It’s often easy to tell when your child is tired or hungry, but it isn’t always as easy to tell what your child is feeling or thinking. Good mental health is important for children to help them socialize, learn, and feel confident in who they are. Here at Patterson Family Medicine And Obstetrics family doctor Natalie Patterson and her team are dedicated to providing assessments, evaluations, and recommendations for kids and their families who are dealing with mental health problems.
While it’s normal for kids to feel sad, down, or frustrated at times, it’s also important to recognize when these could be signs of depression. Yes, kids can deal with depression, too. While symptoms will vary some of the most common ones include,
- A decrease or increase in appetite
- Sleeping more or less than usual
- Withdrawing from social interactions
- Feeling sad or hopeless
- Low energy
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- Physical ailments such as stomachaches that don’t seem to have a physical cause
- Trouble focusing
If these symptoms last for more than two weeks and interfere with your child’s school, home, and social life then it’s time to talk with our team.
It’s natural for kids to feel nervous when they have to give a big presentation in front of the class or when visiting the dentist’s office; however, if your child is regularly fearful, anxious, worried, or afraid these could be telltale signs of anxiety. Sometimes it isn’t always easy to spot anxiety.
In fact, some children may become irritable and angry as opposed to showing the typical symptoms we associate with anxiety. If your child’s anxiety is getting to them or holding them back, our pediatricians are here to help.
Eating disorders in young children may sound surprising but they can occur in children under 12. Eating disorders can be inherited, which means that if a parent or sibling has dealt with an eating disorder a child is significantly more likely to develop one.
Some signs of an eating disorder include,
- Worry or concerns about their body image
- Avoiding eating
- Reducing how much they eat
- Weight loss
- Slow growth and development
- Fear of stomachaches
If you’re concerned about eating habits in your child, this is something that you can and should bring up with a family doctor right away. We can recommend therapy and other options to help improve your child’s relationship with food.
Your child’s mental health is as important as their physical health. If your child is showing signs of depression, anxiety, or an eating disorder, call Patterson Family Medicine And Obstetrics In Elk City, at (405) 578-5400.