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Special Needs

Child and Teen Mental Health - What to Look For

You may have a young child with mental health challenges – or you may have someone else in the family with a mental health diagnosis.

With support and treatment, children can manage mental health issues and also recover.

Though families may feel vulnerable to judgments that can come with a diagnosis, mental health issues are not rare.

Signs and symptoms of mental health challenges across childhood:

Young Children

  1. Changes in sleeping or eating habits.
  2. Intense worry or anxiety.
  3. Hyperactivity.
  4. Frequent nightmares.
  5. Frequent acting out or disobedience.
  6. Frequent temper tantrums.

School-Age Children and Pre-Adolescents

  1. Poor appetite.
  2. Frequent outbursts of anger.
  3. Prolonged negative mood.
  4. Changes in sleeping or eating habits.
  5. Difficulty coping with problems and daily activities.
  6. Intense fear.
  7. Many complaints of physical ailments. It can be difficult to know what is going on, and a health care provider can help you figure that out.
  8. Changes in ability to manage responsibilities – at home or school.
  9. Defying authority.
  10. Substance abuse.
  11. Theft or vandalism.

Young Adults

  1. Growing difficulty coping with daily problems and activities.
  2. Social withdrawal.
  3. Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits.
  4. Confused thinking.
  5. Prolonged sadness or irritability.
  6. Feelings of extreme highs and lows.
  7. Intense fears, worries, and anxieties.
  8. Strong feelings of anger.
  9. Unusual thoughts (delusions).
  10. Seeing or hearing things that aren’t there (hallucinations).
  11. Suicidal thoughts.
  12. Many complaints of physical ailments.
  13. Substance abuse.


Parents and caregivers – we hope you find what you’re looking for here. Whether it’s tips on sleeping, feeding, developmental milestones, or many other topics, we have information for you! Visit again soon, as we update these tips often.




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