Being a parent is a tricky experience, especially when your child seems to be struggling at home or at school. When a child starts showing signs of a potentially serious mental or emotional condition, such as withdrawing from friends or losing interest in school or other activities, you might be considering seeking the help of a psychiatrist. Here are a few questions you should ask your child's psychiatrist before your child's first session.
What Are Some Common Reasons A Child Sees a Psychiatrist?
It can sometimes be tricky to know if your child needs help, especially the help of a psychiatrist. There are several common reasons and signs to watch for that could signal your child would benefit from professional mental health assistance, including:
In some instances, your child will tell you they are experiencing fear, anxiety, or depression and are seeking answers online or from friends and peers. If this is the case, take your child's fears and concerns seriously and speak with a psychiatrist to determine if your child could use help.
What Will Happen During the First Therapy Session?
During that first session, your child's psychiatrist will ask your child several questions, including what they have been feeling lately, if their mood has changed over the past couple of weeks, or if your child is having any trouble in school. Depending upon the psychiatrist's recommendations, that first therapy session could take a couple of hours to find the right diagnosis.
The psychiatrist may ask you some questions about your child too, including your family's mental health history and if you have noticed any changes in your child's behavior.
How Can I Help My Child During the Therapy Process?
Finally, as a parent, you will want to know how you can be helpful to your child during this process. First and foremost, it is important to understand that what happens during your child's appointment is completely confidential, meaning your child might not want to discuss what was said. Instead, let your child know that you are there for them and support their decision to continue therapy if your child believes the therapy is successful.
If your child's mood or attitudes have changed, or you believe your child is experiencing depression, anxiety, or any other mental health struggles, don't be afraid to seek the services of a child psychiatrist.