As a parent, you can manage many phases of a child’s life. There are phrases, however, that need to be addressed by someone other than a parent or doctor. Here are 7 signs your child needs a psychologist.
Mental problems are real and can affect anyone of any age, even children. Children are just as susceptible to mental problems, from depression to anxiety as adults. Although you may be close to your child, it is possible for them not to share everything. This is where the child therapist steps in. Accepting that they need help is important and giving them the chance to be heard is also essential.
You may be wondering if your child needs therapy if they show personality changes. Sometimes these changes are a result of a trauma experience. Other times, they may appear out of nowhere. These changes, regardless of their cause, are something you should be aware of. They can help you decide if and when your child needs counseling. Continue reading to discover 7 signs your child needs a psychologist.
7 Signs Your Child Needs A Psychologist
1. Defiant behavior
If your child is having problems with their behavior both inside and out of the home, this could be a sign that they need counseling. Many children express emotions through negative behaviors, like arguing, acting out, talking back, or fighting with friends.
Before you discipline them, think about whether talking to a psychologist may be a better solution. These responses may be more frequent than normal. Pay close attention. This is often your child asking for help, without you even realizing it.
Stay connected with teachers and parents who interact with your child every day when it comes to school and activities outside the home. Let them know that you are concerned about your child’s behavior and let you know if you notice any unusually defiant behaviours.
2. A sudden shift in their usual interests and habits
As with the behavior shift, any changes in your child’s daily interests or habits could indicate that they may need counselling. Most often, it is easy to notice and most likely the most helpful sign.
Consider scheduling a visit with your child’s physician if these changes persist for more than two weeks. If they suspect emotional stressors, they might be able to point you in the right direction.
3. Excessive worry and sadness
The most obvious and direct sign that your child needs help is excessive worrying and sadness. Although worrying and sadness are normal emotions, especially during times of transitions in life, excessive worry and sadness should be considered a sign that your child needs help.
You may not know if your child is getting bullied or going through school problems, grief, or any other emotional situation because children try to keep these things to themselves as they feel embarrassed. But, as a parent, you can always figure it out as these things lead to unusual anxiety, excessive sadness, loneliness, crying, or worrying.
Regressions can occur when a sibling is born or when there are major life changes. It occurs for seemingly no apparent reason is worth looking into. These are some of the most common signs that your child might need counseling.
- Bedwetting when you are already night-trained
- Frequent temper tantrums
- Clinginess and separation anxiety
- Fearfulness and excessive anxiety
- Language regression (using baby talk)
5. Social isolation
Isolating from peers, surroundings, and maybe from the parents too, is always a sign that something’s not right. You should also notice your child withdrawing from social situations.
Children often withdraw from social situations when they are anxious or sad. If this happens on a consistent basis and begins to affect their interpersonal relationships, it is time to realize that it could be more than a sad day.
If your child is shy or introverted, this may be a sign that they are socially isolated. These are some ways children can socially isolate themselves when they are unhappy.
- Lunch alone
- Avoid playdates and other social events
- Lack of motivation to leave the home for any reason
If you can’t figure out the reason for their sudden isolation by yourself, don’t hesitate to refer to a therapist.
Last but not least, if your child has any thoughts or feelings of self-harm, you should seek immediate help. Sometimes, this may be subtle and accompanied by feelings of helplessness and loneliness. Sometimes it’s more obvious and can be recognized through suicidal thoughts or cutting.
For younger children, suicidal thoughts or cutting might seem extreme. However, self-harm can be expressed in many different ways. Self-harm in young children can be expressed by hitting oneself, slamming one’s head against something, and digging into one’s skin. You should immediately take note of any self-harm behaviors and seek help for your child.
7. Increased physical complaints
Sometimes mental issues in children manifest as physical symptoms such as stomachaches and headaches. After you have checked with your healthcare provider for any medical issues, the next step is to see a mental health professional.
There are some life experiences that are difficult, stressful, and emotional. Talking to someone professional could be a benefit for your child.
Give Your Child the Help They Deserve
It is normal for children to feel confused, sad, or frustrated in difficult situations. However, they might not have the necessary coping skills to deal with these emotions. Children may have difficulty facing stressful situations and life changes alone. Consider getting extra support if your child seems to be having trouble coping with major life changes, such as a divorce, moving, changing schools, death, a new sibling, or even a breakup. These were 7 signs your child needs a psychologist.
Helping your child shouldn’t be difficult or emotionally draining. Dr. Neha Mehta focuses on those in vulnerable communities and those who may not have the opportunity to get the support they need. We also offer individualized child counselling.
You can help your child get the counseling they need as soon as you recognize the signs. You can be certain that you’ll know what to watch out for in regards to your child’s mental and emotional health.