There are times, as parents, when we question if something is “normal” or a “phase. It is important to have information that can help you determine if there is a cause for concern and the need to seek treatment. The mental health warning signs in children can vary, but will often be some form of:
- Mood changes…. more than typical for your child and larger highs and lows.
- Difficulty concentrating. …this is not ADHD or “not liking school”. This is often due to other thoughts getting in the way.
- Changes at school…this could be in attendance or friend group.
- Intense feelings….sometimes this could be excitement or passion. Not having the ability to connect intense feelings to something could be a concern.
- Increased aggression….frustration is often a sign that your child could be struggling with something.
- Physical harm….reacting physically (to self or others ) is usually a sign that all the other coping skills are not working.
- Unexplained weight loss….changes in eating patterns can be intentional or a sign of depression.
- Substance abuse….while some experimentation can be normal. Mood altering substances are often an escape from something.
You are not over reacting when you are concerned about possible mental health warning signs in your child. Seeking an objective look can calm or validate your concerns and set your child up for success.