Children’s mental health requirements are more complicated than they may appear. Additionally, most parents are often misinformed about these issues. This misinformation adds to the situation’s complexity and prevents them from meeting their child’s basic needs.
Unfortunately, emotional hardship or mental illness often comes with a stigma attached to it. People seeking out psychological health services are often scoffed at and pushed aside by society as a whole.
This degree of shame or disgrace can be even more widespread concerning childhood mental health. Yet, there are many misconceptions when it comes to child counseling. So, let’s explore some of the most common myths and reveal the truth behind it.
Myth: Psychiatric Problems in Children Is a Result of Bad Parenting
This misconception leads to thousands of children every year not getting the psychological treatment they need. Psychiatrists and therapists can recognize the difference between genuine mental illness and bad behavior.
A child’s home environment may indeed aggravate the symptoms of psychiatric health. Yet, it can’t cause things such as learning disorders. However, parents can play a vital role by being supportive throughout therapy sessions.
Myth: Counseling Always Leads to Children Being Put on Meds
Although meds can be a fundamental part of child psychology, putting your kid on medication isn’t the therapist’s priority. In practice, many counselors aren’t qualified to and can’t legally prescribe drugs.
The primary goal of therapy lessons is to help your child overcome their issues without using substances. The therapist will only recommend children be evaluated for medication treatment should they fail to show adequate improvement signs.
Myth: Child Counseling Only Applies to Children With Severe Issues
It’s common for bipolar, anxious, or depressed children to be recommended for therapy. Yet, it doesn’t mean that a child has to be diagnosed with a mental health condition to benefit from counseling. These sessions are a proactive and preventative measure used to teach kids how to care for their psychological health from an early age.
Youth therapy is also useful in helping children overcome difficulties, such as:
- Parental divorce
- Death of a family member
- Trauma and victimization
Myth: Psychiatric Therapy Is Only Necessary for Children That Experienced a Traumatic Event
Many parents believe that child counseling only benefits kids that have experienced a traumatic event. Yet, the fact is that psychiatric therapy is one of the most misunderstood aspects of caring for minors.
There are various mental health concerns, such as depression, ADD, anxieties, etc., which can significantly impact children. Counseling sessions for these kids can be invaluable to their mental health. It allows them to accept and learn to cope with or overcome their conditions.
Myth: Kids Will Out-Grow Their Mental Health Concerns
More than 14 percent of kids in the US between the ages of two and eight have been diagnosed with MBDD (mental, behavioral, or developmental disorder.) There are some cases in which the symptoms of these disorders have lessened over-time. Yet, in general, these disorders’ symptoms only get worse as a child gets older.
Thus, failure to address the problem and get counseling for your kid may prolong the condition and most likely make it worse. So, don’t wait for the condition to pass, rather support your child by getting him the treatment he needs in the present, to help him secure the future.
Myth: Kids That Start Getting Counseling Services Will Always Need Them
Some children may indeed need counseling services for a prolonged period. Yet, most kids tend to outgrow their condition with the help of a professional counselor.
Children that typically need prolonged therapy suffer from more severe problems. The purpose of ongoing treatment in these children is to help them develop thought processes, coping mechanisms, and other necessary skills to benefit them. These abilities will help them over-power and control their condition’s symptoms, resulting in a higher quality of life.
Myth: The Schooling System Provides Sufficient and Effective Counseling
Even though schools do have a counseling professional on-site to assist children in need, it’s seldom enough. In general, parents overestimate the quality and amount of attention that these counselors can provide.
It’s common for this type of therapy to be limited to emergency counseling. During these sessions, students often get referred to professional therapists. As a parent, it’s crucial to understand and appreciate this type of treatment. This knowledge will enable you to be more proactive when it comes to your kid’s mental health and well-being.
Myth: ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) Is Nothing More Than an Excuse Used by Parents Who Don’t Discipline Their Children
Regardless of what you may have heard, ADD is a reality. Scientific studies revealed that it’s a biologically-based disorder. A condition that includes impulsiveness, distractibility, and often hyperactivity as well.
While its origins are not yet fully understood, research suggests that it can be an inheritable condition. It may result from an imbalance of neurotransmitters (chemicals inside the brain used to control behavior.) Another theory suggests that it may result from abnormal glucose metabolism in the central nervous system.
However, all possible causes that may be responsible for your kid’s behavior are first ruled out before the therapist will consider diagnosing your child with ADD.
Myth: All Children Have a Hard Time Paying Attention and Sitting Still. So, There’s No Difference Between Kids With ADD and Their Peers
As a prerequisite, before children can be diagnosed with ADD, they’ve got to display behavior that’s considered abnormal for kids of the same age and background. Children typically start showing characteristics associated with this type of behavior between the ages of three and seven. These symptoms typically include:
- Easily distracted
- Difficulty paying attention
- Can’t wait their turn
- Difficulty remaining seated
- Blurting out answers
- Consistently jumping between tasks, rarely completing any
- Talking excessively
- Difficulty obeying instructions
- Can’t play quietly
- Hard at hearing
- Being disruptive
- Being impartial to the consequences of their actions
- Frequently losing or misplacing objects
These characteristics are persistent and present in various environments and situations. Additionally, for your child to be clinically diagnosed with ADD, his behavior must be responsible for considerable occupational, academic, or social impairment.
To Wrap Up
As a parent, it’s your responsibility to take care of all your child’s physical, emotional, social, and psychological needs. Being ignorant of mental illness may cause more long-term damage than you could ever imagine.
If your child is displaying unusual behaviors or signs of stress or depression, you can’t afford to fall into the trap of believing the misconceptions discussed in this article. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Take him or her for immediate psychological evaluation, and remember; your kid’s future and happiness depend on your support.