Many people only think of psychiatric problems as being an adult phenomenon, but making this mistake can delay the help your child desperately needs. There are several issues your child may experience that can indicate taking them to a psychiatrist might be the best approach.
Some children experience behavioral problems early on, or this may be a new problem that surfaces. These problems can range from frustrating to dangerous. One example of a behavioral problem is a child who is frequently angry and often erupts into severe anger, such as displaying tantrums, throwing items, or hitting other people (even adults). You may notice the child continues to display this extreme response, even after frequent explanation and help to show them how to act appropriately. In severe instances, you may notice your child physically abuses other children, especially their siblings, harms animals, or even seems to be obsessed with fire-starting. Some children with severe behavioral problems may even use a weapon on other children or adults.
Any physical illness should always be evaluated by your child's pediatrician, but even after a thorough evaluation, physical symptoms can persist that do not have an underlying cause. When physical symptoms do not have a rational physical cause, they are considered psychosomatic. Children experiencing trauma, anxiety, or depression may have many physical symptoms. Stomach aches and headaches are common, especially when a child is trying to avoid school due to bullying or underperformance. Stress and anxiety can also produce symptoms akin to a panic attack, such as chest pain, profuse sweating, or even fainting.
Unusual behavior can be any number of problems that seem abrupt and out of character for your child. One example is the development of bed-wetting. After your child has successfully been potty trained and can wake up during the night to go to the bathroom when needed, it is unusual for a child to regress back to bed-wetting. Another concern can be the persistent presence of an imaginary friend. Young children frequently create an imaginary friend, especially if they are lonely, but they are aware this friend does not truly exist. It is concerning when the imaginary friend is persistent, especially if your child says their friend instructs them to do things.
Some issues in childhood are easy to excuse as being normal behaviors and changes children go through. In some instances, speaking with a child psychiatrist can be the best course of action to identify problems and diagnose early-onset mental illness. If you think your child needs psychiatric services, reach out to a psychiatrist, such as Les Linet MD.Share