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When should we seek help from a Psychologist?

It can be tricky to know whether your child is experiencing moods and emotions typical of their age group, or if something more serious may be emerging. Many adolescents find themselves asking the same questions; wondering whether seeing a professional could help them to feel better.

The point at which help is sought varies between individuals. A common red flag is notable changes in the person's mood or behaviour. This may include increases in the frequency or intensity of:

  • Feeling sad, being negative, or overall low mood

  • Seeming worried or nervous about many things

  • Being irritable and angry

  • Withdrawing from family and friends

  • Spending more time alone

  • Having less motivation for school work, or sudden difficulty with the work

  • Trying to avoid attending school

  • Less interest in activities which they used to enjoy

  • Becoming easily overwhelmed by everyday situations

  • Sleeping more or less than previously, or trouble getting to sleep

  • Complaining often about physical symptoms (such as headaches or stomach-aches).

  • Eating more or less than previously, or other notable changes to their diet

For younger children, concerns may arise if you notice:

  • A loss of skills that they previously had used often (a Paediatrician should also be seen)

  • Sudden increase in emotional outbursts

  • A lack of interest in playing and engaging with peers or adults

Immediate help:

If you, or someone you know, is hurting themselves, expressing a want to die or not be here, is hearing or seeing things which no one else can (hallucinations), or has strong irrational/strange ideas (delusions), it is important to seek immediate clinical assessment.

Please contact Psychiatric Triage 24/7 on: - Under 15 years old: Call 1800 445 511

- 15 years and over: Call 1800 888 320

For more information, the following websites contain helpful information:

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