Research

Anxiety

Anxiety

Anxiety 2000 1335 Team Mindsum
Listen to this article (08:47)
Last updated: 4 January 2021

What is anxiety?

Causes of anxiety

The symptoms of anxiety

Treating anxiety

List of useful resources

How Mindsum can help?

What is anxiety?

Children and young people feel worried and fearful about different things sometimes, which is a normal part of growing up. This is often the case when they are faced with challenging tasks, unfamiliar people and unfamiliar situations.

Anxiety becomes a problem when these worries and fears are so severe and persistent that they start to interfere with normal activities in the child’s everyday life.

For example, on the first day at a new school, all children feel nervous. But some may feel so nervous that they fail to turn up.

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health problems experienced by young people. But lots of people still suffer in silence. It is important to recognize anxiety and find the right support, so that more serious mental health problems can be prevented.

Causes of anxiety

The cause of anxiety in children and young people is likely due to a combination of different factors. Here are some factors to consider:

  • History of anxiety in the family

  • Being around anxious people

  • Having a stressful experience around a particular situation or object (e.g. social situation, animal, heights, planes)

  • Trauma (e.g. neglect, sexual abuse, accidents, deaths)

  • Big life changes (e.g. moving to a new house, death of a loved one, starting a new school)

  • Situations at home or school (e.g. parents fighting, abuse, bullying, exams)

It is very common for children and young people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or autism spectrum disorder to suffer from anxiety. 

Depression

Depression

Depression 2000 1331 Team Mindsum
Listen to this article (06:05)
Last updated: 4 January 2021

What is depression?

Causes of depression

The symptoms of depression

Treating depression

List of useful resources

How Mindsum can help?

What is depression?

Depression is when there is a change in the person’s mood, thoughts and behaviour. The changes in mood typically involve a low mood, but in children and young people this also includes an irritable mood.

 

Depression can be mild, moderate or severe. A mild depression might not stop a child or young person from going about their everyday life. But a moderate or severe depression that stops a child from doing their normal activities is a cause for concern.

 

During severe depression, a child or young person might become overwhelmed by feelings of sadness and worthlessness. For this reason, severe depression can make a child or young person feel suicidal. It is important to recognize these signs so that the right support can be given early on to prevent serious harm.

 

Causes of depression

The cause of depression in children and young people can include a combination of different factors. Here are some factors to consider:

  • A history of depression in the family

  • Conflict or violence at home

  • Pressures at home or at school (e.g. having to take care of a sick relative or having many exams)

  • Big life changes (e.g. parent separation, death of loved one)

  • Trauma, physical or sexual abuse

  • Bullying

  • Chronic illness (e.g. diabetes, asthma, epilepsy, irritable bowel syndrome)

Conduct disorders

Conduct disorders

Conduct disorders 2000 1333 Team Mindsum
Listen to this article (07:15)
Last updated: 4 January 2021

What are conduct disorders?

Causes of conduct disorders

The symptoms of conduct disorders

Treating conduct disorders

List of useful resources

How Mindsum can help?

What are conduct disorders?

When a child has a conduct disorder, it is different from when a child is occasionally naughty and sometimes has tantrums. Conduct disorders refer to a set of disruptive and violent behavioural problems in the child that is severe and continues to persist over time.

Conduct disorders are known as the most common mental health disorders in children and young people. There are two types of this disorder: Conduct disorder (CD) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD).

Conduct Disorder (CD) refers to a repetitive pattern of behaviour, where the child or young person acts in a way that is anti-social by disobeying, causing harm or distress to themselves or others and does not act normal according to their age.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) refers to a less severe form of CD in younger children, where there is a repetitive pattern of disobeying, arguing and opposing parents and people in authority.

Causes of conduct disorders

The cause of conduct disorders is unknown. It likely involves a combination of genetic and environmental factors. These are some factors that increase the risk of developing this disorder:

Individual characteristics

  • It is more common in boys than in girls

  • Co-existing problems with learning

  • Co-existing mental health conditions

  • Co-existing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which is common in conduct disorders

Family influences

  • Has a parent or sibling with a conduct disorder

  • Physical or sexual abuse

  • Rejection or harsh criticism from parents

  • Exposed to conflict between parents

  • Poverty in the family

Other risk factors

  • Being bullied

  • Physical or sexual abuse outside of the family

  • Involvement with other young people with behavioural problems

  • Using recreational drugs

ADHD and mental health

ADHD & mental health

ADHD & mental health 2000 1333 Team Mindsum
Listen to this article (07:27)
Last updated: 4 January 2021

What is ADHD?

Causes of ADHD

The symptoms of ADHD

Treating ADHD

List of useful resources

How Mindsum can help?

 

What is ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects behaviour and causes the child or young person to be hyperactive, impulsive and/or inattentive. It is usually spotted in childhood.

Hyperactivity is not always the main sign of ADHD. In fact, there are three types of ADHD. This includes:

The inattentive type, where it is very difficult for the child to focus and pay attention to detail. They easily wander off and find it hard to finish tasks and to be organized.

The hyperactive and impulsive type, where it is very difficult for the child to remain calm. They are always on the go, running around, fidgeting, talking a lot and acting in the moment without thinking.

The combined type, where the child has symptoms of both types mentioned above.

It can be easy for children and young people with ADHD to feel out of control and misunderstood. Others who may not understand, can think that they are acting out on purpose. This can make them feel sad and alone and can affect their self-esteem. It is important to support children and young people with ADHD in managing the disorder and preventing problems with their mental health.

Causes of ADHD

The specific cause of ADHD is not known. It is likely due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors, as well as differences in the way the brain works. These are some factors to consider:

  • Runs in families

  • Problems at birth (e.g. low birth weight, preterm delivery)

  • Problems during pregnancy (e.g. smoking, alcohol consumption)

  • Lead exposure at a young age

  • Brain injury

  • Epilepsy

  • Iron deficiency

ADHD is diagnosed more often in boys than in girls. This is because boys tend to present with more disruptive symptoms and girls with more inattentive symptoms.  

 

Autism & mental health

Autism & mental health

Autism & mental health 2000 1333 Team Mindsum
Listen to this article (10:57)
Last updated: 4 January 2021

What is ASD?

Causes of ASD

The signs of ASD

Managing ASD

List of useful resources

How Mindsum can help?

 

What is ASD?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects social interaction, communication and behaviour. It is referred to as a spectrum condition because it affects each person differently.

ASD is not an illness. It is a life-long condition that affects the way people see and interact with the world.

Not all children and young people with ASD suffer from mental health issues, although it is very common. Children and young people with ASD can have mental and behavioural issues such as anxiety, depression, oppositional defiant disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and learning difficulties. It is important to support children and young people with ASD in managing the condition and preventing these mental health problems.

Causes of ASD

The specific cause of ASD is not known. It is likely due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Here are some factors that are associated with ASD:

  • Boys are 3-4 times more likely to be affected by ASD than girls

  • Genetics (e.g. sibling with ASD)

  • Parent with psychosis, schizophrenia or affective disorder

  • Birth defects

  • Premature birth

  • Use of sodium valproate during pregnancy

  • Existing learning difficulties

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

  • Other genetic conditions (e.g. muscle dystrophy, down’s syndrome, fragile X syndrome)

Autism is NOT caused by:

  • Bad parenting

  • Vaccines, such as the MMR vaccine

  • Diet

  • An infection you can spread to other people

A video explaining Autism – The National Autistic Society
Obsessive-compulsive disorder

Obsessive compulsive disorder

Obsessive compulsive disorder 2000 1335 Team Mindsum
Listen to this article (06:56)
Last updated: 4 January 2021

What is OCD?

Causes of OCD

The symptoms of OCD

Treating OCD

List of useful resources

How Mindsum can help?

What is OCD?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is when the child or young person continues to have recurrent obsessional thoughts and compulsions, or both.

OCD does not just mean that people like to wash their hands regularly and be tidy. It is a serious condition that often makes everyday life extremely hard to cope with.

For example, a child or young person may have constant unwelcomed thoughts that their parents might suddenly die. They might repeat special ritualistic words out loud several times, convinced that this will stop it from happening.

Children and young people living with OCD can feel very anxious, lonely and isolated. The obsessive thoughts are sometimes very disturbing, and it can leave them feeling shameful and out of control. The compulsions can also take a long time to complete and it can be seen as strange by others.  It is important to support children and young people with OCD in managing the disorder and preventing serious problems in their mental health. 

Causes of OCD

The specific cause of OCD is not known. It is likely due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. These are some risk factors to consider:

  • Runs in families

  • Physical, sexual or emotional abuse

  • Childhood neglect

  • Bullying

  • During and after pregnancy (e.g. unwanted thoughts of hurting the baby)

  • Existing learning disorders

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 2000 1333 Team Mindsum
Listen to this article (09:20)
Last updated: 4 January 2021

What is PTSD?

Causes of PTSD

The symptoms of PTSD

Treating PTSD

List of useful resources

How Mindsum can help?

What is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a form of anxiety that is experienced by people who have been exposed to traumatic events. It is a common mental health condition, that can affect people of all ages, including children and young people.

Following exposure to a traumatic event (e.g. witnessing a severe accident) it is normal for people to feel disturbed by the incident and have some difficulties, such as nightmares and low mood. This is known as an acute stress reaction and it usually disappears after some weeks.

For some people, these difficulties can be more severe and persist over time, lasting longer than one month. This is a sign that they could be suffering from PTSD.

Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

People who repeatedly experience traumatic situations, such as severe neglect, abuse or violence, may be diagnosed with complex PTSD.

Complex PTSD can cause similar symptoms to PTSD and may not develop until years after the event. It’s often more severe if the trauma was experienced early in life, as this can affect a child’s development.

Causes of PTSD

There are many traumatic situations or events that can cause a child or young person to develop PTSD. Some people might find some events more traumatic than others. Examples of traumatic events include:

  • Serious car accidents

  • Physical or sexual abuse

  • Being attacked, kidnapped or held hostage

  • Childhood abuse

  • Witnessing or being involved in domestic abuse 

  • Surviving war or natural disasters

  • Witnessing or being involved in torture

  • Witnessing death, or the deceased

  • Learning that someone close to you has been affected by trauma (known as secondary trauma)

Not all exposure to distressing events will cause a person to develop PTSD. But there are some risk factors that can make this more likely to happen. This includes:

  • Being a child or young person

  • If the trauma was a physical assault or rape in nature

  • Having experienced previous traumas

  • Experiencing many stressors at the same time

  • Having a history of mental health disorders

  • Being a child with a lack of support from family members

  • Being a child of parents with mental health difficulties

Bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder 2000 1333 Team Mindsum
Listen to this article (09:37)
Last updated: 4 January 2021

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Causes of Bipolar Disorder

The symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

Treating Bipolar Disorder

List of useful resources

How Mindsum can help?

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder also known as manic depression, is a serious and long-term mental illness that causes a person’s mood to swing between two extremes. This includes:

Mania/Hypomania  – Experiencing high moods, irritability and a big increase in activity.

Depression – Feeling sad, having low mood, irritability or loss of interest.

Bipolar disorder is more common in younger age groups between 16-24 year olds. It is not like the common mood swing. Bipolar disorder is severe. It can cause problems in the everyday life of a child or young person and can sometimes lead to hospitalization.

During an episode of depression, people with bipolar disorder can be overwhelmed by feelings of worthlessness. Because of this, people with this disorder can often have thoughts about suicide. It is important to pay attention to these signs, so that the right support can be given early on to prevent serious harm.

Causes of Bipolar Disorder 

The cause of bipolar disorder is due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors and an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. These are some factors to consider:

  • If a close relative has bipolar disorder

  • Early life stress (e.g. abuse, neglect, trauma)

  • Maternal death before turning 5 years old

  • Use of cannabis

  • Exposure to cocaine 

    Your Name *

    Your Email *

      Privacy Preferences

      When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in the form of cookies. Here you can change your Privacy preferences. It is worth noting that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we are able to offer.

      Click to enable/disable Google Analytics tracking code.
      Click to enable/disable Google Fonts.
      Click to enable/disable Google Maps.
      Click to enable/disable video embeds.
      Our website uses cookies, mainly from 3rd party services. Please confirm, if you agree to our Privacy Preferences and our use of cookies.