Following signs should raise a red flag among parents for the possibility that their child may have a mental health disorder.
1. Children who display severe mood swings that may be in the form of depression or withdrawal should be of concern as their behavior could lead to problems when dealing with others in the home or at school.
2. Extreme emotions that come about for no reason such as intense fear manifested by fast breathing or even a racing heart that could eventually affect how they go about their daily lives. For instance, a child may not want to go out and play because of his or her anxiety.
3. A change in a child’s behavior is another warning sign as stated in early childhood development courses. Indicators would include a sudden desire to hurt others or becoming frequently involved in fights. The need to harm others or oneself physically could bring about thoughts of suicide.
4. A child who is unable to focus on doing a task or even has difficulty sitting still may be a candidate for mental illness. If left unchecked, a child’s performance in school could suffer unnecessarily.
5. Inexplicable loss of weight because of a poor appetite is an indication of an eating disorder such as bulimia, binge eating, or anorexia nervosa. Courses in child development warn that children who become preoccupied with their weight may have problems concentrating on other aspects of their life.