This is a sponsored guest post.
As a parent, you want to protect your children from hardships. Mental illness can affect children just as much as it can affect adults. While it may be difficult to identify, it’s important not to ignore the signs.
If your child is suffering from a mental illness, it can hinder their development and diminish their quality of life. To ensure you can get your child the help they may need, consider these warning signs.
Pay close attention to changes in your child’s mood. If there are inconsistencies in their personality, like mood swings that last for a few weeks, they may be suffering from a mental illness.
These changes should be even more worrisome if they are affecting their relationships at school or at home. Don’t hesitate to ask about these mood changes and see a specialist if they begin to get out of hand.
You should only be worried if there is a stark contrast between how your child normally is and how they are acting now. Subtle mood changes are common and not usually a sign of mental illness.
As a parent, you become familiar with the behaviors of your child. If there are any drastic changes, you’ll quickly become aware. These changes include fighting, anger, and a desire to hurt others.
Look for signs of addiction as well. Some people with a mental illness also suffer from drug addiction, or a co-occurring disorder, as a way of coping with that mental illness.
To treat a co-occurring disorder, consider taking your child to a recovery center that specializes in this type of disorder. Since this field is so complex, your child needs a targeted treatment that attacks the relationship between addiction and mental illness.
A doctor can diagnose a mental illness based on the observation of these behaviors. That’s why it is vital to your child’s health that you don’t stay quiet. Working with a licensed professional can help your child get the support they need to recover.
Significant weight loss in a short amount of time can be an indicator of mental illness. If your child lacks an appetite, uses laxatives, or vomits to lose weight, they may be suffering from an eating disorder. If you notice these signs, consult your child’s doctor immediately and describe these behaviors to them.
Lack of Energy
If your child seems sluggish or tired all of the time, talk to them and find out what’s going on. If they can’t seem to find a reason for their exhaustion, that may point toward mental illness.
This lack of energy can make your child feel unmotivated. Decreased motivation may lead to trouble in school or problems in their relationships.
Another way to spot mental illness in your child is to look at their personal hygiene. If they don’t seem to be taking care of themselves, try and find out the reason for that behavior.
Without caring for their appearance, they may become unconfident and develop self-esteem issues. This will only worsen their symptoms if they are suffering from a mental illness.
Some children with mental illnesses engage in unhealthy coping mechanisms, like self-harm. If your child is deliberately harming themselves, seek help immediately. If you see cuts or burns on your child’s body, be extra cautious because they may begin to develop suicidal thoughts.
Depending on the severity of the mental illness, the doctor may prescribe medication or suggest therapy. It’s impossible to know what your child will benefit from until you speak to a specialist and discover the root of the issue.