Issues Surrounding Infant, Child and Youth Mental Health Problems

First of all, mental health problems can affect anyone of any age, even young children. Indeed, around 10 percent of children between the ages of 5 and 16 have a mental health problem according to the Office of National Statistics and around 4 percent are suffering from some form of anxiety and stress.

One of the main difficulties surrounding infant, child and youth mental health problems is that it can be more difficult to diagnose a mental health problem in a younger person. There are several reasons for this but the main ones are that younger people, particularly very young children, can have difficulty expressing their feelings and are not as able to tell us exactly what’s going on in their minds. Another reason that diagnosing mental health problems in younger people is difficult is because the symptoms can quite often be attributed to something else and not to a mental health problem.

For example, it is perfectly normal for teenagers to go through a period of turmoil; we can all understand that, however, differentiating between what is a normal part of growing up and what could be a mental health problem is not so straightforward.

So what are the main symptoms of mental health problems in children and young adults and how can you recognise them?

The signs and symptoms of a mental health problem in children and young adults are similar to the mental health symptoms displayed in older adults.

  • - Persistent sadness and melancholy
  • - Vague aches and pains with no obvious physical cause
  • - Performing badly in school (or work related problems in the case of adults)
  • - Having low self esteem and confidence
  • - Losing interest in activities they used to enjoy
  • - Changes in eating patterns leading to weight loss or weight gain
  • - Disrupted sleeping patterns where the young person finds it difficult to go to sleep or is sleeping too much
  • - Outbursts of anger and emotion
  • - Showing excessive fearfulness, clinginess and insecurity
  • - Becoming overly concerned about how they look
  • - Avoidance of social activities and social contact
  • - Constant fidgeting, agitation and restlessness
  • - Poor concentration
  • - Displaying obsessive behaviour
  • - Acting in a destructive manner
  • - Inability to follow simple instructions and carry out tasks

An older child may also express feelings of being out of control of their lives, show disorganised behaviour, experience delusions or hallucinations, or indulge in drugs or alcohol or may even talk about suicide.

If you have the slightest doubt that your child is suffering from a mental health problem of any sort then don’t delay, speak to your doctor who will be able to advise you or if necessary refer you to a more specialised professional.


Fish Oil And Bipolar

With the ups and downs that are associated with bipolar disorder (sometimes referenced as manic depressive disorder in more recent times), it’s understandable that the patient might want to find a medication that can help to keep things more level. Instead of having the extreme highs and lows, the patient can manage their disorder and live a healthy and normal life. In recent years, the idea of additional medications and natural remedies to handle this diagnosis has been discussed – with surprising answers.

What is Bipolar Disorder?

When the brain is unable to regular the chemicals in the brain that affect mood, the patient can experience wide variations in their temperament. The ‘ups’ include euphoric feelings in which the patient is energetic, happy, and feels as though they can accomplish anything. They will often not eat as much, they will sleep little, and they will be very productive. However, when the brain chemistry changes, the ‘downs’ create depressive states in which the world seems lonely. The patient may be sad or angry as well as begin to isolate themselves from the world. In some ‘downs,’ the patient can begin to have suicidal thoughts along with fatigue, changes in eating habits and crying spells.

What’s hard about bipolar disorder is that there is so little known about the chemistry in the brain that it’s hard to determine how to control these chemicals. While this condition is not difficult to diagnose anymore, the medication and therapies that are tried can be successful for a time and then stop working as they once did. This may be due to another shift in the brain’s chemistry or the body simply building up a resistance to the medications themselves.

A lifelong disorder, bipolar disorder can lead to major life disruptions as swings in mood can lead to erratic and harmful behaviours that need to result in hospitalisations. Once the moods are stabilised again, the patient is free to leave the hospital, but the cycles can repeat again and again.

How is Bipolar Disorder Traditionally Treated?

While the individual cases of bipolar disorder and treatments vary, there are a few common therapies that are used more commonly:

Mood stabilisers
Anti-psychotic medications
Acute hospitalisation
Outpatient therapy

With medications like mood stabilisers, the mood can be greatly regulated over the long term. Medications like lithium are widely prescribed, but they have side effects that can be detrimental to the long term health of the patient. Other medications need to be closely monitored in the bloodstream as they can affect the liver and other organs if too highly concentrated. Other medications like anti-psychotics and anti-depressants are only used in short term therapies as a sort of bridge out of the mania or the depressive state.

Talking therapies can be beneficial when used in conjunction with medication therapy, but by itself, this does not address the brain chemistry malfunctions. Hospitalisation is a fair way to address the change in brain chemistry, but the treatment is only for issues in which the patient is suicidal and harmful to themselves and to others.

What are the Studies Saying?

That said, there are some promising studies that are linking the use of fish oil and success with bipolar disorder patients. In 1999, a controlled study used fish oil and the placebo of olive oil to see how patients with bipolar disorder responded. Results showed that moods stabilisation was possible with the use of fish oil, often helping to promote the same cellular reactions as lithium and other medications.

Another statistical analysis of countries that eat diets high in fish and fish oil showed that these countries had much lower rates or mood related disorders.

How to Increase Fish Oil Levels in the Body

The good news is that adding fish oil and essential fatty acids to the diet is a relatively simple process. With a number of fatty fishes to choose from, it’s simple to add two to three servings of these essential nutrients to your diet each week. However, with rising pollution counts in the water, scientists are wary of suggesting human consumption of anything more than two to three servings a week. Higher mercury levels in the water can damage the body and cause toxicity in the bloodstream.

Essential fatty acids can also be found in non-fish sources like flaxseed, nuts, and seeds. Many more food choices are also being fortified with Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, so it’s easier than ever to add these to the diet.

However, finding the time to prepare fish and to find these products can be difficult. To help make this step easier, fish oil supplements are also available. They provide concentrated amounts of essential fatty acids in a convenient form. In addition, they don’t contain the high levels of mercury.


While dealing with mental illness requires several different approaches to therapy, adding fish oil seems to be the easier step toward more stable moods and a much more stable life.

Fish Oil and Heart Disease

According to National Statistics online, nearly 15% of the population of the UK are suffering or have suffered from a cardiac health event in their lifetimes. That means that for every 100 people in the room, about 15 of them will have a heart attack or suffer from a coronary disease. Interestingly enough, this statistic includes both men and women, with men only having a slight advantage over the women in terms of number of cases. Even with all we know about heart disease and how to prevent it, it seems that there is so much more to learn.

What is Heart Disease?

The heart is the muscle in the body that allows for transportation of materials throughout the body. When a person takes in food, these meals are broken down by the digestive system in order to be accessible for functions in the body. As the food is broken down into nutrients, these nutrients are then transported into the blood stream in order to get to the right areas of the body. When the heart pumps, it moves these blood cells around to the extremities and then when it contracts, it pulls the blood into itself by means of the veins in order to push that blood into the body into the arteries. When the heart is unable to function properly, this process can not take place.

There are a number of reasons and names for the idea of heart disease. At its simplest definition, heart disease is when the heart is damaged or just unable to work as it should. This can be a hereditary and congenital condition, like in the instance of a valve problem. A patient can have this from birth and never need to have anything done to repair it, while other patients need to have this fixed in order to make sure that heart works properly.

Heart disease can be grouped into being caused by heredity, lifestyle or by a defect or injury. Hereditary factors like a predisposition to high cholesterol can cause troubles like heart attacks and myocardial infarction. Then again, if a patient takes in too much cholesterol and fat into their diet, they can also increase their risk for heart disease.

The heart disease cases that cause troubles for patients will have conditions like hardening of the arteries, blockages of the vessels, and a narrowing/widening of these passageways for the blood. When the vessels become too blocked, blood can not get to the heart, resulting in heart damage and death.

What are the Symptoms of Heart Disease?

The real concern when it comes to heart disease is that there may be few, if any, symptoms at first. A patient may have completely normal lab results as well as no noticeable physical symptoms. In more advanced cases, the cholesterol levels will be high, the LDL levels will be high, and HDL levels will be low. Blood pressure readings may increase and the patient may report mild chest pain and tightness. Some patients even report troubles with breathing during activity. The heart rate may be higher as has become more difficult for the heart to do the same job on a lower number of beats per minute.

In an emergent condition, the symptoms would be an increased heart rate, crushing chest pain, and possibly nausea. Others report that they had a raised temperature and sweating, as well as left arm weakness.

How Can Fish Oil Help?

According to recent studies done at Harvard Medical University, fish oil seems to be able to prevent heart disease. With its anti-inflammatory properties, fish oil seems to allow the body to repair smaller damage spots before they become too problematic. There have also been previous studies linking the idea of using fish oil and lowering bad cholesterol as well as increasing good cholesterol. The essential fatty acids in fish oil help the body process the cholesterol and other toxins in the body before they build up in the liver and cause damage.

Where Can You Find Fish Oil Sources?

Understandably so, fish oil can be found in its purest form in oily fishes. Fish choices like salmon, herring, kipper, and mackerel all contain high levels of Omega 3 fatty acids that can help to protect the heart from heart disease. In addition, there are studies being done now that indicate that fish oil might be able to help in the repair of damage from previous concerns with heart disease and heart attacks. In countries with a high fish consumption, the prevalence of heart disease is much lower, even with the high smoking rates (as in Japan, for example).


While there are many studies that are questioning the use of fish oil in the treatment and prevention of heart disease, it’s clear that there is some connection. Since the body can not make this essential fatty acid on its own, adding a supplement to the diet can not be a hard decision to make.

Benefits of Fish Oil and Calcium

Benefits of Fish Oil and Calcium Benefits of Fish Oil and CalciumIn today’s competitive world where people have become so busy that they don’t even have time for their meals, the role of health supplements becomes very crucial. Though there are numerous nutrients and vitamin supplements available in the market, choosing the right one is an important decision. Fish oil and calcium are the elements that are vital requirements of a healthy body and mind. These are two different contents that meet the different body needs. However, when these contents are taken together they have positive effects on bones.

A recent study from Harvard University in conjunction with the Center for Disease Control revealed that Omega-3 deficiency causes nearly 96,000 deaths every year, making it the 8th leading cause of death. Hence, fish oil that is rich in omega 3 is highly recommended by the health experts. The fish oil supplement is known to have several health benefits. It helps in reducing inflammation, creating new neurons in the brain, preventing heart diseases and many more. It has also been found that intake of fish oil and calcium together results in higher bone density and fewer fractures.

A combination of fish oil and calcium has proved to be highly beneficial for women. It is said that these elements when taken together can help to protect women from osteoporosis. It is a disease a disease of bone that leads to an increased risk of fracture and is highly common amongst women. One 18-month study of 65 postmenopausal women found that those who were given a combination of fish oil together and calcium had higher bone density and fewer fractures than those who were given the calcium and a placebo.

Besides deriving benefits from the joint intake of these two elements, one can also take these nutrients separately for individual health benefits. While fish oil can be taken for the prevention of heart attacks, strokes, and several other diseases, calcium can be taken for healthier bones and teeth.