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Chemical Imbalance in Kids

By Julie Boehlke ; Updated August 14, 2017

Children faced with a chemical imbalance in their bodies may display signs of defiance and mental illness. Some children are only treated for their symptoms rather than a disease; this can make an accurate diagnosis difficult. Health Center explains that a chemical imbalance is a type of disruption of the neurotransmitters in the brain. When this occurs, it can lead to serious mental health conditions.


The brain consists of billions of nerve cells that work together to form thought and communication. In children, these nerve cells are developing rapidly. If there is any type of irregularity, a chemical imbalance can occur, explains Health Center. Because children are learning and absorbing information rapidly, it is important to recognize psychological issues so that these issues don’t affect their learning abilities.


There are some things to look for when identifying a chemical imbalance in a child. Many times, it can surface through symptoms of anxiety. These symptoms could include panic attacks, changes in heart rate, dizziness, feeling of losing control, isolation and body temperature changes. Depression can also be an indication of a chemical imbalance, states the "Insight Journal" website. Feeling sad, unable to concentrate, feeling hopeless, guilty and overwhelmingly fatigued are symptoms of depression. Some children experience drastic and sudden changes in moods, temperament and aggression when they have a chemical imbalance.


It is important to take into consideration any other type of physical problem a child may have. Certain underlying medical conditions could give off the warning that there is a chemical imbalance with a child. Diabetes can fluctuate blood sugar levels causing behavioral issues that could replicate a chemical imbalance. Attention Deficit Disorder or Oppositional Defiant Disorder may also mimic symptoms of a chemical imbalance, explains Special Kids Today.


Treating a chemical imbalance starts with first evaluating the child by a medical doctor to rule out medical conditions or treat them accordingly. A referral to a psychologist can then determine what treatment will be necessary. Often times, Positron Emission Tomography, or a PET scan, is used to evaluate the neurotransmitters in the brain, both before, during and after medicinal treatment, explains Mental Health Matters. Medications that target the brains neurotransmitters are generally used to even out their function and prevent fluctuations.


The goal of most parents and physicians is to treat the chemical imbalance effectively so that the child has a productive and successful life. A child should be able to make effective decisions while at school and at play. Once proper treatment is in effect, it must still be monitored to evaluate the child's progress emotionally and physically over time.

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