7 Warning Signs Of Mental Illness In Children And Adolescents
Warning signs that your child may have a mental health disorder include:
– Persistent sadness — two or more weeks
– Withdrawing from or avoiding social interactions
– Hurting oneself or talking about hurting oneself
– Talking about death or suicide
– Outbursts or extreme irritability
– Out-of-control behaviour that can be harmful
– Drastic changes in mood, behaviour or personality
What should I do if I suspect my child has a mental health condition?
If you’re concerned about your child’s mental health, consult your child’s GP. Describe the behaviours that concern you. Talk to your child’s teacher, close friends, relatives or other caregivers to see if they’ve noticed changes in your child’s behaviour. Share this information with your child’s doctor.
How do health care professionals diagnose mental illness in children?
Mental health conditions in children are diagnosed and treated based on signs and symptoms and how the condition affects a child’s daily life. To make a diagnosis, your child’s GP might recommend that your child be evaluated by a specialist, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, clinical social worker, psychiatric nurse or other mental health care professional.
The evaluation might include:
– Complete medical exam
– Medical history
– History of physical or emotional trauma
– Family history of physical and mental health
– Review of symptoms and general concerns with parents
– Timeline of child’s developmental progress
– Academic history
– Interview with parents
– Conversations with and observations of the child
– Standardised assessments and questionnaires for child and parents
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