Is It Age-Related Behavior or Mental Illness Symptoms?
Sometimes we don't know if a child's behavior is age-related or a mental illness (Brain Disorders: Mental Disorders vs. Behavioral Disorders). For example, how do you know if your two-year-old is hyperactive or just high-energy? Yet according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, half of all chronic mental health conditions manifest by age 14, and three-fourths by age 24. In this video, I discuss the difference between age-related behavior and mental illness symptoms.
There is a lot of controversy about diagnosing children with mental illness. I went through a period of time at age 17 when I was suicidal. That is not normal age-related behavior, nor were the auditory hallucinations I was having. Comparing my symptoms to the behavior of my peers might have gotten me into therapy earlier.
Also, while some disorders can only be diagnosed in adulthood, that does not mean children can not display mental illness symptoms--they're just too young for a formal diagnosis.
When considering whether a behavior is age-related or mental illness-related, ask yourself, "Is this normal for this age?"
Trust your instinct. There's a big difference between adolescence and the onset of schizophrenia.
Childhood Mental Illness Symptoms Should be Diagnosed
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Oberg, B. (2017, February 28). Is It Age-Related Behavior or Mental Illness Symptoms?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, June 4 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/recoveringfrommentalillness/2017/02/is-it-age-related-behavior-or-mental-illness