Childhood Mental Health

Intense emotions naturally occur at some time in the lives of most people; mental disorders, however, are different. The symptoms that result may be extreme and prolonged. They can affect a child’s actions, feelings, thoughts and day-to-day activities, like attending school, eating, and/or sleeping. The same mental health conditions that afflict adults may have different symptoms when occurring in teens or children. Therefore, the warning signs should be known and help sought if necessary.

Signs A Child or Teen is in Need Of Help

  • Become destructive whether of him/herself, others or property
  • Begun isolating her/himself and avoiding social interactions
  • Begun smoking, drinking, or using drugs
  • Changes in eating habits or appetite that are significant
  • Constant headaches or stomachaches
  • Difficulty getting through daily activities due to extreme fears or worries
  • Extreme risk-taking behaviors
  • No desire for or joy in once pleasurable activities
  • Problems focusing, keeping still or concentrating
  • Serious behavioral, personality, or sleeping habit changes
  • Started feeling unable to control his/her emotions
  • Thoughts or urges to harm others or her/himself


A common question is will my child grow out of this? While some problems are short-lived and may not require treatment, others are ongoing and cause for concern. If you are worried about your child’s mental health, seek treatment. Through cognitive behavioral therapy, a child may learn why his/her symptoms occur and how to cope with them in a healthy, non-destructive way. Children can learn to challenge distorted thinking patterns and develop better coping and problem-solving skills. The earlier you start the better and the faster you gain results.

If you are unsure of whether you or a loved one may benefit from therapy, contact Dr. Racine for a free 15-minute consultation.