3 Warning Signs to Watch for in Children

Mental health in children can be extremely difficult for parents to monitor, especially in the early stages. Although it’s more common for adults to be diagnosed with a mental health condition, it can also present itself in very small children. The only difference is that parents may bypass the obvious warning signs as it can be difficult to distinguish between normal and dysfunctional patterns of behavior.

With that being said, parents should never blame themselves. Children often lack the ability to express their feelings and communicate the nature of the problem, which is often why childhood mental health issues can be completely overlooked. Children can suffer from an array of mental health conditions including anxiety, depression and eating disorders; however, it’s all about spotting the signs early enough to pinpoint the problem and seek the right kind of help.

Below are three warning signs that parents can look out for:

1. Mood Changes

Children suffering from mental health problems often have severe mood swings which can impact their relationships both at home and in school. Also, it is important to look for emotions such as sadness and isolation over a period of several weeks. If your child is misbehaving more frequently and it is out of their usual character, it may be worth speaking to their class teacher about your concerns.

2. Unexplained Weight Loss

Many people associate eating disorders with teenagers or young adults; however, it is also extremely common in young children. In recent years, the number of children under the age of 12 who have been diagnosed has risen dramatically. If your child has had sudden unexplained weight loss or is regularly vomiting, they may be suffering from an eating disorder.

Although it can be an extremely scary thought, children that aren’t getting the correct nutrients can go on to develop problems with their growth and body developments, which is why you need to seek help — and fast. As a parent, dealing with eating disorders can be overwhelming; however, there are experts at edentreatment.com who are at hand to step in straight away. They offer a compassionate service to change your child’s relationship with food and promote a full recovery.

3. Physical Harm

The reason children choose to self-harm isn’t always evident, and on most occasions, they themselves don’t always know why they’re doing it. Research has suggested that there is a connection between depression and self-harm which is usually the main factor.

Self-harming can often be the result of bullying, divorce, falling out with friends, and in recent times, worrying about self-image. Working out whether your child is self-harming can be extremely draining, but it’s always best to keep a close eye on them if you have a feeling something isn’t right. Pay close attention to physical signs like bruising, burns, cuts and bald patches from pulling out hair.

If you’re convinced that your child is self-harming, it’s important to stay calm and approach the subject sensitively, despite your own anxieties. Try to get to the bottom of their triggers and aim to build their confidence so that they don’t feel as though hurting themselves is the only resort. If the issue doesn’t resolve itself, it would be advisable to seek professional assistance on how to tackle the problem.


  1. What an informative post! I plan to share with family and friends!

  2. Your tips are right on and to the point! When my niece first started some of the behaviors that you pointed out above, none of us really noticed it. Until she started using food as a comfort method. She started to gain weight and moping every where she went. Then I don’t know why, but I had a feeling in the bottom of my gut that something was wrong with her. I got her alone and started talking to her and asked her to take off her sweater. Well to make a long story short, she was cutting herself. We found out that she was deeply upset over her father’s murder and she wanted to die!! My daughter was excellent in how she handled this! It was really hard on her and her other kids! She had to have my granddaughter committed to a children’s hospital. She had in depth counseling and she couldn’t be released until her medicine had to be regulated. Plus it didn’t help that she was starting to get her period. Thank God for helping her and helping the doctors help her! She is a different 18 year old now and joined a gym with her boyfriend.


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