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Fortunately, more and more attention is being paid to children's mental health but, only a few decades ago it was a topic that was not even contemplated. Now we have tons of resources to help children develop adequate psychological strength and optimal emotional and mental well-being.
Psychologists are witnesses of how, in the last decade, fathers and mothers go to psychology consultation more frequently with the aim of caring children's mental health, which is sometimes threatened by different causes.
It is easier to detect what are the physical needs of a child (hungry, thirsty, cold, etc.) than emotional needs. In addition, children often do not understand what is happening to them and therefore cannot express it clearly. This makes in many cases it is not easy to identify that the child does not have adequate mental health.
Next, we detail the main reasons that can alter the child's mental health:
- Being a victim of bullying.
- Non-adaptation in the educational center.
- Witness violence in the family.
- Having been the victim of sexual abuse or having suffered physical and / or psychological aggression by their parents or caregivers.
- Not feeling loved by their main attachment figures and not receiving affection from them.
- Suffering the traumatic and stormy separation of their parents in which both have come to blows, have insulted, humiliated, despised, etc.
- Having suffered the death of a loved one or having witnessed how one of the parents has become ill (cancer, transplants, etc.).
- Being hospitalized for long periods of time due to illness.
- Have a psychological problem, a psychiatric disorder or mental illness.
- Having experienced a natural disaster situation (fires, earthquakes, etc.).
- Being subjected to continuous stress in the family due to unfavorable economic conditions (parental unemployment situation, lack of resources to satisfy basic needs such as water, food or housing, etc.).
All of these situations can threaten the child's mental health. Some children have sufficient personal resources to manage the emotions that are aroused by these types of situations without interfering with their day-to-day life and, therefore, they can continue to function in this way without any problem. However, other children, faced with these situations, see their mental health falter and what we know as 'symptoms' appear.
Symptoms give us clues that something is wrong, they alert us that something is happening. We can begin to suspect that the child does not enjoy optimal mental health when:
- Does not show interest in interacting with people around him.
- Does not establish positive relationships with his peer group or with adults.
- When there is withdrawal or social isolation.
- Alterations in sleep and eating.
- They are not curious about learning or exploring the environment in which they operate.
- He does not experience, regulate or express his emotions in an adequate way.
- Shows a behavior that attracts attention (is withdrawn, isolated or, on the contrary, is aggressive and defiant, etc.).
- Irritability, frequent displays of anger.
- Self-injures (bites, hits, scratches, etc.).
- Shows feelings of sadness or melancholy most of the time.
- You feel constantly worried, anxious.
- Repeats behaviors more common in younger children such as urinary incontinence in bed, for a long time.
- Constantly complains of headaches, stomachaches or any other type of body pain.
It is important to observe if the child shows these symptoms in all the contexts in which he develops (home, school, during leisure time with classmates, etc.) as this will determine whether or not we are facing a mental health problem.
It is important that if some of the indicators of poor mental health, which we have previously mentioned, are detected, the child is offered the possibility of being treated by a health professional. Failure to intervene or do nothing about it can aggravate symptoms and does not alleviate the child's discomfort and even aggravate it.
This would limit your right to live fully and satisfactorily. Therefore, when faced with these alarm symptoms, it is best for parents to contact health professionals (a pediatrician, a psychiatrist, or a psychologist) so that they can act to alleviate the condition. suffering of the minor.
You can read more articles similar to Children's mental health, in the category of Mental Disorders on site.