Warning signs of abnormal mental development Health

Depending on the age of the person, abnormal mental development can take different forms. Abnormal mental development can manifest in different ways depending on the individual and the specific situation.

Warning Signs of Abnormal Mental Development (Photo by Sebastian Pandelche on Unsplash)
Warning Signs of Abnormal Mental Development (Photo by Sebastian Pandelche on Unsplash)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Rohini Rajeev, Senior Psychiatrist and Founder of The Able Mind emphasized, “It is important for parents to understand and acknowledge developmental milestones (cognitive, emotional/social, speech/language, motor skills etc.). Growth milestones (physical parameters) are different and most children fall within the range. While rare minor developmental delays should not be cause for alarm, attention should be paid to frequent, multiple and significant developmental milestone delays. Seeing your child’s developmental delays can be upsetting and challenging for parents.

According to him, the following are some signs to pay attention to so that early interventions can be initiated, especially in the case of neurodevelopmental delays and the child can be supported and the parents can be properly guided:

  • Sudden and persistent changes in behavior
  • Not responding to calls and not maintaining eye contact
  • Expressing shyness and lack of facial expression negatively
  • Lack of social interaction: The child shows no interest in social interaction with other people, avoids any interaction for long periods of time, does not smile, or does not respond to others’ attempts to communicate.

Regarding teenagers, Dr Vrishali Bichkar, consultant pediatrician and neonatologist at Motherhood Hospital, Lullanagar, Pune, warns to be aware of these warning signs of abnormal mental development.

• Feeling sad or low: If a child feels sad for no reason, it could be due to depression or some other mental illness.

Confused thinking or inability to concentrate: Having these red flags indicates that you need to see a doctor without any delay.

• Feeling anxious or guilty: If you often feel anxious or guilty, you need to take care of your mental health.

• Extreme mood swings and withdrawal There are problems with your mental health from activities you used to love. A child may be happy but the next moment, he may be angry or sad.

Fatigue: If you often feel tired and unable to perform your daily activities easily then you need to be aware. Unusual fatigue will indicate that something is wrong with you.

• Lack of ability to cope with stress Exams or peer pressure can also indicate mental health problems.

Suicidal ideation: If you feel like your life is over then it also means that you have some problem. You may feel stressed, anxious or depressed due to problems such as bullying, failure in exams or family problems. You need to seek timely intervention without any delay.

In infants and toddlers, Dr Sudha Saini, Pediatrician at Apollo 24/7 and Apollo Hospitals, Noida, highlighted these warning signs to watch out for:

1. Delay or lack of development of motor skills, such as crawling, walking, and speaking.

2. Lack of interest in toys or other objects.

3. Poor eye contact or difficulty following objects with the eyes.

4. Excessive crying or difficulty calming down.

5. Failure to respond to voice or sounds.

6. Repetitive behaviors, such as rocking or rolling.

In children and adolescents, Dr. Sudha Saini listed:

1. Difficulty learning and retaining new information.

2. Difficulty paying attention or staying focused.

3. Lack of interest in social interactions or relationships.

4. Aggressive or impulsive behavior.

5. Withdrawal from family and friends.

6. Mood swings or emotional instability.

7. Sleep disturbances or changes in appetite.

Dr. Sudha Saini said, “It’s important to note that these behaviors may be normal at certain ages and developmental stages, but if they persist or interfere with daily functioning, it can be a cause for concern. If you are concerned about a child’s mental development, it is important to seek the advice of a qualified health care professional.”

According to developmental behavioral pediatrician Dr. Himani Narula, co-founder and director of Continue Kids, here are some common warning signs that may indicate abnormal mental development in children:

  1. Slow speech and language skills
  2. Difficulty with social interaction and making friends
  3. Lack of interest in sports or limited sports skills
  4. Repetitive behaviors or obsessive interests
  5. Difficulty with learning and academic skills
  6. Poor memory or attention span
  7. Hyperactivity or impulsivity
  8. Abnormal responses to sensory input, such as sensitivity to light or sound
  9. Self-injurious behavior or aggression toward others
  10. Unusual mood swings or emotional outbursts

She concluded, “It’s important to note that these signs do not indicate a developmental disorder or delay, and that each child develops at their own pace. However, if you are concerned about your child’s development or see persistent signs that seem to be affecting their daily life , consultation with a healthcare professional or mental health provider is recommended for further evaluation and support.”

Leave a Comment