If you have a child who’s struggling with mental health issues, taking him to a psychiatrist might be the right thing to do. Taking your child to a psychiatrist is an extremely rough choice to make, nothing like choosing what auto insurance company to use or what to have for dinner; you have to weigh the effects that it will have on your child. Some parents feel that taking their child to a mental health professional is like stating that there’s something ‘wrong’ with them — and no one wants to think that his child has a problem. Other parents feel that a child who has mental health problems is only acting that way for attention, and they don’t want to encourage that. Instead, they want their child to start ‘acting right’ and not cause problems.
For children who truly have mental health issues, it’s simply not possible to change the way they act without help. They aren’t doing it to be annoying or get attention, and there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with them. They simply have issues like anxiety or depression that should be dealt with in the same way a person would deal with a physical ailment. There’s no shame in having a physical problem treated, so there shouldn’t be any shame when the problem is a mental one. Everyone handles things differently and some people handle things better and more calmly than others. That’s something to consider when trying to determine whether your child should see a professional.
If you do take your child to see a counselor or a psychiatrist, make sure that the person you see is experienced when it comes to working with children. Don’t take a child to see someone who normally only works with adults because a child is very different in the way he thinks about and processes the world. That’s important to remember when you’re trying to help your child, too. He might not be able to express things quite the same way as you would, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t feel the emotions.