How to cure children mental health problems

 

Poor mental health can affect the way people think, act, and feel. Taking care of your child’s mental health is as important as taking care of their physical health. Just because mental health issues are not visible to the eye- it does not make them non-existent. You, as a parent, can play a significant role in improving your child’s mental health.

Statistics show that one in ten children and youngsters are affected by mental health problems. These issues are inclusive of anxiety, depression, conduct disorders, and impulse control disorders1. More often than not, these issues are developed as a response to their surrounding event. 

Shockingly, 70% of children and teenagers who go through mental health issues have not received any treatments for their problems1. It is estimated that 9.8 million Indians in the age range of  13-17 years are suffering from severe mental health issues 2. Moreover, WHO reported that in 2012 258,075 Indian students had committed suicide3. These figures show that the impact of mental illnesses is far more than society can imagine, and the awareness about the seriousness of these illnesses is not adequate. 

Things that help develop a mentally healthy child:

As science suggests, a healthy mind leads to a healthy body; a healthy body similarly leads to a healthy mind. Therefore, ensuring your child gets access to nutritional food, a balanced diet, and is physically active can help your child be mentally active.

If a child is given the freedom to make his own decisions, even for as little as choosing their time to play builds strong decision-making skills and resilience to deal with any consequences they face due to their decisions.

Giving your child authority to present their opinions helps them gain confidence in their stand about their likes and dislikes. This also gives them certainty that their parents support them with their thoughts.

Ensure enough admiration, validation, safety, and understanding is given to your child and that they are aware of it. When providing online counselling your child with these values, remember to deliver it how they want to receive it and not the way you want to show them.

Engagement is vital; however, over-engagement can put you in a bad light as it may seem that you are keeping tabs on your child and therefore questions your trust.

Teach your child to ‘accept’ themselves just the way they are and show them that their flaws do not matter to you as well.

Child behavior to look out for:

  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Trouble adjusting or being fixated in one place or position.
  • Repeats actions with constant checking of things out of fear.
  • Has recurrent stomach and headaches (with no known cause)
  • Shows fewer interests in activities
  • Afraid to go to school

Highly common mental health illnesses developed in children and adolescents are anxiety disorders, ADHD or other behavioral disorders, impulse control disorders, mood disorders such as depression and substance abuse. There is a 15-20% lifetime prevalence of anxiety disorders in children4. A wide range of anxiety disorders such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Phobia, etc., share similar features of depressive conditions and adversely affects a child’s academic performances, relations with family, and enjoying hobbies 5.

How can you help your child if you think they may face any such issues?

  • The foremost thing is to openly communicate with your child and allow them to share their thoughts and feelings with you without being judged.
  • Meet with your child’s tutor or supervisor to review their behavior within classrooms and during playtimes
  • Speak with your child’s paediatrician to discuss any unusual behavior.
  • Consider talking to a mental health therapist with the expertise to help you and your child in dealing with the ongoing difficulty.

A therapist will conduct standardized assessments with your child and provide you with a diagnosis that helps you move forward. Apart from the assessments, the therapist may schedule interviews with the parents to understand the dynamics of the family in a better way.

WANT TO GO FOR ONLINE THERAPY?

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How to cure children mental health problems

Reference

References

1 https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/ Children-and-young-people

2 Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. National Mental Health Survey of India; 2016.  Available from: http://www.indianmhs.nimhans.ac.in/Docs/Summary.pdf .

3 World Health Organization. Preventing Suicide: A global Imperative. 2012

4 Beesdo K, Knappe S, Pine DS. (2009) Anxiety and anxiety disorders in children and adolescents: developmental issues and implications for DSM-V. Psychiatry Clinical North America, 32(3):483-524.

5 Creswell C, Waite P, Cooper PJ. (2014). Assessment and management of anxiety disorders in children and adolescents. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 99(7), 674-678.

6 https://childmind.org/2015-childrens-mental-health-report/

 

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