Mental Disorders in Children and Adolescents

Mental Disorders in Children

Besides stress and depression, several serious mental disorders in children and adolescents are affecting their health and wellbeing. Chronic depression is another mental state that is found in almost more than half of the population worldwide. By the age of 14 years, half of the mental illness begins and it gets three quarters by mid-20s, and it is the leading cause of neuropsychiatric conditions that develop a disability in young people. On the other hand, mental disorders in children are the major challenges along with discrimination, isolation, stigmatization, study competition and lack of proper health.

9-17 years old are nowadays suffering from mental disorders. One in every 10 are found with mental disorder and out of all of them, only one third of them get the necessary treatment. Serious adult psychiatric issues start by the age of 14 years but they are not provided treatment from almost 15-23 years onset.

Stress and anxiety are found more in female adolescents than men. These disorders interfere with the patient’s ability to articulate and understand the health concerns and appropriately adhere to recommended treatment. Mentally ill adolescents are often observed behaving irrationally and have acting-out behaviors or substance use. It increases their risk of unsafe sexual behavior that results in STIs and STDs. Their mental illness also causes galactorrhea. Another most common illness in adolescents is mood swings, attention behavior, anxiety, and many other disorders.

Children’s behavior that is normal at a small age can lead to a serious mental disorder at an older age. The family system has a big effect on children’s behavior. Normal children living in a normal family but get troubled by the family personal issues or domestic violence or the usage of some substance can result in mental disorders in the child. Children do not have cognitive or linguistic sophistication to describe their symptoms. Thus, observation remains the only way to diagnose mental disorders in the child. Parents, siblings, and teachers play a big part in observation.

Young children can be diagnosed with mental disorders if they often talk about their worries and fears. Or if they complain about stomachaches without any medical cause, if they sleep too much or have nightmares and remain sleepy during the day. If they do not sit quietly and are always in motion. If they are observed not playing with other children and find difficulty in making friends. If they do not show interest in academics, lack concentration in studies or repeat things and actions just due to the fear that something bad may happen.

On the other hand, adolescents may be diagnosed if they show the symptom of lack of interest in things that they once used to enjoy, they have the low energy level, they start sleeping too much or too little, they start spending more time alone or start extra social activities with outsiders, they start exercising excessively or engage themselves in harmful activities like burning or cutting their skin, start consuming alcohol or drugs in large quantities or think of committing suicide.

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