As a parent, your first priority is making sure your kids are happy and healthy. This requires you to pay close attention to both physical and mental health so you can assess overall wellbeing. Because society places more emphasis on physical health and often overlooks mental health, you may not be aware of signs that your child is struggling with mental health. It can be difficult to determine if your child is showing signs of a mental health disorder or simply going through normal phases of adolescence, so it is important to pay close attention to how your child is behaving. Here are seven signs to watch for that may indicate your kids are struggling with their mental health.
Drastic Mood Swings
If you notice your child frequently fluctuating from one extreme to another, he or she may have a chemical imbalance that is causing these mood swings. It is important to remember that minor mood swings are normal, especially during hormonal teenage years. However, if you notice your child going from extreme giddiness to inconsolable tears or extreme rage, you may want to speak with your pediatrician.
If your child has a mental health disorder, medication may help level out chemical imbalances and help reduce the number of mood swings he or she says. While medication for mental health disorders is often viewed negatively due to the stigma surrounding it, there are numerous products available that could help your child significantly. Pharmaceutical entrepreneurs such as Harry Stylli are constantly developing new medications with milder side effects, so treating a mental health disorder with medication is a viable option.
There is a huge difference between introverts and extroverts, so there is no reason to be alarmed if your shy, quiet child enjoys alone time. However, if you notice your child pulling away from close friends or seeking isolation more often than usual, there may be cause for concern. Mental health disorders such as depression often cause people to feel lonely, so if your child is pulling away from things they usually enjoy, you may need to talk with him or her.
Everyone is afraid of something, so normal fears are nothing to be concerned about. If your child suddenly develops an irrational, paralyzing fear of something, he or she may be struggling with anxiety. This could be something simple, such as a sudden fear of public speaking, or it could be a completely random fear like being afraid someone will break into your home at night. The fear could be triggered by one specific incident or it could appear randomly, but it is important to monitor it closely to see if your child is suffering from anxiety.
All kids have minor accidents, but they may be struggling with a mental health disorder if they begin to engage in intentionally harmful behavior. This may show in the form of bullying, where kids become verbally and physically aggressive towards others. The harmful behavior could also be self-inflicted. Regardless of whether your children are harming themselves or others, you may need to seek professional help in the form of a therapist to help them sort through their emotions. You can also try to create a calming experience for your child by creating a relaxation station, with products from Harkla, for example.
Obsession With Body Image
Eating disorders are unfortunately common. Children and teens suffering from this type of disorder may become incredibly talented at finding ways to hide their symptoms, so you may not notice right away if they are refusing to eat or vomiting after every meal. A more telling sign is a sudden obsession with body image. If your child or teen begins to talk about wanting to lose weight although they don’t need to or starts to be dissatisfied with their appearance in the mirror, you may need to have a talk about positive body image. It is also a good idea to talk about healthy eating habits.
Inability To Focus
Children often have troubling focusing on one subject for long periods of time. If their inability to focus begins to affect their learning ability, you may need to intervene. Mental health disorders often impact the ability to focus, so if this problem becomes debilitating, intervention may be necessary. Some people find medication helpful, while others prefer to use alternative methods of treatment. Some children, such as those struggling with ADHD, may have an easier time focusing if they are moving. Others have trouble absorbing material unless they are keeping their hands busy. The key is to find what works best for your child.
Sudden Changes in Behavior
Every child is different. Some enjoy being active, while others prefer quiet activities. Any hate being the center of attention, while others thrive on it. You can’t compare your child to others, so you shouldn’t be worried if his or her likes differ from those of other children. However, you may have cause for concern if your child has a sudden behavior change. If children suddenly begin to hate activities they once enjoyed or vice versa, it could be a sign of mental health struggles. By recognizing these signs, you can get your child the intervention he or she needs.