Common Mental Problems in Children

upsetChildren can exhibit similar mental health conditions as adults. However, their symptoms may be different. Mental illness n children can be hard for parents to identify. Parents and guardians need to know what to watch for and how they can help. It is up to the adults who are concerned in a child’s life to identify if a child has mental health issues. Unfortunately, many adults who take care of children are not aware of the signs and symptoms of mental illness in their kids.

Mental Conditions Affecting Children

Children can develop the same mental problems as adults, only that they express them differently. A good example is depression. Children with depression will often show more irritation than depressed adults. Children can experience the following mental complications;

Anxiety Disorders

Children can develop anxiety disorder such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, social phobia, post-traumatic stress disorder and generalized stress disorder. Such kind of anxiety interferes with their daily activities.

Attention-deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder

hyperactivityThis type of disorder may include symptoms that can be divided into three major categories. These include; difficulty paying attention, impulsive behavior and hyperactivity. Some children with attention deficit have symptoms in all these categories while others may exhibit signs of only one symptom.


Autism refers to a complex neurobehavioral condition that includes impairment in social interaction and developmental language. It is combined with difficulties in communication and well as repetitive behaviors. Children with autism are characterized by social-interaction difficulties, tendency to engage in repetitive behaviors and communication problems.

Eating Disorders

Children experience eating disorders such as bulimia, anorexia and binge eating. These disorders include extreme attitudes, emotions and behaviors surrounding weight and food issues. Eating disorders pose serious emotional and physical problems and can have life-threatening consequences to children.

Mood Disorders

Disruptive mood disorder is a relatively new disorder that describes children who exhibit frequent explosive outbursts and irritation. Mood disorders may be manifested in different levels of depression, bipolar disorders and other affective disorders. Children with mood disorders do not necessarily exhibit the same symptoms as adults, making it harder to diagnose such kind of disorders in children. Today, clinicians and researchers believe mood disorders in children remain one of the most under-diagnosed mental health problems in the world.

Children with mental disorders can have lower educational achievements, fewer stable placements in child welfare systems and greater involvements with criminal justice systems. Attempts to deal with mental health problems in children tend to address both the specific and non-specific risk factors and approaches centered on child’s development.

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