Like adults, kids can also develop the same mental illnesses, though they sometimes manifest these conditions differently. Because of that, it’s good to look out for the following warning signs in children. These signs can be changes in what they’re feeling, how they’re acting, or how they behave as a whole.

Changes in emotions:

  • Feeling hopeless or sad for at least two weeks
  • Frequent feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • More anxious or worried than normal for a child that interferes with daily life
  • Overreacting or intense anger that causes problems at home or at school

Behavioural changes:

  • Withdrawal; avoiding friends or family
  • Losing interest in something they normally enjoy
  • hearing voices that they cannot explain
  • A sudden unexplained change in eating or sleeping habits

Physical signs:

  • Sudden weight loss and frequent vomiting can indicate an eating disorder
  • Mental illnesses in children can manifest in headaches or stomach-aches
  • Self-injury or self-harm
  • Inability to concentrate or to sit still
  • Substance abuse

If you see any of the above warning signs, get help as soon as possible. A primary care doctor can refer you to a mental health specialist for your child.