One of the aspects of children’s health has been overlooked for quite some time. For many years, pediatricians didn’t consider the significant importance of a child’s mental health. Maybe simply because of a lack of understanding, or perhaps a lack of motivation in that it was necessary, regardless of the reason there was a time that a large majority of pediatricians did not place as much of an emphasis on a child’s mental health as they did their physical health.
In the past, very often children who suffered from mental issues such as anxiety, depression, or a mood disorder, were simply dismissed. These problems weren’t considered valid or legit in that the child would simply “grow out of them.” Occasionally a parent would send a child to a child psychologist, but these problems were not taken as seriously in children as they were adults.
How serious is a child’s mental health?
As reported by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 5 children in the United States from the ages of 3 to 17, have a mental, emotional, or behavior disorder that is diagnosable; those numbers are contributable to about 15 million children. An astonishing 80 percent of children are not diagnosed nor receive treatment. It is of immense importance that children’s mental health be addressed as a preventative measure to worse mental states as they develop and mature.
Out of the leading causes of death, suicide is the second-most common in children, teenagers, and young adults from the age of 5 to 24 years old. If a child is known to suffer from certain mental or emotional problems while they are young, this can be closely monitored as they mature and grow to ensure that said problems don’t further develop with age and cause long-term depression or emotional unstableness.
While adolescents already have a lot to cope with from changes in hormones to dealing with insecurities and encountering certain emotional situations for the first time, adding that on top of an existing anxiety or depressive disorder can be potentially fatal if not properly addressed and dealt with. Seeking help from professionals in mental health counseling in Carrolton may be a viable choice for your child to help them cope and ensure their mental health is in check.
Times have changed
The times have changed now in terms of what pediatricians are focusing on, as with the shortage of child psychiatrists and psychologists, many pediatricians are taking on those roles in caring for children and their mental health. While many pediatricians used to rarely see a child for a mental health issue, with the realization of the importance of this aspect, they now spend a decent percentage of each workday immersed in analyzing and helping children with said issues.
Many pediatricians are recommending that a child is screened for depression from the age of 12. As much as we think we know our children, there are many hidden symptoms that even as a parent is unrecognizable. The best decision is to not take chances when it comes to your child’s mental health. If you think your child could potentially be suffering from depression or be at risk for thoughts of suicide take note of any of the following symptoms:
- A change in their sleeping or eating patterns
- Frequent sadness
- Withdrawal from family, friends, or regular activities
- Frequent complaining in regards to physical ailments such as headaches, stomachaches, lethargy, etc.
- A noticeable decline in school performance
- Any sort of frequent reference or unusual focus on death or dying
While it is amazing that pediatricians are changing their focus and starting to prioritize and realize the importance of children’s mental health, once diagnosed, seeing a specialist at a child-counseling center in Carrolton is the best option for that child.
If your child is suffering from any sort of emotional traumas, odd mood swings, or feelings of sadness, depression or anxiety, contact us here at Lifeworks today to schedule a consultation.