Your child and Mental Illness

Last Update: August 28, 2014

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and/or gender of your child, e.g. a new-found hyperactivity, aggression towards others or if they have become sullen or withdrawn.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.

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rvallerand Premium
The main reason I joined wa is so I can eventually work from home due to my teenage daughter who suffers from severe depression. Unfortunately, it runs in the family. I have her in a partial inpatient treatment center at this time an am already skating on thin ice at work due to missed time recently because of her struggles. Its nice to know I'm not alone!
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KevinYoung Premium
You're not alone Rocco, Not by a long shot! Here if you ever need to talk,
Regards,
Kevin
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JessicaN Premium
Thanks for the article, Kevin.Definitely an under-studied area.

Many do not realize that a great number of "mental illnesses" are treatable through proper nutrition, a discovery made by the late psychiatrist Dr. Abram Hoffer, He also worked with Linus Pauling to educate people about the importance of nutritional health. Since both he and Pauling are now dead, it's hard for them to stand up to the pharmaceutical industry.

I once attended a seminar about ADD and ADHD given by a supposed "expert" in her field. I was appalled at the number of synthetic components she advocated for the diets of these people. I, as a layperson, was far better informed! (My own daughter was able to diagnose the source of her own "off the wall" behavior by the time she was four - sugar intake.)

There's unfortunately a lot of money to be made through misinformation, intentional or otherwise.
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KevinYoung Premium
An excellent point Jessica! Proper nutrition is essential and should be the first line of defense in our battles. Thanks for commenting,
Regards,
Kevin
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JessicaN Premium
Thanks for a good article, Kevin!
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Max69 Premium
Hi Kevin, I love this posting. I am 63 years old and have suffered from bipolar disorder most of my adult life. It took years of experimenting with various medications until my current doctor found the perfect combination seven years ago. Since that time I've been symptom free for the most part, but have a few relapses of both depression and mania. I, personally, appreciate the fact that you are spreading the word about mental illnesses. It is so important to detect the signs early and seek immediate help. Otherwise the suffering goes on way too long. By the way, I clicked on the link to your website, but I was unable to connect. The error message says "server not found." I would love to see your website so that I can share it with others and help you spread the word.
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KevinYoung Premium
I fixed the link - I'm sorry - I had spelled bipolar wrong -I'm dyslectic at times. I would appreciate your feedback with my bipolar information. My son and I both have anxiety and depression issues but I have no firsthand experience personally - just a friend who's daughter is bipolar and I would love a firsthand review. Please do share my feedback has been good so far. There is even a spot to sign up for my blog newsletter too. Many thanks Terry!
Regards,
Kevin
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Max69 Premium
I will definitely sign up for your newsletter and keep in touch. I give you any feedback that I think might be helpful. Again, keep up the good work in spreading the word!
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Max69 Premium
OMG, what a beautiful website! It's going to take me some time to go through all of that info, but I'm very interested in doing so. I'll get to it as soon as I can.
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KevinYoung Premium
Thanks a million!
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CarlaIves Premium
Thanks, Kevin. I raised four kids with varying degrees of mental illness, three of whom were diagnosed as toddlers which wasn't even allowed here at the time. I'm batting about 50%. Two have benefitted from treatment, two have not. They are all functioning adults, holding down jobs and such, but it's very difficult for two of them. It was a hard road growing up, but they did it with a lot of hard work.
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KevinYoung Premium
Hi Carla,
Wow you are a trooper! Four children with mental illnesses - I have one and some days are tough! Keep encouraging your two who still battle their illness. It takes some people a long time to find the right meds and/or therapy to win the battle...Don't let them give up. With your wisdom Carla - I would love for you to be a guest blogger on my website - send me a blog and a photo through a PM and if you would like I will post it for you - maybe parenting children with mental illnesses would be a great blog entry. What do you think? Have a peek. www.anxietydepressionandbipolar.com
Regards,
Kevin
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CarlaIves Premium
Keep me in mind for the future, Kevin. Right now, with WA Bootcamp and a few other things, plus my 3 part-time jobs, I really don't want to take on anything else. But I will definitely think about it for when things aren't so hectic. I'm flattered to be asked.
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tonyaboggs Premium
Thank you for this post as a child I had server depression and it took my mom a long time to realize it. Not that shes a bad mom she just didn't know the signs. I feel that there should be more education on such information on children.
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KevinYoung Premium
I agree and having gone through both myself and with my youngest - I too know there is a need to get this information out there. Thanks,
Kevin
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