Does My Child Need Therapy
Warning signs of a distressed child
Is this a normal child reaction: Should by child still be upset?
If you’ve found yourself asking any of these questions, you’re not alone. While defining the term “normal” can be difficult when used to describe people, there is a range of behaviors and responses that are expected, and when your child’s response does not seem typical, questions can arise.
A U.S. Surgeon General’s report indicates that one in five children and adolescents in the United States have a mental disorder that interferes with daily functioning. Yet less than one in five of these youth receive the mental health services they need. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, www.samhsa.gov).
In deciding if your child would benefit from mental health services, it is important to remember that children and adolescents can have a range of normal reactions to every day life, negative incidents and trauma. However, when you notice reasonable symptoms continuing for seemingly longer than normal periods of time, excessive symptoms or significant changes in behaviors, you may need to seek professional help.
Consider seeking professional help if your child is:
- Excessively withdrawn or depressed
- Excessively worried to the point that focus or daily tasks become affected
- Unresponsive to positive interactions or avoiding invitations from others to be involved
- Extremely irritable or increasingly aggressive with others
- Actively using drugs or alcohol
- Reporting hallucinations (audio, visual or tactile)
- Reporting loss of time or memory gaps
- Consistently engaging in risky behavior despite potential harm to self
- Reporting thoughts of killing themselves or others
- Paranoid that others are out to get him/her and their family
- Displaying any significant change in behavior or mood
This list is not all-inclusive, but does provide some indicators of potential mental health needs.
What to do?
If you have any concerns about your child’s emotional and psychological well being, please seek professional help. At FCS Counseling, we offer a variety of services for people ages two to 100. Your questions do not have to remain unanswered. We are here to help.