One of the worst fears of every parent is their children developing a mental illness or psychiatric disorder. While the very thought is enough to send shivers down your spine, it’s estimated that 17.1 million children in the United States have or have had some form of mental health disorder.
Being able to identify different symptoms and behavioral issues and putting a name to it can help you get proper treatment for your child. The first thing to do is to consult a good medical center pediatrics who deals in behavioral issues, such as the expert over at A Thru Z Pediatrics. The second thing to do is to learn about the types of behavioral issues that might indicate a mental health disorder.
Here are the most common behavioral red flags in children that you need to be on the lookout for:
Irregular Sleep Patterns:
Young children need around 10 hours of proper shut-eye to encourage normal functioning of their brains. If you notice your child is excessively sleepy or is unable to get a proper night’s sleep without waking up again and again, it might be time to consult a behavioral specialist. This could be an indicator of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or chronic depression among other things.
As a parent, you’re probably no stranger to tummy aches every now and then. However, frequent complaints of an aching belly—along with intolerance of food and constipation—can be a sign of underlying issues that can be either mental or physical. Research has linked gastrointestinal issues in children with anxiety and depression.
Irrational Fears and Obsessive Thoughts:
Kids who have depression or anxiety are often prone to obsessive thoughts that consume all their other interests and interfere with their daily life. For example, a child with OCD might be compelled to repeatedly wash their hands numerous times during the day.
Similarly, a child who has been stung by a bee might become deathly afraid of bees, which can put a strain on their social and emotional state. What’s important is to know all of these obsessive behavioral disorders can be treated with relatively simple methods.
Disinterested and Withdrawn:
Kids are naturally curious and passionate about things. They are also highly social and in most cases, they enjoy social interaction with their peers. However, a child who is depressed or is dealing with an internal struggle might become socially withdrawn and be unable to engage in fun activities.
They might lose interest in thing s they were once passionate about and might even suffer from crippling shyness if engaged in conversation. In such cases, it’s important to seek proper help where the child can feel safe and able to express what they are going through.
Other symptoms can include explosive anger, irrational outbursts, dark thoughts, and self-harm.
Get in touch with our expert pediatrics team at A Thru Z Pediatrics today for Behavioral treatments and proper pediatric primary care for the emotional and physical well-being of your child.