As a parent we are face many challenges. Worrying that our child may have a mental health disorder can absolutely be one of them. All children are sad, irritable, anxious, or excitable sometimes.
Many others have problems sitting still, paying attention, or interacting with others on occasion. So how do you decide if the behavior that is concerning you means that your child may have an issues from a bad or good day?
Looking at how frequent a behavior happen, how long it lasts, or the intensity of the mood, or behavior can assist you to recognize if it is a problem. When problems happen for more than a few weeks, and interfere with your child’s capaability to function, or be successful at home or school, you should probably be concerned.
In addition, if your child’s moods, or behaviors begin interfering with their capability to create or keep friends, or function throughtout daily activities, it is probably time to find out for help or additional information.
It can also be helpful to look at general developmental milestones for your child’s age-group, to get a feel for how they are doing, but it is oftentimes good to just go with your gut! If you continue to be concerned about your child, there is probably a great reason, and it is worth getting it checked out.
As a parent, it can be hard to understand what’s normal in child development and what isn’t. Here are a few examples of signs and symptoms that may indicate a need for mental health care.
Frequent extreme tantrums
Children will not normally come right out, and tell you they are feeling very anxious. Severe anxiety will always manifest itself through behavior. For example, frequent and extreme tantrums before, or during age-appropriate activities at home, or in public, may be a sign and symptoms that your child is experiencing severe anxiety.
If a kid is compelled to perform repetitive rituals to create intense fears go away (such as locking and unlocking the doors many times, touching parts of their body in a certain order, or repeatlly washing their hands), or they insist you participate in these rituals with them, they may need assist with an obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
When it comes to conditions such as speaking in public, we can all get a little nervous sometimes. But, when social activities trigger physical illness, or severe emotional distress or tantrums, a kid may attemp anything in their power to avoid social events. Their fear of not pleasing people, of not fitting in, or of potentially embarrassing themselves may be so overwhelming they cannot interact in an age-appropriate manner throughtout everyday social interactions.
Many kids go through periods when they are fearful of new people or places, or they are fear of being alone. However, separation anxiety disorder can be marked by great emotional distress, when faced with separation from a parent, even if the parent simply walks into the next room.
Some kid may also experience signs such as dizziness, stomach aches, headaches or other physical signs when faced with separation. If the signs are extreme or continue for a prolonged period of time (4 weeks or more), it may be time to find help.