Raising a child with a mental health condition can be challenging, but there are ways to make life easier. Research shows that 1 in 5 kids experience or will experience a mental health condition. Mental health conditions are very common and you are not alone. Many parents have faced similar experiences with success. Here are some things to consider as you embark on your path to wellbeing.
Take notice of your child’s moods, behaviors and emotions. Some mental health conditions are cyclical, causing periods of strong symptoms that will come and go, while others aren’t visible. Children may also hide symptoms out of fear, embarrassment or doing what they believe is expected of them. A change in demeanor, habits or usual behavior, such as interactions with friends may be a sign that something is amiss. Early intervention is critical because mental health conditions often get worse if left untreated.
After recognizing symptoms, your next step should be to schedule an appointment with a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist to obtain a diagnosis. If a specialist is not immediately available, contact your pediatrician or primary care clinician. Make sure that you provide them with as much detailed information as you can about your child. Use the Genomind Patient Gateway to track symptoms to show your doctor all the information you have available, which can include:
If a doctor, psychologist or counselor does not provide a diagnosis or referral for your child, you should ask why and consider their reasoning. If you disagree, trust your instincts and seek a second opinion. It is often better to be cautious than to ignore a potentially serious problem.
Even though there are many treatment options available, it can be difficult to locate and secure the right one for your child. You can find directories of mental health professionals and treatment facilities through PsychologyToday and SAMHSA.
Supporting a child with a mental health condition can be time-consuming, and it is easy to let your concern for them consume your life. Consider these tips for keeping balance in your life.
The Genecept Assay® may be your key to achieving insight into the treatment of your child's mental health condition. It was created to assist clinicians in optimizing treatment decisions for patients with a mental illness and may ease the sometimes stressful process of finding the right medication for a child with a mental health condition. Speak with your child’s clinician about whether the test is right for them.