The Mayo Clinic with funding from the feds (SAMHSA) has weighed in on the issue of early recognition and intervention for possible symptoms of mental disorders by issuing a list of warning signs that should be seen as red flags by parents –Culled from a Mayo study of 6000 child/teen cases of various disorders.
Here’s the list….
If your child has any of these 11 warning signs, he or she may have a mental health disorder and should be referred to treatment as soon as possible:
- Feeling very sad or withdrawn for two or more weeks
- Seriously trying to harm or kill themselves, or making plans to do so
- Sudden overwhelming fear for no reason, sometimes with a racing heart or fast breathing
- Involved in multiple fights, using a weapon, or wanting badly to hurt others
- Severe out-of-control behavior that can hurt the teenager or others
- Not eating, throwing up, or using laxatives to lose weight
- Intense worries or fears that get in the way of daily activities
- Extreme difficulty in concentrating or staying still that puts a teenager in physical danger or causes school failure
- Repeated use of drugs or alcohol
- Severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships
- Drastic changes in behavior or personality
According to Mayo…”This data substantiates what we already knew, that there are warning signs of significant mental illness, but children and adolescents aren’t getting help because health care providers don’t share the same language,” said Dr. Abigail Schlesinger, medical director of outpatient behavioral health services at Children’s Hospital Pittsburgh.
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