty in concentrating or staying put can result in serious physical danger or school failure.

The common mental disorders among kids

The common psychiatric disorder among kids includes the following:

  • Attention deficit or hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): In this disorder, your child will suffer from impulsive behavior, attention, hyperactivity, or a combination of all problems.
  • Anxiety problem: An Anxiety problem in kids involves constant worries, fear, or anxiety that can disrupt their daily activity. As a result, the effect falls on their participation in sports, school play, and other typical social situation. Anxiety can be three types of generalized anxiety, social anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive anxiety.
  • Eating disorder: Eating disorders can be of many types having an obsessiveness of ideal body, continuous thinking of weight, and weight loss. Moreover, having unsafe dieting or eating habits. However, eating disorders like bulimia nervosa, anorexia, and binge eating can result in many issues. The issue can be social dysfunction, emotional, and dangerous physical complications.
  • Depression and another psychiatric issue: When your child is feeling sad constantly or has a loss of interest, it means he is going through depression. He will have difficulty completing normal school functions or becoming socially involved. When depression gets worse, your child may experience bipolar disorder. As a result, feeling emotionally and behaviorally high can be sometimes risky, unsafe, and unguarded.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder: PTSD involves extended emotional distress, nightmares, anxiety, disruptive behavior, and distressing memories. These symptoms will be visible in response to injury, traumatic events, violence, or abuse.
  • Autism spectrum disorder: This mental disorder is a neurological medical condition that mostly appears in kids less than three years. However, the seriousness of the disease may vary among children. A child is suffering from this disorder faces difficulty in interacting with people or communicating with them.
  • Schizophrenia: It is a disorder in consciousness and thoughts that can cause your child to lose touch with reality. This problem mostly occurs in a child in their late teens or twenties. The symptoms include delusions, thinking, hallucination, behavior, and disordered thinking.

How can you treat mental illness in kids?

The common treatment options you get to treat mental illness in your child include:

  • Medications: When you visit a mental health professional or your child’s doctor, he may advise your child on medicines as treatment. The treatments include anti-anxiety drugs, stimulants, antidepressants, mood stabilizers, or antipsychotics. The doctor will give you all the pointers you need to take care of, the risk and side effects of drugs, and its benefit.
  • Psychotherapy: It is a type of talking session or therapy where your child can address his/her mental issues. He can share every detail with the mental health professional or the psychologist. With young children, these sessions also include some games or playtime. Also, when the playtime is over, he will discuss in the session what he did while playing.

In these sessions, adolescents and kids learn how to share their deep feelings and thoughts. Moreover, your child learns how to respond to a situation and learn coping skills and new behaviors.

What is the cause of mental illness?

There can be many reasons for your child’s mental illness. Either it can be because of a single cause or sometimes a couple of reason altogether.

  • Genetics: If mental illness run in your family, it is most likely that your child will suffer from it too. This effect means mental disorder has likelihood to pass on to children from their parents.
  • Psychological trauma: Some mental illness is a reaction to psychological trauma like severe emotional or sexual abuse, loss of a parent, neglected health.
  • Environment: If a child has a stressful environment or goes through a traumatic event, it can trigger psychiatric illness. It can make the child vulnerable to mental disorder.
  • Biology: Some mental disorders directly connect with special chemicals released by the brain known as a neurotransmitter. The primary purpose of neurotransmitters is communication. If these chemicals go out of balance, it can cause mental symptoms. Additionally, if your child has experienced severe brain injury, it can also result in mental illness.


If you find your child to have a mental illness, you don’t need to panic. Just try to find out the root cause of the problem and take proper medical help. However, it is not only the treatment you need; you also have to enroll yourself in a parent training program. These programs will help you understand how you should respond to your kid’s behavior.

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