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Should my child see a psychologist?

This is a common question that parents ask. In my experience while children are young, as they are growing and developing, it can be especially difficult to know. Often parents have come concerns that a child seems to grow out of, and then sometimes the concerns return. It's hard to tell what's just them growing and learning, and when they might need extra help.

Here are some times when your child might need a psychologist:

  1. If your child is experiencing persistent sadness, anxiety, or irritability, it may be time to seek help from a psychologist.

  2. If your child is having difficulty sleeping or has lost interest in activities they used to enjoy, this may be a sign that they are struggling emotionally.

  3. If your child is exhibiting signs of self-harm or has expressed thoughts of harming themselves or others, this is a serious red flag that warrants professional help.

  4. If your child is engaging in risky or destructive behaviors, such as substance abuse or risk taking, this is another sign that they need psychological assistance.

  5. If your child has experienced a traumatic event, such as the death of a loved one or a natural disaster, and has not been able to cope with the aftermath, this may indicate the need for professional help.

  6. If your child is struggling in school or has developed a sudden fear of going to school, this could be a sign of an underlying psychological issue.

  7. If your child has become withdrawn and isolate themselves from friends and family, this could be indicative of depression or another mental health disorder.

  8. If you have noticed changes in your child’s eating habits, such as skipping meals or binge eating, this could be a cause for concern.

  9. If your child seems excessively angry, aggressive, or violent, this is definitely something you should seek help for from a psychologist.

  10. If your child is fixated on ideas or objects to the point where it’s interfering with their daily life, such as an intense fear of animals or an obsession with cleanliness, this warrants professional intervention.

If you feel like you’re at the end of your rope and don’t know how to help your child, it’s okay to reach out for professional assistance. In fact that's when a lot of parents do - when they feel like they've run out of tools in their parenting toolbox.

Remember that it’s always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to your child’s mental health—if you have just a suspicion that something may be wrong, it’s worth seeking out professional help.


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