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Sudden Change in Your Child’s Behavior Could be a sign of Mental Health Issue

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Parenting is one of the most beautiful yet difficult roles to play. Every parent wants the best for their child, and they can go to great lengths to ensure the same. As a parent, you must refrain from being overprotective, but don’t be ignorant towards any signs of the onset of a physical or mental illness in your kid.

Studies suggest that around 25 per cent of children, as well as teens, go through some type of mental disorder in any given year. The most common mental disorders among children are depression, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), anxiety, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and autism.

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It is important as a parent to observe any change in the behaviour of your child as it could be a warning sign of a mental health issue. According to Mayo Clinic some of the warning signs in children are uncontrolled behaviour, frequent stomach pain or headache, prolonged sadness, unwarranted weight loss, disturbed sleeping or nightmares, mood swings, frequent outbursts or irritation, decreased physical activity and poor academic performance among others. If your child talks about self-harm, suicide or death then it could also be an indication of some underlying mental illness. The kids at times may also stop social interaction, their food intake goes down and they find it difficult to focus or concentrate on studies.

If you notice any of such sudden behavioural changes, it’s the time to seek professional help. You should consult a child psychologist or doctor. Be more vigilant about your child’s behaviour and talk to their teachers, close friends or cousins to learn if they have also been noticing such changes in your kid.

The diagnosis of these mental disorders involves several steps. Some of the steps include – a medical examination, assessment of physical or emotional trauma, assessment of academic history, family history of physical and mental health, review of symptoms and detailed discussions with parents, and questionnaires for children and parents, to name a few.

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