Many parents tend to dismiss signs that their children are suffering from psychological disorders. Some dismiss the signs as a stage of development while some assume their children are looking for special attention. You may want to believe that your child has no emotional issues but ignoring signs of a disorder makes it worse. Here are some clear signs that your child needs immediate therapy.
1. Acting Out
It is normal for kids to act out when they want something from you or after correction. However, if your child’s behavior changes suddenly, you need to pay attention. One clear sign of an emotional disorder is constant conflicts with peers, teachers, and family members. Your child is looking for a way to release the negative emotions inside. Before you punish your child, check the circumstances around him or her that may have led to depression. For instance, many children act out when their parents fight or divorce.
2. Change in Eating Habits
Children change their eating habits when stressed or depressed. Your child may start overeating or refuse to eat even his or her favorite food. He or she may suddenly gain or lose weight because of the new eating habits. Watch out for signs of eating disorders such as rushing to the bathroom after every meal. You may notice that your child prefers junk food to healthy foods, which leads to obesity. Some children become obsessed with losing weight or looking a certain way when depressed.
3. Alcohol and Drug Abuse
Children and teenagers sometimes turn to alcohol and drugs when depressed. It may take time for you to notice that your child is abusing any substance because he or she will cover it up. Look out for constant excuses to come home late or stay in his or her room all day. Any strange smell, breath, or mood swings should alert you to possible drug abuse. Others signs of drug abuse include dizziness, excess appetite, sleepiness, irritability, red eyes, and lack of coordination among others. You need the counsel of the best psychiatrist in NJ to help your child overcome drug or alcohol abuse and deal with the underlying emotional issues.
4. Playing Video Games all the Time
If your child insists on staying in his or her room playing video games, he or she is running away from something. He or she may refuse to join the rest of the family for meals or even do his or her homework to play games. The child will forego all other activities to play games or sleep. Check the nature of games that your child plays all day. Playing violent games day and night is a clear sign that something is wrong with your child.
Your child may not come to you for help when suffering from depression or stress. The signs outlined above indicate an underlying issue that needs therapy. Do not live in denial or wait until the signs get worse. Seek help immediately after noticing any sudden changes in your child’s behavior, eating, and sleeping habits.