By Yasmin Mossanen, Psy.D.
Let’s face it; we all are guilty of using psychological language to label our children’s’ behaviors. It is not meant to be harmful or malicious, however, the sudden increase in mental health diagnosis in children is forcing us to take a hard look at what options we take as parents. Research has shown that ADHD is diagnosed in 1/10 children, Autism Spectrum Disorder is diagnosed in 1 out of 54 school-aged-boys, and mood disorders have increased by 40% in the last decade. Why the sudden surge?
Educators, administrators, and parents have become casual about incorporating mental health language in everyday life. Over-diagnosis in our school systems has paved the way to medicate and abnormalize children’s normal behavior. It is common for parents to categorize their child’s behavior in order to control it. Consequently, it is easy to forget that a mental diagnosis will follow children into adulthood. The label and the experience that comes with the disorder are irreversible. Mental health diagnoses are important and can be very helpful, and you want your child to be diagnosed with a mental health disorder if he/she really has one. (more…)