Common Mental Health Issues in Children

Updated on November 12, 2022

Childhood mental health problems are relatively common. According to the CDC, 1 in 6 U.S. children aged 2 to 8 had a diagnosed mental, behavioral, or developmental disorder. Below are some of the most common mental health disorders to be aware of, so you can help your child get the help they need if they develop symptoms.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is one of the most common childhood mental disorders. This disorder is characterized by problems with focus, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. It often persists into adolescence and adulthood. Symptoms may make it difficult for kids with ADHD to succeed in school and get along with others. In addition, ADHD also has the potential to lead to risky behaviors, such as substance abuse. If you notice your child is restless, it’s best to seek help so your child can learn to cope with their ADHD.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)

This disorder is characterized by negative and defiant behaviors aimed at authority figures. Kids with ODD may have outbursts of anger, deliberately annoy others, or argue constantly. These behaviors usually begin in early childhood and tend to persist into adolescence. Sadly, ODD can lead to social isolation and academic problems.

If you’re concerned about your child’s behavior, talk to their doctor and consider talking to a professional for advice. Child development online courses can help you learn how to cope with these difficult behaviors and why your child might be acting out.

Conduct Disorder

Conduct Disorder is a more serious disorder characterized by a repeated and persistent violation of the rights of others and major age-appropriate societal norms and rules. Kids with conduct disorder may act aggressively toward people or animals, destroy property, lie or steal, or be truant from school. These behaviors often lead to juvenile detention and legal problems as kids get older. If you’re concerned about your child’s behavior, it’s important to seek professional help as soon as possible.

Anxiety disorders

Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental health disorder among children, with over 5 million children diagnosed with anxiety disorders in 2020. They can manifest as separation anxiety, social anxiety, generalized anxiety, or phobias (fear of specific things or situations). Anxiety disorders can make it difficult for kids to function at school or home and often lead to social isolation. Many types of anxiety disorders, such as PTSD, OCD, and panic disorder, can affect your child. It’s best to talk to a therapist trained in dealing with anxiety disorders. A therapist will know how to diagnose and treat your child properly.


Depression is a serious mental health disorder characterized by persistent sadness, irritability, fatigue, and loss of interest in activities. It can also lead to physical problems, such as headaches and stomachaches. Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in children, with 2.4 million cases diagnosed in 2020. Consider speaking with a therapist and with your child to help create a treatment plan if you’re concerned about your child’s depression.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

ASD is a developmental disorder characterized by social, communication, and behavioral challenges. It can make it difficult for kids to interact with others and often leads to social isolation. Intellectual disabilities and anxiety disorders can also accompany ASD. If you’re concerned about your child’s development, it’s important to seek professional help. Early diagnosis and intervention are key for children with ASD.

These are just some mental health issues that might impact your child’s life. Consider getting professional help, taking child development courses online, or reading more about mental health to learn ways to help your child. Remember, you are not alone in this journey. Many resources and people can help you and your child through these challenging times and help them succeed.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.