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A child’s developmental stages are crucial especially when they began to understand. It appears that emotions had been within us ever since we were born but the behavior is learned from social activities and psychological pattern of a child. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), emotional and behavioral disorders affect 10 to 15 percent of children worldwide.

Let us have a short recap of how our emotions and behaviors are developed. Our brain controls both voluntary and involuntary activities of our body. It is like a huge dimension of all types of functions. Our needs, wants, and feelings are all being processed up there. So what happens if our brain cannot function well? Emotions are engulfing in one part of our brain called the limbic system. When we are in pain for example, it sends through the limbic system to process the feeling initiated and what comes out from it is the reaction which appears to be how we behave in a certain situation. Therefore, when the central nervous system is slightly dysfunctional, it affects how we interact, behave, and understand our emotions. When one can barely cope up with this emotion it becomes a mental disorder.

Here are the examples of emotional and behavioral disorders:

  • Attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Autism

A child who has an attention-deficit hyperactive disorder is characterized as disorganized, does not finish the tasks, they cannot be still, and has a problem to concentrate. It continues through adolescence depending on the progress of the child. This may be altered when the child has gone through a therapy, medications (methylphenidate) and varying educational options. These may promote concentration better, become less impulsive, and feel calmer.

A child with bipolar disorder has manifestations of intense emotions or mood swings. A child will exhibit euphoric feelings or down depressed behavior – it is almost unexplainable for some people, but it may be modified. Such as minimizing episodes of mania or depression; medications are only prescribed when the patient is harmful to oneself and to others. Mostly, adolescents are capable of it but as the child grows, it is better to constantly observe and identify the behavior step by step.

Autism is a neural disorder. Children who are autistic are mostly socially impaired and have difficulty in communicating with others. They are characterized by restrictive and repetitive behavior. Mainly, autism is manageable by creating quality time for them to learn things and promote functional independence. Medications (psychoactive drugs) are only needed when behavioral treatment fails.

Children who have these mental disorders are special and interesting in their own ways. They just happen to have some delays in their development and considered different among us. However, they just need more time for them to grow, to be surrounded by understanding people, and for them to feel confident in themselves.


Categories: Emotional Wellness Posted by Hazel Williams May - 8 - 2013