Parenting is already the ultimate challenge…and then add to that challenge concerns about your child’s mental health. Studies indicate that up to three-fourths of children experiencing mental health issues do not receive the recognition and care they need to most effectively function.
Here are a few signs that might indicate that you should take your child to a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist for evaluation.
- Sudden, extreme change in mood or behavior There are times when each of us may experience some level of mood swing or change. However, consistent extreme changes in mood or behavior that interfere with one’s ability to maintain relationships are worth noting and exploring.
- Consumed by overwhelming, unexplained fear(s) Sudden, overwhelming fears that overtake your child and interfere with his or her ability to function normally in daily activities is reason to take your child for a psychiatric evaluation.
- Not eating, vomiting after eating, or binge eating Unhealthy relationships with food are nothing to brush past or overlook. The damage involved with eating disorders can be far-reaching and is better treated when addressed sooner than later. If you notice your child displaying signs of an eating disorder, get help soon.
- Desire attempts or plans to harm oneself or others Expressed desire, attempts or plans to harm oneself or others are a very clear sign your child should see a board-certified child or adolescent psychiatrist right away.
- Repeated use of alcohol or drugs While it is not unheard of that some children and teens experiment with alcohol and drugs, repeated use of such is a clear sign of issues. A thorough psychiatric evaluation can help you get intervention for your child before the issue is even more deeply rooted.
- Bouts of sadness or depression, lasting longer than 2 weeks Occasional sadness for a child or adolescent is not unusual, but when such behavior is displayed for more than two weeks at a time, it might be a good idea to get help from a mental health provider to assess the seriousness of the withdrawal or depression symptoms.
- Difficulty concentrating It is one thing to walk into the kitchen and forget why you were headed that way. However, some people have such difficulty concentrating, they put themselves in physical harm’s way or risk failing at school because they cannot hold their train of thought.
If your child or adolescent is displaying any of the aforementioned signs, please don’t hesitate to contact help. At New Horizons Center for Healing, we offer child and adolescent psychiatric evaluations as well as child and adolescent counseling services. Schedule an appointment to explore your concerns and determine what help might be most effective for your child.