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Mental illnesses in children

Mental illnesses that can not be cured are devastating medical problem. Apart from adults children can also suffer from mental illnesses. In fact, around 20% of children in the United States each year get diagnosed with certain severe mental illness.

Mental Illness in Children

Mental health problems in children can be quite difficult to diagnose. This is because children normally go through different mental, physical and emotional changes during their development thus abnormal changes can not be easily identified.

Children can be affected by different types of mental health problems due to numerous causes. Doctors can diagnose these illnesses in children on the basis of changes in the child’s behavior, moods and thinking. Given below are the most common mental illnesses in children.

Most Common Mental Illnesses in Children

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

This is one of the most common disorders in children and may persist into adolescence and adulthood. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a mental illness characterized by difficulty in concentrating and paying attention, impulsiveness, restlessness, forgetfulness, daydreaming and impatience. Symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder usually first appear between the ages of 3 and 6.

Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD)

Pervasive developmental disorders are a group of conditions that affect a specific region of the brain and cause problems with communication and social interaction. PDD includes autism, Asperger’s syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, Rett syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified. These mental disorders are incurable but do not shorten lifespan of the affected child.

Tic Disorders

Tic disorders are mental problems that cause a child to exhibit persistent tics. Tics are repeated, involuntary and sudden movements or sounds. They can affect part of the body such as the face, hands and legs. Common tic disorders are transient tic disorders and Tourette’s syndrome.

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders in children are common and treatable conditions with appropriate medical care. These mental illnesses cause feelings of fear, worry and nervousness, rapid heart beat, sweating, nausea and headache. These symptoms typically appear as a reaction to certain situations, objects or places. Anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, separation anxiety disorder, specific phobias, social phobia, obsessive compulsive disorder, selective mutism and post traumatic stress disorder.

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a severe mental illness characterized by distorted perceptions and thoughts. Fortunately, this mental disorder is rare in children comparing to adults. Schizophrenia affects actions, emotions and social interaction of the person. It is incurable but symptoms can be reduced with antipsychotic medications.

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