Lifeline Connections

Children and Mental Health: Why It’s Important to Have a Treatment Plan

Mental health disorders can be experienced by everyone no matter their race, gender or age – including children. Many people are reluctant to diagnose young children. There are some who might think that what we are diagnosing are really just normal behaviors exhibited by children. However, these disorders have symptoms that are extreme manifestations of what is considered normal and can be very debilitating to young children and impair their ability to perform well in school, socially and at home.

Common symptoms

One of the most common and controversial diagnoses for a child is attention deficit hyper attention disorder (ADHD). Often people say that inattention and hyperactivity are natural parts of being a child and growing up. While this is true, the variety of manifestations of inattention and hyperactivity varies greatly. Children who are diagnosed with inattention and hyperactivity have to have a number of symptoms that manifest themselves enough to impact that child’s day-to-day experiences significantly. For example, in extreme cases a child showing hyperactivity related to ADHD might exert themselves until they cause harm or pass out. There is neurological evidence that those with ADHD have trouble inhibiting themselves.

Benefits of early diagnosis

The earlier that ADHD is evaluated and the sooner children are put on a treatment plan, the better it is for their futures. Children are also most often diagnosed with learning disabilities like dyslexia – the most common learning disability. Learning disabilities characterized by trouble in certain fields like math or writing have nothing to do with a child’s motivation or intelligence. Research has attributed learning disabilities to poor connections in the brain that inhibit a child’s ability to learn and make connections the way that other children do. These children often benefit from specialized education geared towards their specific learning style helping them develop skills they can use in areas they are struggling in. It is important to help children who are suffering from learning disabilities and ADHD.

The risks without treatment

Often not understanding why they have more trouble than their peers, children with learning disabilities can become frustrated, angry or sad. Because of this, learning disabilities can put children at risk for other mental health disorders later in life like depression and anxiety. Finding the proper support and understanding can help children lead successful lives. Joining clubs, teams or recreational activities that your child enjoys can help them build confidence and teach them that their learning disability doesn’t have to interfere with their happiness. There are many different routes to combat mental health disorders and each patient is different; therefore, it is beneficial to find a therapist and medication that works for your specific needs and mental health.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health disorder like depression or anxiety, please feel free to contact the professional team at Lifeline Connections for help. Getting help whether it is through self-help or by reaching out to professionals is an important part of recognizing the struggle and is a good step forward. You can visit or call 360.397.8246 for more information.

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