Children and Psychological Illnesses


Until recently, many people thought that psychological illnesses are restricted to adults and are far from occuring in children. A child is normally far from the responsibilities and stresses imposed by life on adults, which is often the direct cause of psychological issues. Moreover, children's nature is highly flexible, which allows them to adapt to life's changes around them. However, now that people are open to various fields of science, awareness about the importance of psychological health in children has increased. Children are, in fact, more vulnerable to depression and psychological illness as a result of turbulent life conditions, because they are psychologically fragile.

Dealing with children's psyche, was the same as dealing with that of adults until children's psychology was developed, for it had been revealed that there are differences between children's and adults' psyches and patterns of thought. People realised that children's psychological stability is transferred from childhood to adulthood, and a person could suffer from permanent psychological issues that start during their childhood. Some of the causes that could help create psychological issues for children are:

  1. Social causes: represented in the child's relationships with the characters and events surrounding them, the most important of which is their relationship with their parents. To children, parents represent safety; a glitch in this relationship creates a psychologically unstable child.
  2. Cultural causes: such as media, religious beliefs, community traditions; these affect the child's thoughts and the shape of his/her relationships.
  3. Economic-environmental causes: low economic and environmental levels disturb a child's chances of having a suitable health and educational environment.
  4. Genetic and hereditary causes: this factor could be discovered by reviewing the medical history of the family.

As a result of the previously mentioned causes, children can develop psychological illnesses, the most significant of which are:

  • Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): it could be due to a violent behavior towards the child, or if the child frequently watches violent scenes.
  • Anxiety disorders: its symptoms are excessive sweating, increased heartbeats, trouble sleeping, and nightmares.
  • Schizophrenia: this includes hallucinations and distorted thoughts, just as with grownups.
  • Tic disorders: the child repeats sudden, involuntary, and meaningless sounds and movements.
  • Depression: its symptoms manifest in the child's isolation, and his indifference to getting involved in any normal activity or social communication.

Accordingly, we should constantly be aware of healthy parenting methods and how to raise psychologically healthy children. We should also carefully listen to children and help them express their anger, assure them, and explain to them the changes that they experience. Moreover, parents should be the role models and the main source of safety and security in their children's life; children also need to be always reassured that they are accepted and loved unconditionally. Try not to expose your child to psychologically unbearable situations, such as: forcing them to deal with an uncomfortable environment or leaving them with people who might abuse them. You should also keep your child away from inappropriate TV shows that include violence.

If you notice any psychological symptoms on your child, you should take them to a psychologist to examine them and review the medical history of the family; to evaluate the child and select the suitable way to deal with them, and also to detect the right treatment, which could be one or more of the following methods:

  • Medical treatment: such as antidepressants and mood improvment drugs, which should only be taken under the psychiatrist's supervision.
  • Psychotherapy sessions: in which the psychiatrist converses with the child in a certain pattern, based on which a therapy program is determined and implemented with the cooperation of family and school.
  • Creative therapy: drawing, playing, or acting are very helpful for children who cannot normally express their feelings.


Image by

About Us

SCIplanet is a bilingual edutainment science magazine published by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Planetarium Science Center and developed by the Cultural Outreach Publications Unit ...
Continue reading

Contact Us

P.O. Box 138, Chatby 21526, Alexandria, EGYPT
Tel.: +(203) 4839999
Ext.: 1737–1781

Become a member

© 2023 | Bibliotheca Alexandrina