In earlier days, there used to have a misconception that a psychologist treats people who only have a mental illness. And if anyone who consulted a psychologist, would be labelled. In time, this misconception is gone to a great extent. Now, people changed their way of thinking people and are aware that a psychologist not just treats medical illness but treats the conditions related to behaviour, academic and social.
Why there is a need to consult child psychologist?
Actually, most of the parents don’t know when and why should they take their child to a psychologist. If you are the one among them, then this article is for you.
It is common for children to experience occasional problems as they grow and mature. A child should be taken to a psychologist, if he / she have emotional or learning or behavioral problems. The earlier they get the treatment, the easier it is to help them. When parents are concerned about their child, they are often told by family members, friends to relax and he will grow out of it. This is a good advice sometimes, but not always. As kids grow at uneven speeds, a child can grow out of a thing which seems to be a problem, another child gets worse.
How to know a child’s behavior is normal or not?
Before thinking to consult a child psychologist, parents must know what is normal about the behavior and what is not. Finding the difference between normal and abnormal behavior matters a lot. It is important to notice how often the behavior causes a problem for the child, parents, school, and community. The more misbehavior, the longer the duration of the problem, the more likely you need the professional help.
Warning signs of child abnormal behavior:
To find the difference between a normal and abnormal behavior, some warning signs can help parents, which include:
- → Constant anxiety and worry that is not necessary for the situation.
- → Signs of depression such as staying away from people for much time.
- → Abrupt changes in mood or behavior that last for a long time.
- → Sleep disturbances such as nightmares, trouble falling asleep.
Some other examples of abnormal behavior are:
- → Cruelty to animals
- → Bullying other kids
- → Fire setting or aggressive behavior
- → Difficulty paying attention in school
- → Temper tantrums which are not age appropriate
When is the time to seek Professional assistance?
Some cases of abnormal behavior in children needs to take an action immediately while in some cases, it is good to wait. Some life events can cause changes in the child’s behaviour as a part of a process of adjustment like parental divorce, changing schools, a new sibling. And the changes in the behavior caused due to these life events will pass with time.
But there are some cases in which it is clearly not a good idea to wait. The main things which need a professional assistance include:
If a child seems to have the early signs of autism, it is better to seek professional help. The earlier it is caught, the better the chance a child have for improving and enjoys the life instead of being restricted.
Children with eating disorders, whether refusing to eat out of fear of becoming fat or overeats, are harder to recover. Getting treatment appropriately as soon as possible can save their life.
If there is a history of mental illness that runs in your family, then there is a possibility for your children to develop a disorder. So, be aware and act promptly.
Besides keeping an eye on the child’s behavior, it is important for parents to avoid unnecessary treatment, misdiagnosis and costs in both time and money. If parents find that the child’s behaviour is abnormal and child’s difficulties interfere with normal family functioning, then it is not advisable to wait for the problems to develop without taking him to the psychologist. In matters of health, physical or mental, it is always advised to check it out when there is a doubt which bothers a lot.