Mental illness in children: Know the signs – Mayo Clinic News Network

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Pocket
WhatsApp

Find out about COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccines, and Mayo Clinic patient and visitor updates.
Featured conditions
Mayo Clinic offers appointments in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota and at Mayo Clinic Health System locations.
Children can develop the same mental health conditions as adults, but their symptoms may be different. Know what to watch for and how you can help.
Mental illness in children can be hard for parents to identify. As a result, many children who could benefit from treatment don’t get the help they need. Understand how to recognize warning signs of mental illness in children and how you can help your child.
Mental health is the overall wellness of how you think, regulate your feelings and behave. A mental illness, or mental health disorder, is defined as patterns or changes in thinking, feeling or behaving that cause distress or disrupt a person’s ability to function.
Mental health disorders in children are generally defined as delays or disruptions in developing age-appropriate thinking, behaviors, social skills or regulation of emotions. These problems are distressing to children and disrupt their ability to function well at home, in school or in other social situations.
It can be difficult to understand mental health disorders in children because normal childhood development is a process that involves change. Additionally, the symptoms of a disorder may differ depending on a child’s age, and children may not be able to explain how they feel or why they are behaving a certain way.
Other factors might also prevent parents from seeking care for a child who has a suspected mental illness. For example, parents might be concerned about the stigma associated with mental illness, the use of medications, and the cost or logistical challenges of treatment.
Mental health disorders in children — or developmental disorders that are addressed by mental health professionals — may include the following:
Warning signs that your child may have a mental health disorder include:
If you’re concerned about your child’s mental health, consult your child’s health care provider. Describe the behaviors that concern you. Talk to your child’s teacher, close friends, relatives or other caregivers to see if they’ve noticed changes in your child’s behavior. Share this information with your child’s health care provider.
Mental health conditions in children are diagnosed and treated based on signs and symptoms and how the condition affects a child’s daily life. To make a diagnosis, your child’s health care provider might recommend that your child be evaluated by a specialist, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, clinical social worker, psychiatric nurse or other mental health care professional. The evaluation might include:
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), a guide published by the American Psychiatric Association, provides criteria for making a diagnosis based on the nature, duration and impact of signs and symptoms. Another commonly used diagnostic guideline is the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) from the World Health Organization.
Diagnosing mental illness in children can take time because young children may have trouble understanding or expressing their feelings, and normal development varies. Your child’s health care provider may change or refine a diagnosis over time.
Common treatment options for children who have mental health conditions include:
You will play an important role in supporting your child’s treatment plan. To care for yourself and your child:
There is a problem with information submitted for this request. Review/update the information highlighted below and resubmit the form.
Sign-up to get Mayo Clinic’s trusted health content sent to your email. Receive a bonus guide on ways to manage your child’s health just for subscribing.
ErrorEmail field is required
ErrorInclude a valid email address
To provide you with the most relevant and helpful information, and understand which information is beneficial, we may combine your email and website usage information with other information we have about you. If you are a Mayo Clinic patient, this could include protected health information. If we combine this information with your protected health information, we will treat all of that information as protected health information and will only use or disclose that information as set forth in our notice of privacy practices. You may opt-out of email communications at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link in the e-mail.
Our e-newsletter will keep you up-to-date on the latest health information.
Please try again in a couple of minutes
Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission.
Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic Press.
Any use of this site constitutes your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy linked below.

A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. “Mayo,” “Mayo Clinic,” “MayoClinic.org,” “Mayo Clinic Healthy Living,” and the triple-shield Mayo Clinic logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.

source

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Pocket
WhatsApp

Never miss any important news. Subscribe to our newsletter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.