Signs of Mental Illness in Children

Are you wondering how to determine the signs of mental illness in children? As a parent or guardian, we all know when a child is sick or not feeling well. However, identifying mental illness symptoms in children can be very difficult until you take the time to learn the signs. Clinical studies have proven that child mental disorders exist in up to 8% of the population. Further research has identified that the signs of mental illness in children is rising each year. It is essential to be aware of any changes in the child including extreme anger, caution, depression, or anxiousness. Unexpected changes in the behavior of your child can be one of the first signs of mental illness.

Child mental illness can be a disruptive factor at home, in school, and in social circles. Without the proper treatment, child mental disorders will lead to other problems down the line including failing out of school, problems with drugs or alcohol, isolation, violence, and possibly even suicide. Fortunately, help is available if you notice any of the signs of mental illness in children.

signs of mental illness in childrenThere are specific signs of mental problems that can be picked up on if your child is suffering from a mental illness. It is extremely important, however, to distinguish between whether or not the actions the child is exhibiting are caused by child mental illness or if they are just part of growing up. You don’t want to make any young person feel like there is something wrong with them if what they are experiencing is perfectly natural.

Signs of Mental Illness in Children: Preschool

  • Problems behaving in a normal manner
  • Restlessness or hyperactivity
  • Inability to sleep
  • Constant nightmares
  • Extreme anxiousness or crying
  • Excessive aggression or disrespect for authority
  • Regular temper tantrums

Signs of Mental Illness in Children: Grade School

  • Unusually high amounts of fear or overwhelming worry
  • Uncontrollable hyperactivity
  • Rapid decline in performance at school
  • Giving up on friends or interests
  • Large fluctuations in weight
  • Sleep habit changes
  • Obvious depression
  • Hearing voices
  • Hallucinations

Signs of Mental Illness in Children: Adolescence

  • Damaging or destructive behavior
  • Attempt or threatens to leave the home
  • Isolation from friends and family
  • Openly talks about causing harm

If you notice any of these signs of mental illness in children, it is imperative to the safety of your child that you contact a licensed mental health professional for assistance. Remember to not make the child feel as if they are doing something wrong. They cannot help what they are experiencing. The mental illness children experience can be lessened in severity if the symptoms are caught early on. Mental health problems can be treated and managed when identified. It is when they are ignored that real problems occur. It is up to you to identify the signs of mental illness in children.