Child mental health is often misunderstood. Dr. Harold Koplewicz addresses 7 common myths about child mental health.

Whenever the words “special needs” are spoken, I automatically picture a physical or medical condition. Mental health needs always come to mind later, if they come to mind at all. And I’m saying that as the parent of a child who has been treated for both physical and mental conditions.

Dr. Harold Koplewicz

According to Dr. Harold Koplewicz, a leading child and adolescent psychiatrist, my response is fairly common. In a September 19 Huffington Post article he says, “It is easy to empathize with suffering we can see: a child who lost hair in chemotherapy, for instance. The suffering of a child with psychiatric issues is far less obvious. Many children and teens with emotional problems keep their pain secret. Others express their feelings in risky or offensive ways. Due largely to stigma–fear, shame and misunderstanding about mental health disorders–the majority never receive clinical care.”

7 Common Child Mental Health Myths

In the same article, he debunks 7 myths about child mental health. They are:

  1. A child with a psychiatric disorder is damaged for life.
  2. Psychiatric problems result from personal weakness.
  3. Psychiatric disorders result from bad parenting.
  4. A child can manage a psychiatric disorder through will power.
  5. Therapy for kids is a waste of time.
  6. Children are overmedicated.
  7. Children grow out of mental health problems.


To learn how Koplewicz debunks these myths, read the entire article at And if you have more mental illness myths to debunk, leave a comment. It’s time to approach treatment for mental illness with the same respect given treatment for physical illness, don’t you think?

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