Parents often overlook mental health issues in children as it is hard to notice or realize that your child is in any distress or trauma. It is as common for children as it is for adults to experience mental health issues. It hampers a child’s concentration in studies, academic performance, socialization abilities and personality development.

 As a parent, one must be aware of the signs of depression in children and consult mental health specialists for guidance. It is also beneficial for school teachers to know about the signs of mental health problems in children in order to help them. The following article will delve deeper into the various common indications of mental health issues in children. 

Mental Health Disorder

Mental health denotes an individual’s overall thinking, feelings, and behavioral patterns. Any anomaly in ways of thinking, feeling and behavior might indicate a person is suffering from mental health disorders. It can affect anyone at any point in time and needs proper attention.

Children who suffer from mental health issues display behavioral changes, changes in thought process, lack of emotional control and lack of social involvement. These changes make children detached from family and social life. They struggle to make friends and participate in academic and extracurricular activities. 

Reason for Delayed Treatment of Children’s Mental Health Problems

Children’s mental health problems are hard to detect because children go through multiple behavioral changes while growing up, and the symptoms of specific disorders might not be distinctive enough to be noticeable. Moreover, younger children often cannot convey if they are facing any trauma or depression, making it even more difficult for parents to know about any mental health problems of their child. 

Additionally, lack of awareness and social stigma surrounding mental health issues also prevent parents from noticing and taking suitable action to help their child suffering from mental illness. On the other hand, the affordability of treatment is an added concern for most parents.

Warning Signs of Mental Health Problems in Children

Certain typical behaviors would inform parents that their child might be suffering from mental health problems. Some of the most common disorders and their symptoms are:

1. Anxiety Disorders

    Anxiety disorders are typically defined as uncontrolled fear or worries or constantly having negative thoughts about the future. Constant negative thoughts are generally known as obsessive-compulsive disorder. Some of the common symptoms are lack of concentration, inability to sleep, eating more or less than usual, losing temper easily, unusually tense or fidgety, becoming extra clingy to parents, experiencing health issues like headache, stomach upset, and so on. 

    These conditions prevent children from concentrating on academic or other constructive activities and hamper their social skills. Parents must not avoid such symptoms and need to attend to them by providing considerable time for home counseling or seeing a mental health professional as soon as possible. If left unattended, the symptoms will further aggravate, leading to graver consequences. 

    2. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

    This is one of the most common disorders in children, and its symptoms manifest before the age of six. Children mostly show signs of inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness. Some of the common symptoms are an inability to concentrate on school work, making silly mistakes, forgetfulness, an inability to stick to complex and time-consuming tasks like mathematics, and an inability to pay attention. 

    Apart from these, a child also displays signs of hyperactivity, like excessive talking and physical activities without considering the surrounding situations. Reading books on teaching strategies for parents can help parents navigate the parenting challenges of children with ADHD.  

    3. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

    ASD is a neurological disorder that is manifested in early childhood before the age of three. In this condition, children are unable to create social contact and are more clingy to people they are familiar with. The level of autism varies greatly, and the spectrum is extremely broad. Some of the common behaviors are limited interest and repetitive actions, inconsistent eye contact, having an unusual voice, talking at length on their favorite topic without considering the interest of the person they are talking to and so on. If you notice similar traits in your child, you must seek immediate medical help. 

    4.  Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

    Children who face extreme violence, physical and mental abuse, trauma or injuries are likely to develop PTSD later on. Some of the symptoms of PTSD are anxiety, long-term depression, scary nightmares, and so on. PTSD can be cured by home counseling or professional counseling. 

    5. Schizophrenia

    Schizophrenia affects people during their late teens through their 20s and is often hereditary. People afflicted with this disorder hallucinate, causing them to lose contact with reality and see or hear unreal things. Children usually display aggressive behavior and are agitated most of the time. 


    There is a range of mental health disorders in children; some are severe, such as autism and schizophrenia, and some are manageable, like ADHD and PTSD, at the initial level. To help your child out of these disorders, parents must provide time and attention to identify such traits and seek timely treatment. 

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    Eliana James (Tracy)

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