There’s a lot that we have to do as parents to keep our kids safe and help them grow up. However, recent studies are showing that parents now have to guard against the biggest invisible threat facing Americans today, Mental Health.
Yeah, sometimes my kids are scared or sad, but is there really a problem?
“In 2019 over 600 million children ages 6-17 required medication to treat their mental health conditions.“
Mental health isn’t new. The conditions, sadness, anxiety, depression, ADHD, ADD, all of it isn’t new. In many cases, the numbers are growing because we are finally accepting that the issue is more prevalent than we thought. The stigmas are going away and people are getting help. Although, there is still a looming fear of the growth of anxiety rates. The number of individuals diagnosed with depression has grown significantly over the past years. Psychologists suggest that new academic competition and hyper-connectivity from devices like cell-phones and social media are leading to inferiority complexes and an ever expanding heap of chaos which children are sorting through.
BREAK DOWN THE FACTS . HOW MUCH IS MENTAL HEALTH A PROBLEM FOR CHILDREN?
Wow, that is more than I thought, so what should I be watching for?
Well it depends, each mental health issue can manifest itself differently. What may appear as impulsivity could be the result of ADHD. Sometimes untreated anxiety coupled with ADHD can lead to early childhood development of depression.
Here are the main things to look for that tell you when you may want to seek help or work more closely with your child:
Warning signs include:
- Drastic changes in mood, behavior or personality
- Signs of self-harm (bruising or scarring) or talking about self-harm
- Emotional outburst or consistent irritability
- Out-of-control behavior
- Difficulty sleeping
- Persistently avoiding social situtations
- Persistent high and low moods (Mania followed by depression)
- Talking about death or suicide
- Loss of appetite or sudden high volume eating
- Loss of weight
- Consistent sadness over a period of two or more weeks
- Challenges when concentrating
- Changes in academic performance
What conditions could these be a sign of
- Eating Disorders
- Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
- Other mood disorders
- Other Mental Health Conditions (However, most others rarely occur in children)
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