Surveys have found that one out of five adolescents has a diagnosable mental health disorder. This includes major depressive disorder and severe behavior problems. Unfortunately, the truth is that less than half of these kids receive the help they deserve for their disorder; especially when there are effective treatments available to help them overcome their struggle.
With mental health disorders being so common today among children and teens, it is vital for parents to be aware of the symptoms. Because children and adolescents are so unique, their symptoms can vary from person to person. there are a few common signs, however, that a child may be in need of professional therapy. Here are a few of the signs that parents should be on the look out for:
- mood swings
- social withdrawal
- a decline in academic performance
- self-medication with drugs or alcohol
- a loss of interest in hobbies, sports or favorite activities
- sudden changes in sleeping patterns
- lack of energy
- anger or irritability
Because puberty and adolescence are naturally accompanied by a number of behavioral, social and physical changes, identifying a mental heath disorder in young people can be a challenge for any parent. Therefore, if your child displays any of the above symptoms, you should speak with a trained professional as soon as possible. If left untreated, mental health disorders can significantly damage your child’s life and wellbeing.
Remember, mental health disorders are like any other illness in that they can be treated. With the proper confidential treatment, your child can return to a healthy way of life. Young people are very resilient and can learn to avoid unhealthy thought patterns and change dangerous behaviors.