Mental health issues in children under 16 is on the rise and this is really scary to see and think about. It is said 1 in 10 children have a diagnosable mental health disorder. That means 10% of boys aged 5-10 are suffering and this rises to 13% of boys between 11-16 year olds.
so what are the early signs?
- difficulty at school
- child is becoming a bully or hitting
- child is attempting to self-harm (biting self or banging head against wall/floor as hard as possible etc)
- your child won’t interact with friends or family members.
- frequent mood swings
- child experiences extreme outbursts of fear or anger
- child lacks energy and motivation
- They can not concentrate for more than 3 minutes
- bad sleeping habits (not sleeping all night/lots of nightmares)
- suffers from a lot of complaints (illness that not actually there)
- child obsess about their weight, appearance, shape
- eating more or less than usual
What can we do?
Well now you know what the early signs of mental health issues are in children we can take action. Let your parent radar tell you when something just is not right and take your child aside. Talk to them and get them to open up about how they are feeling. If it is a serious enough do not hesitate to speak to a professional about it they are there to help.
how can you help them at home?
With young children watching them struggle can be heart breaking but there are ways we can help them understand.
- You can find stories to read to them about situations and how they maybe feeling.
- Talk to them just the two of you to prevent a feeling of being overwhelmed.
- Reassure them, let them know they are not alone and not abnormal.
These are just a few ways that you can help a child understand what they are going through is an illness not something that can’t be treated.
You got a diagnosis but that is just the beginning
So you been fighting a while now and finally got a diagnosis, but what do you do now?
Well you now know how to take this a step further and get the help your child will desperately need. Don’t let the radar stop though because your child will have good and bad days. You just need to learn the signs of a bad day and learn to respond to it in a calm manner.
Ok so I am not saying this is going to be an easy thing this is the biggest and scariest rollercoaster of your life. I will be honest it will take it toll, you may want to hide away yourself as the pain of watching your child deal with this is hurting. Yet you must not do this. You must look after yourself your child needs you. If you are not at your best how can you be there 100% for your child at their most needed time. Make sure you eat well, talk together and get rest.
want to know about a book review I did recently that does more than it is designed to? A book that helps children understand some things are not as scary as once thought. see my post here