Mental illness is not just for adults. Children can suffer from a range of diseases, including anxiety disorder and depression. As with adults, it is important that you seek help for your child if you suspect he or she has a mental illness. Here is what you need to know about mental illness and children.  

What Are the Warning Signs?

Although the symptoms for different mental illnesses can vary, there are some warning signs that you should look for if you suspect your child needs help. For instance, if your child has a sudden decline in his or her school performance, it could be a sign that he or she needs help. Other signs to look for include: 

  • Frequent nightmares 

  • Increase in temper tantrums 

  • Sadness and irritability 

  • Constant anxiety 

  • Increasing isolation 

  • Lack of interest in activities 

  • Frequent mood changes 

  • Aggressive behavior towards others 

  • Weight loss or gain 

There are many other signs that could indicate your child is struggling with mental illness. If your child's behavior worries you, seek help. He or she can be evaluated and a determination of how to treat the illness can be made.  

Is Therapy Necessary?

For some children, there is a need for counseling to help control the symptoms of the mental illness. For instance, if your child has an anxiety disorder, counseling can help him or her learn ways to deal with the anxiety he or she is feeling and determine healthy ways to deal with stress.  

You can help your child be successful in therapy by offering your support to him or her. Part of that is encouraging your child to talk about what he or she is experiencing. Keeping communications open can help you pinpoint changes in his or her emotions that might indicate a more serious issue. It also helps your child to know that he or she has the support needed to handle the illness.  

Family therapy might also be in order. During therapy sessions, you can learn about communicating with your child and get a better understanding of what he or she is going through. The family therapist can also help you, your child, and other family members identify ways to deal with the illness.  

Mental illness can take an emotional toll on your child. The sooner you get help for him or her, the better he or she will fare. Seeking treatment is one of the most important steps you can take towards helping your child towards recovery.