If at all possible, avoid labeling a child with a mental health diagnosis. It follows the child into adulthood and can result in major problems for that person. In today’s medical culture it is used to judge a patient as soon as the medical professional reads the file. Often even before they have had a chance to have any interaction with the patient. For example, if a person is diagnosed as bi-polar, any questioning of a diagnosis is labeled as paranoia and any non compliance to the decree of treatment is labeled as depression and/or anxiety. If the patient becomes angry or upset, the medical professional can take legal ownership of the patient never trying to understand why they are angry or upset in the first place. The diagnosis could also be wrong and dysfunctional behaviour in children is resulting in many child being diagnosed with ADHD, when in fact they could be dealing with depression or a catastrophic life event. As human beings we like to categorize people and behaviour into nice tidy labels. But depending on the child’s environment, a developing brain can result in a whole host and range of behaviours that don’t quite fit within an adult checklist of a mental health diagnosis. It’s dangerous, damaging and perfidious.
Behaviour is a child’s biggest communication tool. Instead of trying to fit them into a category that makes the adult feel better try listening, understanding and then help them deal with whatever is happening for them that is creating that behaviour.