Adults and children alike, all battle with the problem of mental illness. However, the telling signs could be much different in the case of toddlers, and may even go unnoticed due to their inability to convey what they feel when these feelings get too big. This may also result in them using challenging and unsafe behaviors to channel and express these feelings, which may further make relationships in and outside of the house stressful, difficult, and frustrating. The toddler years are a time of great cognitive, emotional, and social development, and are therefore crucial. Thus, it is absolutely important to look out for the signs of mental illness in your toddler.
Red Flags Of Mental Illness In Toddlers
- Separation Anxiety: This is marked by extreme distress and characterized by incessant crying, throwing tantrums, and your child clinging onto you when they are being separated from you, or have a hint that they may be taken away from you. If this anxiety continues or re-occurs after the age of 4 and through elementary years, it is clinical. Therefore, early signs must be identified and taken care of.
- Social Concerns: Human beings are inherently social, and even more so during the toddler years, as it is the age of curiosity. However, if your toddler exhibits anti-social behavior in terms of participating in group activities or avoids playing with other children, it could be a sign of autism as well.
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- Behavioral Problems: This could be characterized by:
Defiance: If your child refuses to comply with rules and argues frequently.
Overly Aggressive Behavior: If your child has frequent temper and rage issues, and exhibits signs of excessive anger through threats, biting, snatching, throwing things, damaging property, or hair-pulling.
- Difficulty Transitioning: Extremely upset when having to transition from one activity to another. Before or during each transition, your child may cry excessively or have temper tantrums that last more than 5 to 10 minutes.
- Attention Concerns: If your toddler is easily distracted and has problems focusing or concentrating on an activity, and often tends to leave tasks incomplete and fails to follow directives on a daily basis.
- Social Anxiety: In case your toddler displays anxiety related to being around new relatives and avoids social situations by constantly clinging to you or hiding behind you, they may be suffering from social anxiety.
- Problems Pertaining To Daily Functions: These are:
- Toileting: If you face difficulty in potty training your toddler or refuse to use the toilet altogether.
- Eating issues: If they refuse to eat, avoid different textures of food, or have power struggles while eating.
- Sleeping Problems: If your toddler has difficulty falling asleep, refuses to go to sleep, and has nightmares or wakes several times a night.
What To Do When You Identify These Signs?
If you’re concerned about your child’s mental health and wish to nip the red flags before they become a threat to your child’s well-being, consult your child’s doctor. Describe the behaviors that concern you. Talk to your child’s teachers or other caregivers to see if they’ve noticed changes in your child’s behavior. Share this information with your child’s doctor.
Where To Seek Help?
If you notice such warning signs of mental illness in your toddler, consult us at Continua Kids with the Autism treatment in Gurgaon. We are a research-directed, holistic center, and aim to impart early intervention programs concerning your child’s mental health. By providing guidance and support in your parenting experience, we strive to help your child reach their full potential in all aspects of life.
Call +91-8800980055 and book an appointment now!