Most Common Psychological Disorders in Children and Their Symptoms

Psychological disorders in children can be very distressing for parents. Though they are not common, parents need to be watchful and observant about changes in their child’s behavior that could indicate that the child needs help.

We look at the psychological disorders most commonly seen in children and how parents can spot these.



An attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is the commonest and most closely studied of all the psychological disorders in children with an estimated 3 to 5 % of kids worldwide having it.

The symptoms usually appear before the age of 7 and are seem more commonly in boys than girls.

The child may be hyperactive, constantly moving and never being still and may not be able to concentrate on any one activity for any length of time.

The child could have difficulty paying attention and may appear not to be listening when spoken to. There could be issues getting along with other kids, impulsive behavior and so on.

Anxiety disorders

This is a group of conditions that the most common childhood mental illnesses come in. A child may display fear and even dread for certain people, situations and activities.

There may be emotional symptoms such as anxiety and fear as well as physical symptoms such as a rapid heartbeat, faster breathing, sweating and so on.

Conduct disorders

With these types of psychological disorders in children, the child repeatedly displays bad and inappropriate behavior; unlike what would be expected of a child at that age. The child may be having little or no regard for other’s rights and possessions. He or she may display aggression, rudeness, cruelty towards other children and animals, bullying behavior and violence.

These children have problems following rules or laws and can be very disruptive in structured environments such as school. They may destroy property, display deceitful behavior (habitual lying), and be defiant and willfully disobedient.

Learning and communication disorders

The child could be typically slow in terms of being able to process, learn and retain information. This could make the child unable to cope in school. The child may also have problems communicating their thoughts and feelings and may milestone delays.

Eating disorders

A complex mix of emotions, issues relating to self-esteem and body issues that make up thesepsychological disorders in children; usually older children: tweens and teens. They may manifest in sudden weight loss, secretive or furtive behavior and altered attitudes to food.



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