Have you ever seen a baby with P-T-S-D? You may have, and never even realized it. That’s because experts say more young children than ever are suffering from severe mental illnesses. Everything from P-T-S-D to depression. In fact, 1 in 10 young children have a psychiatric disorder - the same percentage as adults. But most of them aren’t being treated, and it’s causing lifelong damage. 

A new study found that preschool children with depression are 6 times more likely than other kids to be depressed as they grow into adults. And, brain scans show that a huge number of young children have an enlarged amygdala. That’s the part of the brain that controls emotions like fear. 

So, why do so many kids have mental disorders? Dr. Robert Emde is a psychiatry professor, and he says no one really knows, because babies and young children can’t fully express themselves. An anxious child often can’t put their feelings into words, and can only show their pain by doing physical things, like crying or clinging to their parents. But since that’s typical kid behavior, that sets off zero warning bells. 

The good news is there’s still time to fix or eliminate mental problems in children because their brains are still developing. The key is spotting their illness in the first place.

So, parents, how do you tell if your child has a mental disorder? The warning signs of mental illness are: Being tired all the time, and indifferent about everything - from what they eat to what they wear. And the big clue? They suddenly have no interest in play time, and want to be by themselves. 

If you’d like to go further, check out the website NationalAllianceonMentalIllness.org.