As children return to school, mental health experts are encouraging parents to inform themselves about mental health among children and adolescents.
The National Institute of Mental Health points to research suggesting mood, anxiety and psychotic disorders can have onset in childhood, and people who suffer from social phobia, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and other conditions showed signs before they were 24 years old.
NIMH reports children and teenagers may need help if they present these warning signs:
Often feels very angry or very worried
Can’t sleep or eat
Is unable to enjoy pleasurable activities any more
Isolates her/himself and avoids social interactions
Feels grief for a long time after a loss or death
Uses alcohol or drugs
Exercises, diets and/or binge-eats obsessively
Hurts other people or destroys property
Has low or no energy
Smokes, drinks, or use drugs
Feels like he or she can’t control own emotions
Has thoughts of suicide
Harms her/himself, such as cutting or burning her/his skin
Thinks his or her mind is controlled or out of control
They also point out that mental health problems can be treated, and they recommend looking for more information here.