Mental illnesses can haunt a person for life. Without professional help, even young children can be subjected to a myriad of mental illnesses. This can prevent them from forming meaningful relationships with peers. Mental illnesses can also lead a child to develop a negative view of themselves and of other people.
As a parent, you would want your child to have the best in life. Whether you’re still an expectant mother or a doting father to a toddler, here are some tips on how to prevent and cure mental illnesses from conception to infancy. Because “The relational aspect of our mental health has been strongly supported by attachment and infant mental health research. ” Megan Baker Welles, LCPC, LMFT explains.
Prevention Is Key
There are mental illnesses that can be detected even when babies are in the womb. Specialized tests can already identify abnormalities in the fetus. If you are expecting a child soon, do your due diligence by taking these tests. In so doing, you will be able to anticipate possible problems and address them early on.
However, if you are just planning to have a baby, there are several ways to prevent passing on mental illnesses to your precious one.
- Check your family’s lineage: Do a number of your family members suffer from a particular mental illness? It is possible that it can be passed on to your child genetically. If you are still unaware of any condition that can hamper your child’s development, there are tests can also detect existing genetic conditions. These tests might prove to be helpful later on.
- Mothers should take care of themselves physically and emotionally: A fetus can feel if his/ her mother is stressed or is suffering emotionally. More importantly, a stressful womb environment can affect the development of a fetus negatively. Schizophrenia and ADHD are just some examples of mental illnesses that result from maternal stress. This can lead a child to contract emotional and behavioral problems later on in life.
If you have depression, you should consult your medical professional immediately. They can give prescriptions on medications that are not harmful to developing a fetus.
Early Detection And Intervention: Consult An Expert
“Mental health issues can be caused by a combination of biological, psychological and environmental factors, and can have a minor or major impact on a person’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors.” Christina L. Gmyr, LMHC, NCC said. Visit your developmental pediatrician often. Consulting a development pediatrician can be very costly. However, the benefits far outweigh its perceived costs.
Developmental pediatricians can pinpoint developmental delays in infants that can lead to possibly more problematic mental illnesses in the future. Upon examining your child, they will be able to suggest activities or interventions that will improve your child’s predicament.
If your child is already an infant, and you’re suspecting your child to be suffering from any kind of mental illness, do not hesitate to consult medical professionals immediately. Often, waiting it out can make conditions worse for your child.
Support From Family
The presence of family is considered crucial, especially if there is already an existing mental illness in your child. Family members can provide needed support and understanding that a child craves for during these times. “Perinatal mental health can be improved or hindered depending on the level of supportive relationships within couples, families, and communities,” says Shana Averbach, LMFT.
No parent wants their children to have any kind of illness, may it be physical or mental. What makes mental illnesses harder to detect is that older people suffering from mental illnesses can choose to hide it. Thus, preventing the development of mental illnesses in fetuses and curbing its effects through intervention in infants and toddlers benefit them in the long run.