Myths About Child Mental Health
Due to the stigma attached to mental health many children do not receive the care that they need. People – adults and children – are afraid to get help and feel shame about their mental disorder. Here are a few myths about child mental health disorders.
1. A child with a mental disorder is damaged for life.
Early intervention can be very effective in preventing problems from becoming worse. Managing symptoms and getting treatment will likely stop the effects and increase likelihood for success in the future.
2. Psychiatric disorders result from personal weakness.
It is definitely hard to separate out problems from a personality. Often things like ADHD and aggressiveness can be deemed as just part of one’s personality but some disorders are genetic and have biological origins.
3. Psychiatric disorders result from bad parenting.
Home environment and relationships can possibly exacerbate disorders but don’t cause them. Parents actually have the opportunity to play a role in recovery and provide support.
4. A child can manage a psychiatric disorder through willpower.
People tend to resist mental health services because they are afraid of the stigma attached to the words. Unfortunately kids don’t have the skills to handle these things for themselves, which is why they are still a problem. Getting help is a benefit and can help them in achieving coping skills to lessen the effects.
5. Therapy for kids is a waste of time.
Talk therapy might be a waste of time, but these days there are many different techniques to help children that don’t necessarily involve talking and involve children at earlier ages. Earlier interventions actually have the most impact.
6. Children are over-medicated.
Medication is not actually the norm. Only 5% of those affected by psychiatric disorder are actually medicated. If medication is effective it will be suggested, but clinicians give serious thought before turning to medication.
7. Children grow out of mental health problems.
Most children actually grow into their mental health problem instead of growing out of it. Problems left untreated affect them as they age into adulthood and may even become worse and lead to issues like substance abuse or involvement with the law.
Getting help for your child will benefit them more than waiting and hoping it will go away or resolve itself with time. Many children have mental health problems and deserve to get the help they need. 15 million children suffer from a mental health related problem – it is common and everyone deserves the opportunity to be treated no matter how old they are.
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