All parents want their children to thrive. But just like adults, sometimes young people struggle with mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. You do not hesitate to seek the help of a doctor for physical health concerns. Likewise, you should seek the help of a child psychologist for your child's mental struggles. But how can you know if your child needs therapy?
Signs Your Child Needs Therapy
There are many signs that indicate your child needs counseling. It is important to note these changes in their behavior and help them through their difficulties. The symptoms can occur from school stress, social conflicts, bullying or major life changes like moving to a new region. Kids cannot always put their problems into words. So parents must pay attention to their behavior and provide help when needed.
If your child needs therapy, this help exists for children of all ages. You should never feel alone when dealing with your child's mental health needs. This is why child and adolescent therapists exist. They can help you ensure your young person gets back on a healthier track.
Signs that your child needs therapy include:
- Changes in their eating habits
- Sleep problems
- Destructive behaviors
- Lingering sadness or worry
- Negative behaviors
- Behavioral regression
- Many physical complaints
- Fascination with death
Child Need Therapy? A Closer Look at Signs
Let's more closely explore some of the above signs indicating your child needs counseling:
Changing Eating and Sleeping Habits
Good eating and sleeping habits are essential for all-around well-being. Changes to these habits can indicate your child needs therapy, particularly if they sleep too little or show signs of disordered eating.
Destructive behaviors like self-harm or self-mutilation provide a clear indication that your child needs therapy. The same is true of substance abuse, such as drug or alcohol use. These are signs of deep pain, anger or resentment. Working with a therapist can help your child learn healthy coping skills they will use for the rest of their life.
Extreme Sadness or Worry
If he or she struggles to maintain a normal daily schedule and do the things they once enjoyed, it can indicate your child needs therapy. Some of the signs can include frequent expression of anxiety, sadness or irritability.
If he or she is behaving badly to the point that it disrupts their school performance, family life or socialization, it is likely your child needs therapy. They probably have something deeper going on, than just the surface bad behaviors. Acting out, fighting and talking back are how many kids express their emotions. Instead of getting stuck in a cycle of behaviors and punishments, consider taking your child to a therapist to get to the root cause.
Withdrawing from friends and family often indicates a problem. If your once upbeat and active loved one isolates or stops pursuing favorite activities, consider a therapist's help.
Sometimes major life events, such as the addition of a new sibling to the family or a divorce, can feel overwhelming to children. But if he or she regresses to behaviors like bedwetting, excessive fear, temper tantrums or clinging, it is possible your child needs therapy.
Having many physical complaints, such as those of frequent headaches or stomach upset, can indicate your child needs therapy. It is important to first take them to their pediatrician for evaluation and to rule out physical illness. But once it is clear that there are no physical ailments, therapy can help uncover the root cause of these complaints.
Fascination with Death
To a certain degree, all children explore the reality of eventual death, particularly after the death of a loved one or a pet. But this curiosity can become unhealthy if they repeatedly talk about dying. Expressing thoughts of suicide or killing others are also clear signs that your child needs therapy. A parent should never ignore these statements or expressions.
Do Not Feel Anxious About Whether Your Child Needs Therapy
Wondering whether your child needs therapy can certainly cause some stress. But it is important to realize that seeing a therapist is generally a step in the right direction. With therapy, you can set your fears aside and relax in knowing that your child has a safe place to express things that bother them. In fact, rarely could seeing a therapist be a bad decision.
Children sometimes need someone to talk to, besides their parents. They often also need coping skills they do not yet possess or learn through the course of daily events. Therapy provides these things for them and helps your child grow in healthier ways, than the direction they might be growing on their own.
Reasons why your child needs therapy can include:
- Dealing with chronic illness
- Parents' divorce
- Adapting to a new sibling
- Changing schools
- Moving to a new region
- Death of a loved one or friend
- Child custody evaluation
- Traumatic events or experiences
- General anxiety or depression
If you believe your child needs therapy, Greene Psychology Group in Raleigh, North Carolina provides treatment for children of all ages. Our services include child therapy, adolescent therapy and adult therapy. We also provide family counseling and marital counseling. Call us today at 919-205-5339 to schedule your child's first visit.