Your child and Mental Illness
An estimated one in five children and adolescents suffer with a mental illness! Children as young as toddlers have been diagnosed with some forms of mental illnesses. For most parents it's hard to believe that their child/children are suffering from an "invisible" disease! But there are signs to watch for and if you're a parent its imperative that you get your child the help they need at an early stage!
Here's a staggering fact - 90% of adults who suffer with a mental illness showed warning signs during their childhood years - Just imagine where we could be as a society if everyone received help in their childhood years!
The signs of a potential mental illness varies from child to child based upon their age and the nature of their affliction but there are a couple of major signs that are re-occurring that could lead you to get the help your child needs at an early stage.
1) "Out of character" behavior that is not consistent with the age and/or gender of your child, e.g. a new-found hyperactivity, aggression towards others or if they have become sullen or withdrawn.
2) Sudden "off the wall" behavior, e.g. a significant drop in grades or troubles at school!
Many studies have shown that a child with mental illness exhibits one or both of these behaviors. Recognizing it in the early stages may help to keep the problem from becoming a major issue in your home. If your child is experiencing either of these behaviors seek help from your doctor immediately. Ask for a referral to a local mental health professional - getting help in the early stages is key to minimizing the impact the illness has on your child!
For a more complete list of signs to watch for - go to my recent blog at www.anxietydepressionandbipolar.com. It could make a big difference in your child's life.