Contrary to popular belief, mental illness is pretty common amongst children. According to a report, almost one child amongst four tends to suffer from this issue.
Usually, anxiety is considered to be the primary factor affecting the mental health of children. However, other issues, such as depression and ADHD, can be pretty common too.
But, which factors contribute to such an alarming issue amongst the youth community? Let’s learn more exclusively about it.
1. Contributing Factors
As per a report, the children’s mental health generally does not get disturbed due to a single issue. There can be more than one problem they are dealing with when they start getting mentally disturbed. So, learning about the common ones meticulously becomes imperative for every concerned parent. Otherwise, dealing with it would be quite difficult.
- Low Self-Esteem: Almost every child tends to be a little bit behind their peers in some aspects, such as studying or playing. So, if you don’t encourage and uplift their mood, they might get depressed. Low self-esteem, if not dealt with carefully, can affect one’s future pretty massively.
- Family Feud: Although this topic is usually avoided, family problems, especially ongoing feuds between the parents, can affect their child as well. It might have an even bigger negative effect on the mental health of children if they have to experience their parent’s breakup. How much grief is dealt by the person who can either make or break their future? So, the parents need to be extremely careful on how they are dealing with their own problems when their children are present with them.
- Not Feeling Loved: Everyone wants to feel loved, and children are not quite different in this regard at all. However, if you are a working parent, then it might not be possible for you to give your child enough attention. This, in turn, may affect a child’s mental health and cause bouts of depression as well. The child, who feels loved and cared for, tends to feel safer and more comfortable in almost every aspect and will have higher self-esteem as well.
- Negative Physical Health: One’s physical health plays a huge part in managing their overall mentality. It is quite common for a child to be depressed and anxious if they are too short or obese. Some physical issues, such as brain injury or birth trauma, are also considered as the prime factors affecting a child’s physical health. So, as a parent, you will need to take a concerning look at these aspects as well.
- Experiencing Abuse: Abusing children has become quite common in the 21st century. Such children are more likely to encounter mental illness or disorder at a very young age, which may affect their future direction. Abuse can be psychological, physical, sexual, or verbal. Although the first three do sound more concerning, the last one can also be quite damaging if you don’t know when to stop. Otherwise, it may lower the esteem of your child and make them less confident. They may avoid doing various activities, such as playing, going out with friends, etc. due for this very reason.
2. Common Types of Mental Illness in Children
Usually, depression is known to be one of the most common factors affecting children’s physical health. However, there are some other concerning issues that may contribute to your child’s negative well-being. These are –
- Anxiety disorder (can be caused by extreme abuse or low self-esteem)
- ADHD (a type of behavior disorder)
- Eating disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Schizophrenia (pretty rare)
- Autism (extremely rare)
The symptoms of children’s mental health issues are pretty noticeable. If you see your child doing any of the following, be sure to visit a doctor as soon as possible.
- Performing poorly at school despite being a decent and studious student
- Being bored persistently and not working on any child-like activities
- Complaining about stomach aches and headaches frequently
- Losing appetite or refusing to eat anything you ask them to eat
- Having nightmares frequently
- Starting the habit of sleepwalking all of a sudden
- Having problem with sleeping properly
- Wetting the bed all of a sudden although they have not done the same in several years
- Behaving aggressively, even when a parent is trying to talk calmly
- Performing various risk-taking behaviors (such as running through the street, trying to climb higher than usual, engaging in too many physical altercations, etc.)
- Hurting themselves intentionally (moderately or severely)
- Throwing tantrums all the time or becoming too clingy to only one parent
There are several direct and indirect factors affecting the mental health of children. So, as a parent, you will need to be extremely careful about them and treat your kid as carefully as possible. Otherwise, it may change their overall behavior, which, in turn, might affect their future pretty drastically. Also, be sure to visit a doctor if you notice any of the symptoms we have mentioned above.