As a parent you face many challenges. Worrying that your child may have a mental health disorder can certainly be one of them. All children are sad, anxious, irritable, or excitable from time to time. Many others have trouble sitting still, paying attention or interacting with others on occasion. So how do you decide if the behavior that is concerning you means that your child may have a problem from a bad or excitable day?
Looking at how often a behavior occurs, how long it lasts or the intensity of the mood or behavior can help you to decide if it is a problem. When problems occur for more than a few weeks and interfere with your child’s ability to function or be successful at home or school you should probably be concerned. In addition, if your child’s moods or behaviors start interfering with their ability to develop or keep friends or function during everyday activities, it is probably time to seek out help or additional information.
It can also be helpful to look at common developmental milestones for your child’s age-group to get a feel for how they are doing, but it is often good to just go with your gut! If you continue to be concerned about your child there is probably a good reason and it is worth getting it checked out.