The mental strength and emotional ability of each one of us start at home during our childhood years. Mental health of every member of the family should, therefore, be one of the parents’ priorities. It should not be a reason for one to feel as if it is an embarrassment. Are you worried about the stigma? Ask or get help from a therapist online then. It’s as simple as it is.
Your child may be physically and intellectually excelling in school but have you checked his mental health lately? The symptoms are not easy to spot especially if the parent is uneducated about the importance of subtle signs of declining mental health. To start, here are a few warning signs that you should look for:
Sudden Mood Changes
Your child may be happy and energetic one moment then he turns irritable the next without any immediate cause. This behavior, however, should not be confused with the natural tendency of children to have tantrums.
Sudden outbursts of feelings and emotions coming entirely out of nowhere may be an early symptom of your child having a bipolar disorder. This conduct should be treated as early as possible because this may be a reason for substance abuse, aggressiveness in public, and interruption of daily activities.
Loss Of Appetite
Losing appetite can result in extreme weight loss which can give rise to different physical complications. A person who is not feeling any hunger for days may be experiencing anxiety, trauma, or extreme stress. Check if your child is experiencing any difficulty in school or maybe he has been put under pressure by peers that made him lost interest in eating.
Difficulty In Concentrating
Stress, anxiety, and other mental illnesses affect the brain negatively, and the usual first symptom of this is the loss of concentration and forgetfulness. Your child may not be as attentive as he was before.
This behavior may also stem from a lack of or excessive sleeping. Constant fear and trauma affect anyone’s sleeping pattern. Your child may only want to sleep all day to escape from something (which could be a problem in his studies or pressure from the wrong peers). Your child may be sleeping very late because of constant worry and fear.
Extreme disobedience and hyperactivity usually characterize aggression. You as the parent should notice this as soon as your child disobeys your orders. This behavior may stem from the fact that his peers are aggressive or that maybe he is a victim of cyberbullying; thus, the tendency to bully other children too.
Children with this problem should be disciplined not just in your home but also in school. Your child needs discipline right away, but it is also vital that you trace the underlying problem for such physical aggression.
Excessive Fears, Worries, And Negative Outlook
Overthinking is one of the most subtle signs of an impending mental illness. Indeed it may only be a state of mind but worrying about future and often imaginary events is a sign of an anxiety disorder.
Such worries and fears may also be related to unusual sleeping patterns, unexplained weight loss, sweating and chills, and shortness of breath. This symptom, if not appropriately addressed, will become a serious problem to your child because there’s a tendency that he will avoid ordinary and usual situations for overthinking. It will, in turn, interrupt his routine and eventually social relationships.
The first sign of this symptom is your child’s separation anxiety. True enough, it is the natural tendency of children to cry and feel anxious about getting separated from their parents, but as they grow up, they should at least show some sense of independence slowly. If this is not the case, then your child may be having some social anxiety.
This behavior should be addressed right away because social anxiety will make it hard for your child to go to school and socialize with his peers. It will be difficult for your child as he will deliberately isolate himself from people and he may become prone to bullying. If this continues, then he will not be able to enjoy normal activities that his peers are doing.
It is a given fact that kids and their parents have lesser time for each other nowadays. However, it is not enough that you only check for physical and intellectual aspects of your child during your quality time together. Better mental health, as they say, should be a foundation of a competent and robust individual in the long run.