The following are some of the warning signs that a child may be struggling with mental illness.
A child is troubled by feeling:
- Really sad and hopeless without good reason, and the feelings don’t go away.
- Very angry most of the time, cries a lot, or overreacts to things.
- Worthless or guilty a lot.
- Anxious or worried a lot more than other young people.
- Grief for a prolonged time after a loss or death.
- Extremely fearful or has unexplained fears or more fears than most children.
- Constantly concerned about physical problems or appearance.
- Frightened that his or her mind is controlled or is out of control.
Experiences big changes, such as:
- Doing much worse in school.
- Losing interest in things he/she usually enjoyed.
- Unexplained changes in sleeping or eating habits.
- Avoiding friends or family and wanting to be alone all the time.
- Daydreaming too much and unable to get things done.
- Feeling that life is too hard to handle or talking about suicide
- Hearing voices that cannot be explained.
Is limited by:
- Poor concentration and can’t make decisions.
- Inability to sit still or focus attention.
- Worry about being harmed, hurting others, or about doing something “bad.”
- The need to wash, clean things, or perform certain routines dozens of times a day.
- Thoughts that race almost too fast to follow.
- Persistent nightmares.
Behaves in ways that cause problems, including:
- Use of alcohol or drugs.
- Eating large amounts of food and then forcing vomiting, abusing laxatives, or taking enemas to avoid weight gain.
- Continuing to diet or exercise obsessively although bone-thin.
- Often hurting other people, destroying property, or breaking the law.
- Doing things that can be life threatening.
- Unexplained cuts and burns.
- Extreme moods.