Practising in the field of child psychiatry in Mumbai, have noticed many psychological problems which can be seen in children.
Children can suffer from the following psychiatric illnesses:
Children with anxiety disorders respond to certain things or situations with fear and dread, as well as with physical signs of anxiety (nervousness), such as a rapid heartbeat and sweating.They may refuse to interact with other children or avoid going to school.
Disruptive behavior disorders:
Children with these disorders tend to defy rules and often are disruptive in structured environments, such as school.
Pervasive development disorders:
Refers to a group of conditions that involve delays in the development of many basic skills, most notably the ability to socialize with others, to communicate, and to use imagination. Children with these disorders are confused in their thinking and generally have problems understanding the world around them.
Eating disorders involve intense emotions and attitudes, as well as unusual behaviors, associated with weight and/or food.
These disorders affect behavior related to the elimination of body wastes (feces and urine).
These disorders involve persistent feelings of sadness and/or rapidly changing moods. Depression is very common in children and often ignored. It can at times lead to suicide in children and adolescents.
This is a serious disorder that involves distorted perceptions and thoughts.
Tic disorders :
These disorders cause a person to perform repeated, sudden, involuntary and often meaningless movements and sounds, called tics.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental-health condition that has characteristics of difficulty concentrating, controlling impulses, and/or excessive activity.
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Symptoms of Mental Illness in Children
Children’s symptoms vary depending on the type of mental illness, but some of the general symptoms could be seen as :
Changes in school performance, such as poor grades despite good efforts
Abuse of drugs and/or alcohol
Inability to deal with daily problems and activities
Changes in sleeping and/or eating habits
Excessive complaints of physical ailments
Defying parents or teachers, skipping school, stealing, or damaging property
Intense fear of gaining weight
Persistent negative moods, often accompanied by poor appetite and thoughts of death
Loss of interest in friends and activities they usually enjoy
Significant increase in time spent alone
Excessive worrying or anxiety
Persistent nightmares or night terrors
Persistent disobedience or aggressive behavior
Frequent temper tantrums
Hearing voices inaudible to others or seeing things that are nonexistent
Any child psychiatrist would treat children having psychological problems by,
1. Psychological assessment by Psychological Testing
2. Medical testing
Appropriate to child’s age and condition
4. Psychotherapies / Counselling