Emotional Disorders In Children – Everything You Need To Know

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Does your child suffer from mood swings and behavioral issues? Are you sometimes at a loss to understand your child’s feelings and don’t know how to take care of the same? Well, if you can relate to the above situations reading this post is a good idea.

Children are emotional and sensitive beings. Inability to understand the complexities of the world and express their emotions may take a toll on them. Are you losing sleep over your child’s increasing emotional imbalance? Worry no more, just go ahead and read this post on emotional disorders in children and help him out at the earliest.

What Is Emotional Disturbance In Children?

When a child is suffering from an emotional disturbance or emotional disorder, it means that he is going through a phase of emotional anxiety. The phase can last anywhere from a few days, a few weeks, to a month or sometimes even longer. In severe cases, a child may go through an episode of emotional disturbance for many years at a stretch if he does not get any proper help.

What Are The Types Of Emotional Disorders In Children?

Emotional disorders or Serious Emotional Disorders (SEDs) is a group of psychiatric conditions. It can cause a severe disturbance in your child’s thinking, behavior as well as feelings. In severe cases, a serious emotional disorder will be classified as a mental disorder. The U.S. Surgeon General reported that one of every ten children and adolescents has an emotional or mental illness that requires medical intervention. Five percent children may suffer from Serious Emotional Disorders (SED’s) or extreme emotional impairment. [1]

Here are some of the most common types of emotional disorders in children:

1. Disruptive Behavior Disorder:

It is the most common emotional disorder in children.

[ Read: Personality Disorders In Children ]

2. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD):

If your child is suffering from the particular condition, he will have a very short attention span, may exhibit an impulsive behavior and also be over-active. He will also find it difficult to organize work or cooperate with others and follow through on requests.

3. Oppositional Defiant Disorder:

In this condition, your child may have frequent outbursts and arguments with adults or other people in authority. He may also get easily annoyed and upset with others.

4. Conduct Disorder:

Your child will continuously display behavior that is not appropriate for his age or that violates the rights of others. He may get offensive or defiant when confronted about it. Examples of such behavior could be frequent episodes of stealing, fighting and destroying property.

[ Read: Causes Of Conduct Disorder In Kids ]

5. Affective Disorders:

Such disorders will affect your child’s mood and are some of the most common psychiatric disorders in children. Affective disorders are of the following types:

Depression: If your child is suffering from depression, you may notice a significant change in his behavior. Your child may:

  • Suddenly stop talking or talk less.
  • Have no interest in eating.
  • He may want to sleep all the time, lack energy, and not want to meet friends. He may find it difficult to concentrate in class or playground.
  • He may display unhappy, irritable and pessimistic behavior along with suicidal tendency.

Bipolar Disorder: It can cause your child to exhibit extreme mood swings, from being very quiet to suddenly aggressive. Your child may be too energetic and want something to do at all times. He may not want to sleep at all, may be upset and short-tempered. His behavior may oscillate from extreme happiness to sudden sadness.

6. Anxiety Disorders:

If your child has an anxiety disorder, he will always need constant assurance from you as he may have excessive and unrealistic worries. He may have frequent headaches and stomach aches. There are primarily two types of anxiety disorders:

  • Separation Anxiety: Your child may find it extremely difficult to be away from you or the main caregiver, even for a minute or in a different room. In severe cases, your child may suffer from nightmares or refuse to go to school.
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Your child may repeatedly have negative thoughts. He may perform ritualistic actions to relieve his anxiety.

[ Read: Ways To Deal With Separation Anxiety In Children ]

Treating Emotional Problems In Children:

If the doctor diagnoses that your child is suffering from an emotional disorder, he may suggest the following:

  • Therapy – for the individual or family.
  • Special educational programs for the child.
  • Training programs that focus on development of social and behavioral skills.
  • Enrollment in special schools, hospitals or residential facilities.

[ Read: Factors That Affect The Emotional Development In Children ]

Seeing your child suffer from an emotional disorder can be very stressful for you, but remember that the condition is completely curable with timely intervention and love.

Hope by now you know how to help a child with emotional problems. Did your child suffer from an emotional disorder? What did you do to help him overcome it? Do share your experience and advice with other moms here.

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