Recognizing Mental Health Illness In Children

Mental illness is more common within children and young adults than most may realize.

For children, the signs of mental illness are not simply derived from disobedience, and it can be difficult for parents and adults to identify the difference. Because mental health issues are not addressed with children as much as they are with adults, they are often not recognized or treated.

Mental illness has often had a stigma and a label that many parents struggle with.  But often, something like a learning disability can be detected and treated and get your child on track.

If you believe your child or family member is suffering from a mental illness, do not hesitate to come into our office in Aliso Viejo. We would be happy to address your concerns and help your child develop a healthy life both mentally and physically. Our primary care physicians are dedicated to continually improving the health and lifestyle of your whole family.

Children can experience mental health problems just as much as adults, but they do not express symptoms in the same way.

Here are a few signs to look for if you think your child might be suffering from a mental illness:

Intense Emotions

Is it a tantrum or trauma? It is normal for children to act out when they are upset, so it can be difficult determining whether wild mood swings are behavioral or something more. If your child is experiencing moments of very intense feelings, it is important to acknowledge the severity and length of these feelings. If their emotions and actions are extreme enough to where it is affecting their normal behavior inside and outside of the home, it is time to look deeper into the behavior.

Difficulty Concentrating

While children are known for being filled with energy and jumping from one thing to the next, a lack of concentration can still be a sign of something more serious. Whether it involves making simple decisions or finishing homework, many children with a mental illness or learning disability experience this symptom. One of the easiest ways to identify this sign is through their performance in school or extracurricular activities.

Maintaining Social Relationships

Social relationships are extremely important to a child’s growth and development. Building strong relationships from a young age will affect the way they interact with others and with themselves in the future. For both children and adults alike, a lack of deep friendships and support can be detrimental to their mental health as they go through life. If you begin to notice your child is losing interest in spending time with friends, it is worth bringing up to understand why.

Young children often lack the vocabulary and vulnerability to explain their concerns with you. Therefore, it is essential to understand what the red flags are and how to provide them with the best help possible.

At South Coast Medical, we are have been serving families in Aliso Viejo and surrounding communities for 20 years. We are committed to helping all patients through every stage of life. Some of the things we help with are learning disabilities and ADD or ADHD.   

Our Primary Care Service helps families from Southern Orange County with every type of health issue, mental or physical. We help patients achieve optimal mental health through advice on healthy behaviors and habits. Learn more about our primary care service here.