Mental Illness In Children: 17 Potential Warning Signs

Mental Illness In Children: 17 Potential Warning Signs

The fate of our future rests on our children’s shoulders.

That seems like a lot of responsibility to place on kids, but it’s true. As the next generation, the future of our world will depend on the type of environment our children create.


As parents, it goes without saying that we should do everything we can to help our children be healthy, balanced, happy individuals who take these characteristics with them into adulthood. As the number of children battling with mental health issues steadily rises, dedicating extra time and energy to this mission becomes increasingly important.

In honor of Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week 2017, your online counselor is dedicating this week’s blog post to discussing the important topic of children’s mental health. Keep reading to learn more about some of the various warning signs that may indicate that your child is at risk for developing a mental health condition.

Note: Please be aware that while the following are examples of warning signs children may display when they are at risk of developing a mental health disorder, they are not a guarantee. It is possible for children to display these signs and symptoms without being at risk for becoming mentally ill or unstable – especially if they are experiencing a significant life change, such as moving to a new state or navigating their parents’ recent divorce. If you are concerned for your child and would like to receive additional support or information, please contact your doctor or an experienced children’s mental health counselor.

Mental Illness In Children:
17 Potential Warning Signs

Your child may be at risk if she…

  1. Is experiencing severe and lasting changes in mood, demeanor, or personality.
  2. Is avoiding friends and/or family.
  3. Is injuring or attempting to injure herself.
  4. Is having consistent nightmares.
  5. Is consistently lacking motivation and energy.
  6. Is experiencing sudden changes in sleep patterns.
  7. Is displaying intense emotional outbursts, such as anger or fear.
  8. Is experiencing drastic differences in diet, such as eating significantly greater quantities or starving herself.
  9. Is excessively disobedient.
  10. Is extremely hyperactive.
  11. Is rigidly attached to certain bizarre routines and repetitive behaviors.
  12. Has become overly obsessed with her appearance or weight.
  13. Suffers from ADD or ADHD.
  14. Struggles with low self-esteem.
  15. Appears consistently sad or depressed.
  16. Becomes uncommunicative and/or withdrawn.
  17. Has recently displayed a significant drop in GPA.

What To Do As The Parent

Perhaps the greatest challenge with children’s mental health is learning to effectively identify when your child is in need of professional help and when she is simply going through a phase. 

Children change often (and sometimes quite rapidly) as they grow and mature. It probably won’t help your child much if you rush her to the doctor every time you notice a change in her regular patterns, but it is important for you to trust your instincts. If you believe that a certain “phase” has persisted for too long or if you are concerned that your child may be displaying warning signs of a deeper problem, it is important that you seek professional help immediately.

Finding A Children’s Counselor You Trust

If you are looking for a children’s mental health counselor that you can trust, I would be honored to get to know you and your child. I have worked with several children over the years, and I have a special passion for helping young people lead healthy, happy, balanced lives.

If you are in need of an online mental health counselor for your child, I would love to speak with you. Give me a call at (248) 730-5544 to begin the conversation.



Samantha M. Ruth, Transformational Psychologist
Online Therapy… Your Therapy, Your Way!

Call: 248-730-5544
Samantha@NeverGiveUp.Care

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Located outside of Michigan? Contact me via Better Help.

By | 2018-10-08T15:44:52+00:00 May 2nd, 2017|