Importance of Mental Health in Children!

In a technologically advanced world where everyone seems to be an expert in the mechanism of gadgets and digital platforms, our children are also no different. Children nowadays are not spoon-fed, rather it will be justifiable to say that they are cellphone-fed. Tiny minds are constantly indulging themselves in the alluring world of mobile screens. But the peril hidden in this is not noticeable to many. As the elders stay busy in their day-to-day hectic schedule, children are more prone to catch some sort of serious mental health disorders in such a small age.

Mental disorders in children are quite common and sometimes the symptoms are severe. One-fourth of the children and teens face some sort of mental health problem once in any given year. The most common kind of mental disorders is anxiety disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, mood swings, etc. ADHD affects school-aged children for 8-10%, Depression affects 2% during childhood and 4-7% during adolescence, affecting more than 20% of adolescents until the time they reach their adulthood. Teen-agers, more frequently than young children, addiction disorder, eating disorder, bipolar disorder, and even schizophrenia may grow and pester their minds.

Though it is not common as such, developmental disabilities like Autism Spectrum Disorder can impact for lifetime on the lifestyle of the sufferer and his/her family. Autism Spectrum Disorder is a developmental disorder that is noticed through abrupt communication, absurd social interaction, and peculiar behavioral change. Statistics about Autism Spectrum Disorder show that 1 out of 59 children gets affected by this disorder.

Children with severe mental illnesses may face some definite problems or symptoms that portray their particular disorder very well. Some symptoms are listed below:

1) Poor school performances,

2) Less concentration power,

3) Persistent boredom,

4) Frequent complaints of physical symptoms like headaches or stomach-aches or limb aches.

5) Appetite problems like eating either too little or too much,

6) Sleeping either too little or too much

7) Sleepwalking

8) Panicking or nightmares while sleeping

9) Aggressive Behaviours

10) Risk-taking behavior or careless about one’s own life. ( Example – running into the street, throwing stuff in between a fight, climbing too high, or playing with unsafe items, cutting veins, etc)

11) Numbness for a particular issue

12) Emotional breakdown or absurd emotional change etc.

This mental distress tends to have some biological, psychological, and environmental risk factors to contribute to their development. Biologically, mental illness is the result of an imbalance of the neurotransmitters in our brains that impose the excessive secretion of serotonin or dopamine in some parts of the brain or their decreased secretion in other parts. According to a source, physicians notice depression or anxiety issues more in girls than boys and ADHD, autism, etc disorders are assigned more in boys. Teens who carry mental disorders are more likely prone to have some biological risks like low birth weight, trouble sleeping, having a mother younger than 18 years old at the time of their birth.

Mental illness calls perils for the children including having poor body image, low self-esteem, self insufficiency, restlessness, a tendency to be highly self-critical, feeling helpless when negativities strike in the mind, etc. Childhood mental distress may be a reaction to the environmental stresses including going through traumas like being the acute victim of verbal, physical or sexual abuse, school problems, death of a loved one, peer pressure, bullying, mockery, etc or simply being a constant witness of the brawl between parents. Homosexual teens are more prone to develop mental health disorders in the thought of being bullied by peers or rejected by parents and society. The children in the military family face one kind of mental disorder and on the other hand, children belonging from the corporate workers face loneliness or suffocation in expressing their fears or feelings.

There are varieties of treatments available for children to overcome the difficulties of mental illness. Among them, different educational or occupational interventions, psychotherapy, counseling, or specific forms of medications are such types of remedies available in our society. There are also some specific things that families of children need to do in terms of maintaining a good environment to cure their children’s mental health. To help the treatment get more effective, families need to keep a good track of the children’s adequate sleep, proper diet, adequate exercise as well as emotional support, care, and love from the parents and teachers. It is better if guardians are recommended to make their children practice meditations regularly which can result in tremendously good in improving the mental state.

Several medications and solutions will go in vain if we do not look after our children right from the beginning. Proper guidance also indulges in the sound care of the emotional health of our children. With the ever-increasing modernization, let’s not forget the morals and values to raise a child. With acute love, patience, and education, we can give them a better future to cure the world; a world that will see the face of beautiful emotional, mental, and physical beings.

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