Mental illness can strike at any age. When it happens, it can affect the person directly and those who are closest to them as well. When most of us think about these types of mental disorders, we typically think about what may have happened to our peers when they were older. The fact of the matter is, however, there are also many issues that could occur when we are children as well. Being able to recognize these child psychology disorders can really have an effect on everyone involved but they may sometimes be difficult to see.
When a child suffers from a psychological disorder, it can often be difficult for a parent to recognize. In many cases, it is a matter of not knowing the signs and symptoms of these disorders so they simply miss all of the markers their children are displaying. Even if they do see those issues, they might just chalk it up to being normal behaviour and most children are not able to communicate those issues to their parents. There may even be cases where the parents do not want to admit that the child has a problem, either because of fear of treatment options or because they just can’t process it mentally.
There are many different child psychology disorders and they might vary widely from one child to another. Some children are going to exhibit the classic symptoms of the disorder and others may go in the opposite direction. In addition, one problem could lead to another so sometimes, it is difficult to know where to begin. In order to help you see the possibilities, we can take a look at some of the most common child psychology disorders.
Anxiety – This type of disorder may take on many different forms. Some people would expect it to be a problem with anxiety directly but they may show it through obsessive-compulsive disorder, social phobia or even PTSD. Admittedly, it is perfectly normal for a child to experience a degree of anxiety but when it becomes a disorder, it needs proper treatment.
ASD – This is one of the most misunderstood of the child psychology disorders but it is also very common. Typically known as Autism, it usually shows up by the time a child is 3. Some children will experience severe symptoms that can be very difficult to control but even if they are mild, they can affect the ability of the child to communicate with others.
ADHD – This is also a problem that is being seen more and more frequently and it can be a difficult challenge for both the child and the adult. It involves the ability of the child to pay attention and some of them may be impulsive or hyperactive. Each child will have their own symptoms, with some showing them all and others only showing one.
Eating – There are numerous eating disorders that can affect children at a young age and as they continue to get older. Anorexia nervosa is a common eating disorder but children may face issues with binge eating or bulimia as well. These disorders can be life-threatening in some cases and a child should get the proper care when they are diagnosed.
Schizophrenia – This is a mental illness that could be quite severe. It involves a person not being able to get a grip on reality, something known as psychosis. This problem tends to show up more often in teenagers or as they are going through their 20s but it could happen at any time.
Mood Disorders – There are also a range of issues that fall under this category as well. Bipolar disorder and depression fall under this particular diagnosis. Most children will experience the blues from time to time but when they have clinical depression, it is a problem that needs to be addressed.
Sometimes, it isn’t a matter of diagnosing the specific problem your child may be experiencing, it is just recognizing that they have a problem in the first place. When we see these problems occurring, we can then seek the proper help to get the child psychology disorders diagnosed, if they do exist in our case.
One of the most common warning signs if for the behavior of the child to change. Admittedly, there are some children who can be moody and they may go through various changes in their early years but when the changes are sudden and drastic, you might have a problem. In a similar way, mood changes will also often show that there is a problem bubbling under the surface. This could include severe mood swings or profound sadness that lasts for a minimum of 2 weeks. Some children with withdrawal during this time and may not want to socialize with anyone, including their friends.
Some children may show physical symptoms when they are dealing with one of these child psychology disorders. They could include health problems such as stomach aches or a headache. In addition. some of these mental conditions could cause a child to harm themselves physically. Some of the common ways this could occur are if the child is burning or cutting themselves. They may also lose weight unexpectedly and this could be the sign of an eating disorder or any of the other psychological disorders as well.
One other problem that many children suffer with is substance abuse. Some children will turn to alcohol or drugs in an effort to deal with the feelings they are experiencing. Some people consider this to be a disorder as well but typically, it is the sign of something else taking place behind the scenes.
If there is one thing you should know about these types of disorders, it is the fact that they can happen to any child at any time. Many parents are shocked by what their child is going through during these difficult times. Being able to recognize the symptoms is the first step in getting the help your child needs and getting them on the road to recovery.