How do mental health problems affect children?

Mental health disorders can affect people of all ages -- including children. For example, children may experience depression and anxiety just as adults do. Sometimes, however, these problems can present differently in children, especially if they aren't developmentally able to express their feelings and emotions like adults may be able to. For instance, a child may develop physical symptoms such as  stomachaches when they experience stress.

Children and adolescents can have mental health problems. In fact, at any given time about one in five children and teens has a mental health disorder. These problems are real and cause a lot of distress; they're not something the child will "grow out of." Untreated mental disorders can be a major cause of problems in school, family conflict, substance abuse, and violent behavior. Treatment with medication and therapy can be very helpful.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.