When to Seek Professional Help for Your Child

professional help for childDeciding whether or not your child is in need of psychological, or even psychiatric help, is a decision that should not be taken lightly. Too often, parents refuse or reject the notion of seeking professional help for their behaviorally-challenged children. They instead attribute their child’s troubling behavior as “just a phase” or even deny that there is a problem in the first place, despite evidence to the contrary. Ignoring or denying serious behavior problems can be dangerous and could also be a detriment to a child’s well-being.

How to tell if your child needs help

that your child suffers from a psychological disorder that affects his or her ability to function normally (for instance, depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive tendencies, serious mood swings, or even psychosis). Also seek help if your child appears to have problems with anger. If he or she becomes aggressive, destructive, or reckless when angry, then seeking out a qualified child therapist is certainly recommended. Other reasons for seeking out therapy include: problems with the law, substance abuse problems, dangerous or out-of-control behavior, serious and persistent defiance, and/or any behavior that is a detriment to the family.  Suicidal ideation or attempts should be dealt with immediately and may require an emergency call and/or a trip to the hospital.

What to do if your child needs professional help

There are plenty of options when it comes to seeking professional help for your child. Search online for a therapist that specializes in childhood problems and that has experience dealing with the relevant issues. You can also look into some of the more intensive options such as residential treatment, boot camps, or even hospitalization (if the situation is serious enough). Most of these places can be found online or in the phone book. Other options include utilizing your child’s school counselor or psychologist, joining a support group, or even calling a hot line that deals with the issues confronting you (or your child). Contact your local mental health center and ask for advice if needed. Seeking professional help for your child is nothing to be ashamed of. You might find in your search that there are a lot of other parents out there facing the same problems or issues as you. Waiting for your child to “grow out of the stage” is bordering on neglect. Take action before it is too late.