How to Deal with Mental Health Problems in Children

Mental Health Problems in Children

Mental illness in children does not have specific causative factors. While some children suffer mental problems stemming from their environment, others suffer mental problems from a medical condition. The behavior that children exhibit with mental illness can be alarming. Therefore sorting interventions for Irvine child mental health can go a long way in ensuring your child enters adulthood in good overall health.

Causes

Experts point toward abnormal brain activity that involves a child having abnormal levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. Abnormal levels of the two can cause mental illnesses not only in children but also in adults. Because mental illness in a child does not have one cause but a combination of things happening, the child might begin to have destructive thoughts.

Causes that might increase the risk factors for mental illness in children include:

  • Children who were born with a low birth weight
  • Children born to a mother who was below 18 years at the time of birth
  • Teenagers with low self-esteem because of poor body image 

Symptoms

If your child starts to withdraw or neglect their homework or personal hygiene, there is a problem. As a parent or guardian, be on the lookout for the following:

  • Intense irritability
  • Frequent tantrums
  • Fidgeting or hyperactivity
  • Mentioning fears and worries
  • Struggling in school
  • Compulsive behaviors
  • Sleeping more or less than usual
  • Recurring nightmares

Types of mental illnesses in children

Mental illnesses in children fall under different categories depending on how the children feel and behave. The following are the most common mental illnesses you can see in a child:

  • Anxiety disorders like generalized anxiety disorder
  • Behavioral disorders like ADHD
  • Substance use disorders like alcohol abuse

Treatments

The type of mental illness will dictate what therapists will use to treat your child’s mental illness. Although therapists encourage talking and communication between them and their patients, sometimes the condition can call for medication.

Medication treatments

Medications for treating mental illness in children address various problems that mental illness presents.

  • Stimulant and non-stimulant medications for treating disorders brought about by medical conditions.
  • Neuroleptic medications for mood disorders like aggression
  • Serotonergic medications for treating anxiety and depression

Non-medication treatments

In instances where therapists don’t use medications, they encourage treatment through verbal expressions, known as psychotherapy. Also known as talk therapy, psychotherapy falls into two divisions:

Interpersonal therapy

This type of therapy involves a therapist talking to the patient and helping them understand their problem and learn how to cope with it. The therapist explains what is happening to the child and gives solutions on how to relate with others. Although this treatment takes a couple of weeks to months, children will learn effective relationship skills.

Cognitive behavior therapy

Children with mental illnesses learn how to tone down their responses to what is happening around them. How they react to surrounding events will affect their mental status, and it is important to be in control of one’s emotions. Sessions of cognitive behavior therapy can be taught to individuals or groups.

Doctors recommend that children with mental illness have adequate sleep, eat healthy foods, and exercise regularly. In addition, their environment should be supportive, loving, and caring. The specialists and psychotherapists at the Americas TMS Center in Irvine, California, are qualified and ready to help your child overcome their illness. Call or book an appointment online for exceptional service. 

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