Being a parent is one of the most enriching experiences of a human being , but it can also be a very stressful situation, especially the first time. Any physical symptoms (sneezing, coughing or fever) can force you to go to the doctor as soon as possible. Unfortunately, physical problems or illnesses are not the only concern of parents who, above all, want their child to develop healthily.

When should I take my child to the psychologist?

The psychological problems or mental disorders must also be taken into account at an early age, because effective treatment at this age will positively condition a child’s future. However, if the problem is allowed to go untreated, the consequences can be negative and the symptoms can become worse over time.

Early diagnosis and treatment are important

But, how do you know if your child needs to go to the psychologist or another mental health professional? Are there signs that can alert you that something is not right? Although it may be good to consult other family members or friends who have been parents before, there are clear symptoms that should not be ignored .

If a child shows signs of a mental disorder, early diagnosis and treatment are important to minimize its negative effects.

Disorders that may develop during childhood

There are quite a few mental disorders or disorders of psychological origin that begin in infancy, childhood or adolescence. According to the DSM-IV-TR we can find them:

  • Pervasive developmental disorders : Autistic Disorder, Rett’s Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder
  • Mental retardation
  • Learning disorders : reading disorder, calculation disorder, writing disorder
  • Motor skills disorders
  • Communication disorders : expressive language disorder, mixed receptive-expressive language disorder, phonological disorder, stuttering
  • Attention deficit disorders and disruptive behavior : ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder, dissociative disorder
  • Eating disorders and eating behavior of infancy or childhood
  • Tic disorders : Tourette syndrome, chronic motor or vocal tic disorder, transient tic disorder.
  • Elimination disorders : Encopresis, Enuresis
  • Other disorders of childhood , childhood or adolescence: separation anxiety, selective mutism, reactive disorder of childhood or adolescent bonding, stereotyped movement disorder

There are also other disorders that can develop at this age, such as bipolar disorder, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, or schizophrenia.

Symptoms that may occur in children with a psychological disorder

The list below shows some symptoms that may indicate the presence of psychological disorders:

  • Sleep problems
  • Frequent nightmares or night terrors
  • Odd behavior
  • Intense fear
  • Excessive aggressiveness
  • Regressive behavior (performing behaviors from previous ages)
  • Attention and reading problems
  • Slow language or speech development
  • Lack of appropriate emotional responses
  • Bed-wetting at older ages
  • Withdrawal and social relationship problems
  • Hyperactivity
  • Hearing voices or speaking alone
  • Child says he sees things that don’t exist
  • Complains of stomachaches, headaches or other physical symptoms very frequently
  • Repetitive and obsessive behaviors
  • Frequent irritability
  • Discouragement most of the time

It should not be forgotten that these symptoms could indicate that the child suffers from some disorder, but each pathology has specific symptoms . Even so, these symptoms are indicators that something is wrong with the child, and it would be advisable to consult a specialist to get rid of doubts and start specific treatment if necessary.