However, when children become victims of mental instabilities, things might seem to fall apart. But it is all about getting the grip and helping the child with the right treatment and support. The mental problems in a child can sprout due to several reasons, of which some can be beyond general anticipation. It is a well-known fact that mental illnesses are common in a child as well.
Some reasons behind their mental problems can be deciphered easily, while it can be tough to decode some others. Here are some not so prevalent causes that may trigger mental illness in a child:
- Air pollution: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution is the world's greatest environmental health risk, linked to one in eight of the total global deaths. But when it comes to air pollution, people generally connect it to respiratory problems, like coughing, wheezing, asthma, etc. A 2016 study by the Umeå University in Sweden revealed that there is a strong link between polluted air and the rise in kids' mental health problems. In fact, they found that the children who stayed in highly polluted areas were most likely to take prescribed medications associated with long-term mental problems.
- Weather worries: Worrying constantly about weather can cause mental problems, like phobia and stress. According to Stephen Whiteside, a psychologist and anxiety prevention expert at the Mayo Clinic Children's Center in Rochester, being anxious due to severe weather conditions is normal. However, some children develop storm phobias that affect their day-to-day lives. He added that constantly worrying about the weather makes it difficult for such kids to concentrate in schools. Moreover, there have been instances when children routinely check the weather forecasts and are afraid to leave the house.
- Spanking: Spanking is seen as a common method to discipline a child. However, a 2016 study by the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Michigan confirmed that spanking might increase the risks of mental health disorders, cognitive impairment, aggression and anti-social behavior in children. Spanking, in fact, might cause long-term mental problems that greatly overshadow the short-term behavioral obedience.
- Threatening parents: Parents who yell and threaten their children can trigger depression and other disruptive disorders in them. A 2010 study done by Bowling Green State University, Ohio, revealed that verbal hostility can put the children at greater risks of developing mental problems. As Peggy O'Mara, renowned editor and publisher said, "The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice."
- Cyberbullying: Physical bullying definitely causes a negative effect on a child's mind. But with more time spent on social media, children now become victims of cyberbullying too. The Huffington Post website states that since cyberbullying takes place in a virtual space without any physical contact, the agony experienced by a child can be double than normal. Since the child is powerless to take any real-time measures to stop such a harassment, he/she feels more tormented and mentally distressed.
Seeking treatment to cure a child's mental problems
As Magic Johnson, retired basketball player, said, "All kids need is a little help, a little hope, and someone who believes in them." A little support from the parents, teachers, friends and well-wishers can help them fight the challenges and secure a sound mind.