Hey, we all feel that way sometimes. Children are impulsive, full of energy, inattentive, and do irrational things. How do we know when it may be a problem? For some of us, we could answer that with something our child did within the last 24 hours! But seriously, there are times when behavior problems do get to the point they are a significant mental health issue. In particular, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) might be the issue that needs to be addressed.
While the numbers vary, 3 to 7percent of school-aged children have symptoms consistent with ADHD. Boys are about 3 times as likely as girls to be diagnosed with ADHD and the average age of onset is between 3 and 4. There is a lot of controversy about whether or not ADHD is over-diagnosed. While this may be the case, there are still times when ADHD is the real problem.
Some children with ADHD have relatively few problems. Others have some significant problems with parents, teachers, siblings, and peers. Because of these problems, isolation can happen. This can lead to loneliness and depression – making the problems worse.
Stimulant medications like Ritalin, Concerta, and others are often helpful for children with ADHD. However, even with medications, children may still have need of additional treatment. In fact, current research suggests that treatment with a combination of medications and counseling from a mental health professional have better results than medications alone.
ADHD is an important mental health issue, but it’s not the end of the world.
So how do you know if you need to get some mental health assistance for your child? Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Does my child seem to never slow down?
- Is there a problem of acting without thinking more than other children?
- Does my child have problems following through with homework or chores, within reason?
- Does my child have problems following rules?
- Is my child having trouble organizing things, within reason?
- Does my child have trouble sitting still beyond normal?
- Is my child having trouble with tasks that require sustained attention?
If you answered yes to several of these, it may be time to get help from a mental health professional. They can help your child with all of these problems. Also, they can help parents create effective ways to deal with behavior problems.
ADHD is an important mental health issue, but it’s not the end of the world. If your child is struggling, don’t be afraid to get help. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad or ineffective parent. It simply means your child has a problem and needs some assistance.
What experiences have you had with children suffering from ADHD? Feel free to leave your comments below. We would love to hear from you!