Mental Disorders In Children


In this article, I will show you some of the most important features of mental disorders in children; the types, some common signs, and the indicated treatment.

Table of contents

Broadly speaking, we can define mental disorders as an imbalance in the proper functioning of the human brain in terms of behavior, regulation of emotions and perception of external stimuli.

In this article I will show you some of the most important features of the mental disorders in children; the types, some common signs and the indicated treatment to counteract its effects. If you want to know more, then do not stop reading.

Mental Disorders In Children

Types of mental disorders in children

1. Autism Spectrum Disorder

This disorder corresponds to a neurological condition that manifests itself in the early years; due to it, the child presents, among other things, problems when communicating with other people and expressing his feelings as well as constant difficulty seeing the world like others.

Within mental disorders in children that belong to the autistic spectrum, we can find:

  • Rett syndrome,
  • Asperger syndrome,
  • Childhood disintegrated disorder or Heller syndrome and
  • Pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified.

2. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Children with this disorder appear to be inexhaustible sources of energy, and they have much more trouble concentrating than their peers. Although their condition does not necessarily make them problematic, it is common for this disorder to be associated with behavioral problems.

In addition to attention problems and learning difficulties, some of the symptoms of this disorder are impulsive behaviors, hyperactivity or a mixture of both.

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3. Anxiety disorder

These correspond to different fears, worries and/or anxieties that limit the child's ability to participate in social situations. Many times, these worries are only in your mind and are born from fears that others have instilled in you.

Some of the subdivisions in this category are social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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4. Depression and other mood disorders

These correspond to constant feelings of sadness accompanied by the loss of interest in activities that previously excited us. Due to all the mood problems that this disease entails, the child begins to show poor performance in school and in social interactions.

In this group of mental disorders in children we can find a wide variety of problems such as depression with psychotic symptoms, bipolar disorder, dysthymic disorder, adaptive disorder with mood depressant, etc. some of them are curable while others are not.

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5. Schizophrenia

This is one of the more severe disorders due to the repercussions that it can have on the patient. During an episode of schizophrenia, the child may lose touch with reality, leading him to commit impulsive and dangerous acts with himself and those around him.

Some of its symptoms frequently declared by patients are

  • The voices they hear inside their heads,
  • The perception of unreal stimuli, and the
  • Feeling that someone is chasing them to harm them.

6. Eating disorder

These can be defined as the sick preoccupation with the body and the physical appearance. These people very carefully control all the food they eat because they do not want to gain weight.

It goes without saying how dangerous this type of disorder can be, especially when children are the ones who suffer from it, since they can lead to physical complications.

Among them, we can find anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and compulsive eating disorder.

7. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

This disorder corresponds to emotional and psychological suffering that children feel after having experienced a highly stressful event (such as a kidnapping, an accident, domestic violence or some type of abuse).

Among the signs described by most patients are constant nightmares, intrusive thoughts and memories, anxiety, and some violent reactions to situations that remind them of the traumatic event in question.

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Common signs of psychological disorders in children

  • Outbursts of anger
  • Persistent sadness
  • Physical damage is self-inflicted (for example, limb cuts)
  • They change their eating habits for no apparent reason
  • Drastic changes in your mood, behavior, or personality
  • Trouble concentrating and paying attention
  • Drops in academic performance
  • Drastic weight loss or gain
  • have trouble sleeping
  • They avoid social interactions as much as they can


The treatment will depend not only on each disorder, but also on the situation of each patient. While there are some common steps in every child's recovery, such as therapies and drug use, it should be kept in mind that not all mental disorders in children they disappear.

Although several therapy sessions are required during a good season, it is possible to eliminate the symptoms of some problems such as eating disorders and anxiety disorder.

Autism and attention deficit disorder, on the other hand, can only be kept at bay with medication.

Among the most effective therapies, we can find psychotherapy or conversational therapy, which focuses on the patient's concerns and talk about their feelings. This therapy seeks to provide the necessary tools to deal with problems.

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Disclaimer: This article is purely informative, I have no authority to make a diagnosis or recommend treatment. I invite you to visit a psychologist to treat your particular case.