Childhood Mental Disorders: Learn to Recognize the Signs of Trouble

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Childhood mental disorders are more common than you might think. In fact, as many as one out of every six children in the United States between the ages of six and 17 has a treatable mental health disorder, like anxiety, depression or ADHD. Unfortunately, too many of those children do not receive the treatment they need. If you have concerns about your child’s behavior, learn how to recognize the symptoms of common mental health issues.

Today’s Most Common Childhood Mental Disorders

Childhood mental disorders are more than mere growing pains. They may cause major changes in the way that children learn, behave or handle their emotions, resulting in distress and difficulty even getting through the day.


Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a mental health disorder in which children may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors or be overly active. Even though ADHD cannot be cured, its symptoms may be successfully managed and sometimes improve with age.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Frequent daydreaming
  • Forgetfulness
  • Squirming or fidgeting
  • Overly talkative
  • Poor impulse control


Although every child will experience some degree of fears and worry, persistent or extreme symptoms is a warning sign of one of the most common childhood mental disorders: anxiety.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Separation anxiety
  • Extreme fears or phobias
  • Social anxiety
  • General anxiety
  • Panic disorder

Learn about childhood mental disorders


Like anxiety, occasional sadness is common for children. But, when a child’s feeling of sadness and hopelessness becomes more persistent, a child may be diagnosed with depression.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Frequently feeling sad, hopeless or irritable
  • Not enjoying fun activities
  • Eating a lot more or a lot less than normal
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Being tired and sluggish a lot of the time
  • Having a difficult time paying attention
  • Feelings of worthlessness, uselessness
  • Self-injury or self-destructive behavior

Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is a type of behavior disorder that is usually diagnosed in childhood. Children with ODD tend to exhibit certain behaviors, such as being uncooperative, defiant, and hostile toward peers, parents and authority figures.

Signs and Symptoms

Common symptoms of ODD, which can range anywhere from mild to severe, include:

  • Angry and irritable moods
  • Argumentative attitude
  • Defiant behavior
  • Vindictiveness

Childhood mental disorders are treatable

Learn More from Our Trusted Team of Health Professionals

Advantage Care Health Centers provides compassionate, efficient and accessible community-based medical care. Our trusted team of dedicated health professionals can provide a variety of mental and behavioral health services, including child psychology to help treat childhood mental disorders.

Contact us today to request an appointment!

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