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5 Subtle Signs Your Child's Mental Health Is At Risk

Today, young people increasingly desire more privacy from their parents. Parents recognizing this need often grant space, thinking it promotes healthy development. Yet, this well-intentioned action can have unintended outcomes. Children often express their challenges differently from adults, sometimes struggling to verbalize their emotions accurately. Their distress signals can be subtle, including changes in behavior […]

Today, young people increasingly desire more privacy from their parents. Parents recognizing this need often grant space, thinking it promotes healthy development. Yet, this well-intentioned action can have unintended outcomes.

Children often express their challenges differently from adults, sometimes struggling to verbalize their emotions accurately. Their distress signals can be subtle, including changes in behavior like irritability, decreased interest in activities, trouble focusing, emotional outbursts, or physical symptoms like stomach aches or headaches.

Parents need to stay connected with the inner lives of their children and not dismiss the telltale signs of mental health issues as tantrums. They must take time to talk and give their children the space to express themselves at any time.

Mental health is a crucial aspect of overall well-being, while some signs of mental health issues in children may be obvious, others can be subtle and easily overlooked. Recognizing these hidden signs early on is essential for providing timely support and intervention. Being proactive in recognizing and addressing hidden signs of deteriorating mental health in children is crucial for promoting their well-being and resilience,” says Neeraj Kumar, Emotional Wellbeing Coach & Founder of PeakMind. He further elaborates on the signs indicating a child’s deteriorating mental health:

  1. Behavior change: Look for abrupt shifts in your child’s conduct, like heightened irritability, mood changes, or social withdrawal. These shifts could signal hidden emotional strain or mental health issues. Start open, supportive dialogues with your child to grasp their emotions and encounters. Encourage them to speak openly and consider reaching out to a therapist or counselor for professional guidance if necessary.
  2. Difficulty concentrating: If you observe your child having trouble staying focused on tasks they used to handle easily, it could indicate underlying anxiety, depression, or related mental health concerns. To help, establish a supportive atmosphere by reducing distractions and establishing structured routines. Encourage breaks and teach relaxation methods to assist them in coping with stress and enhancing their ability to concentrate.
  3. Changed sleep patterns: Monitor your child’s sleep habits closely for notable shifts like trouble falling asleep, recurring bad dreams, or excessive sleepiness. These changes could signal emotional stress or anxiety. Establish a regular bedtime routine and a soothing sleep setting. Encourage calming activities before sleep and minimize screen use to improve sleep quality. If sleep issues continue, seek advice from a healthcare provider for a thorough assessment.
  4. Physical symptoms: Watch out for unexplained physical symptoms like headaches, stomach aches, or fatigue, which could indicate mental health issues. Arrange a comprehensive medical assessment to rule out any medical causes. At the same time, acknowledge your child’s feelings and encourage them to seek support for their mental well-being
  5. Change in academic performance: Watch your child’s academic progress closely for unexpected drops or shifts in motivation and involvement. A decline in school performance may indicate hidden stress, anxiety, or depression. Stay in touch with teachers to understand their academic hurdles and consider getting extra help or resources, if necessary.

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Digital ageLifestyleMental HealthTDGThe Daily Gaurdian