Assessing Your Child's Mental HealthIN CHILDREN'S HEALTH
If your child has become increasingly defiant, emotional or angry, it’s important to take immediate action. While mental health issues are commonly associated with adults, children can also struggle with depression, anxiety and behavioral issues.
Before determining whether or not your child needs psychological intervention, evaluate some of these common childhood stressors:
- Being bullied at school. Regardless of your child’s involvement in sports or the arts, he or she may be falling victim to bullying. With more children having access to numerous social media sites, bullying can extend far beyond the school campus. Talk to your child about bullying if you notice drastic changes in his or her personality.
- Developmental delays. If your child struggles with a speech impediment or learning disability, he or she may have trouble relating to fellow classmates, building relationships or appropriately expressing emotions. While his or her disability may be a minor setback or phase, it’s important to work together with your child’s teachers and counselors to help him or her achieve optimal learning.
- Significant life changes. Whether you’ve recently divorced, returned from military deployment or experienced a sudden death in the family, unexpected trauma or change can negatively affect your child. Although you may be able to logically sort through an extreme life change, your child may need help working out his or her feelings.
|Is Childhood Mental Illness on the Rise?
According to a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the number of emergency room visits due to mental health problems among children and young adults has steadily increased in recent years.
The study revealed that from 1999 to 2007, childhood psychiatric complaints rose from 2.4 percent to 3 percent. Although the increase is relatively minor, emergency rooms around the United States continue to feel the upsurge.
A diverse group of children were treated for a variety of mental health issues, and children with no health insurance or public health insurance were treated more frequently. If you believe your child may have a mental health problem, consult his or her pediatrician or primary care physician about scheduling a visit with a counselor or psychiatrist.
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Sources: msnbc.com, kidshealth.org, medicinenet.com, nmha.org