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The mental health of our children is an  important concern for us all. The fact is, many mental disorders have their beginnings in childhood or adolescence, yet may go undiagnosed and untreated for years.

Emotional disorder is a mental disorder that greatly disturbs one’s emotions. Brain abnormalities are not the reason for Emotional difficulties in children. Here, emotions and thoughts are adversely affected. There are psychological changes in child’s mind.

Emotional difficulties in children is a condition showing multiple symptoms over a long period of time that it starts affecting their studies, social skills and interest in normal routine.

  •         An inability to learn – Unable to recall things learnt recently
  •         Lack in building satisfactory interpersonal relationships with friends, family members and teachers.
  •         Inappropriate behavior or feelings under normal circumstances.
  •         Persistently staying unhappy or depressed.
  •         A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems

Symptoms in children with emotional difficulties

  •         Anxiety
  •         Depression
  •         Bullying
  •         Seizure
  •         Abuse
  •         Exam Phobia

These emotional difficulties further lead to some specific conditions:

  •         anxiety disorders
  •         bipolar disorder (sometimes called manic-depression)
  •         conduct disorders
  •         eating disorders
  •         obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  •         psychotic disorders

All young children can be mischievous, wicked and impulsive, which is perfectly normal. However, some children have extremely difficult and challenging behaviours that are outside the norm for their age. For some children, such behaviour difficulties become a pattern that can include acting impulsively, reacting with aggression, refusing to follow reasonable directions, and defying adult authority.

These behaviour difficulties interfere with children’s social and academic development and can have serious consequences for their mental health.

Children with behavioural difficulties show following signs:

  •         Anger : They are extremely angry, beyond their age, over normal issues or under normal circumstances
  •         Hyperactivity : Kids who are overactive move their bodies many a times and brain slows down its functioning
  •         Tamper-Tantrum : From whining & crying to screaming, hiting, kicking, & breath holding
  •         Rule Breaking : Rebellion behaviour that seeks attention by not doing what is asked to
  •         Conduct related issues : Serious behaviour like bullying, threatening others, being cruel, stealing or having destructive thought that raises alarm among parents, friends and teachers
  •         School refusal : Refuses to go to school, to even leave the house. Throws tantrums, meltdowns, being loud or screaming

It is important to understand what’s normal and what’s out of space. Children start to act to cope-up with any sort of stress. Parents must observe their behaviour closely and support them during their stressful time like exam failures, death of someone in the family, bitter arguments. If the behaviour doesn’t improve, parents must seek professional help to understand the condition.

Commonly known disruptive behaviour disorders in children include

  •         Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) : Stubborn, rebellious, and hostile toward friends, parents, teachers. Arguing a lot with elders, shows aggressive behaviour
  •         Conduct disorder (CD) : Children with the conduct disorder find it difficult to follow rules and unable to behave in a socially acceptable way. Their behaviour gets aggressive, decitful or destructive
  •         Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) : Negligence, day dreaming, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. moves a body a lot, trouble in sitting still or following directions.