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21 Warning Signs that your Child Needs Counseling-from Lakewood and Cary, IL

Mar 1, 2008
As a parent, you are likely to be one of the first to recognize when your child may have an emotional or behavioral problem. Still, making that decision to seek professional help for him or her can be difficult and painful.

First, gently engage your child in a dialogue about his or her feelings. You may also decide to discuss your concerns with your kids teachers, coaches, school counselors or any other adults who may know him or her well. In many circumstances, this alone may be sufficient to begin the process of a sound resolution to the problem.

However, the following are some red flags which would indicate that it may be appropriate for your child or adolescent to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

If you discover that your child has been sexually abused, you may feel furious, panicked, but also uncomfortable. As a matter of fact, you may not know what to say or do. Consult a mental health professional ,apprise him or her of the situation, and begin the treatment process.

Red Flags for Younger Kids:

Dangerous fascination with fire or fire-setting,

Cruelty to animals,

Being sexually abused,

Marked deterioration in grades or behavior in school,

Ongoing refusal to attend school, go to sleep or participate in any other activities that would be considered normal,

An abnormal amount of hyperactivity; fidgeting; or any other constant moving about that interferes with his socialization processes or ability to concentrate,

Frequent anxiety-inducing nightmares,

An ongoing pattern of confrontation, disobedience or aggression against authority figures,

Temper tantrums that are frequent and are used to fight normal parental requests.

Red Flags for Teens:

Dangerous fascination with fires or fire-setting,

Being a loner,

Being a sexual abuse victim,

Cruelty to animals,

Bed-wetting,

Sudden deterioration in school performance or attendance,

Becoming panicky or overwhelmed when dealing with normal problems and daily activities,

Unusual changes in sleeping and/or eating habits,

An abnormal amount of stress-based physical complaints i.e. headaches, stomachaches etc,

Acting-out sexually,

Frequent, sustained periods laden with negative or pessimistic moods,

Frequent periods of poor or insatiable appetite or thoughts of death,

Alcohol and/or drug abuse,

An obsessive anxiety about becoming obese, not justified by ones actual body weight,

Binging on food i.e. gorging, stuffing,

The purging of food i.e. self-induced vomiting, use of laxatives etc.

Frequent anxiety-inducing nightmares,

The making of threats to harm oneself or others,

Engaging in self-injurious or self destructive behavior,

Frequent outbursts filled with anger or hostility,

Frequent threats to run away or leave home,

A pattern of violating the boundaries or rights of others;

The frequent testing or flaunting of authority or confrontations with police and the legal system.

If any of these problems continue over an extended length of time, an immediate evaluation with a clinical psychologist or other mental health professional should be sought.
About the Author
Dr Shery is in Cary, IL, near Algonquin, Crystal Lake, Marengo and Lake-in-the-Hills. He's an expert psychologist. Call 1 847 516 0899 and make an appt orlearn more about counseling at: http://www.carypsychology.com
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