The Rise of Mental Illness in Children
According to the CDC, there are over 6 million children between the ages of 2-17 that have been diagnosed with ADHD. This shocking number speaks to the growing problem of children being diagnosed with mental illness. Other statistics show that 4.4 million children between the ages of 3-17 have been diagnosed with anxiety, and another 1.9 million in that same age range have been diagnosed with depression. Many parents are left puzzled and confused as to why their children are struggling with mental illness at such a young age. These diagnoses wreak havoc on families as they search for solutions to help their children.
The traditional psychiatric model evaluates the symptoms that children experience, and when they fit the criteria of various illnesses they are given that diagnosis. Once the diagnosis has been identified, the doctor typically prescribes a medication that may help to alleviate some of the symptoms of the child’s newfound diagnosis. Many parents are hesitant when it comes to putting their young children on psychiatric medication that is used for mental illness. These medications come with a laundry list of potential side effects that may affect the child in a very negative way. Parents are left in conundrum: to put their child on medication or continue to live life the way they have been living?
The above mentioned scenario is one that is plaguing millions of parents around the country. Doctors are trained to identify symptoms and prescribe medication based upon different symptom clusters that their patients fall under. The current model of Allopathic medicine is focused on treating the symptoms of patients, as opposed to understanding and addressing the root cause of illness. Taking a pill in hopes of alleviating the problem without making any major lifestyle changes is very attractive at face value. The reality is that there are many environmental and behavioral factors that impact a child’s brain over a prolonged period of time that manifest as mental illness.
In order to create sustainable change in the life of a child experiencing mental illness, parents must take time to understand what is at the root cause of their condition. The primary organ that is affected negatively when experiencing symptoms of mental illness is the brain. During this stage of life, a child’s brain is developing at a rapid pace, making it susceptible to both positive and negative inputs. These various inputs shape the functioning of the brain, making it extremely important to incorporate brain healthy habits. Brain healthy habits include nutrition, exercise, yoga, meditation, journaling, and community to name a few. Incorporating these habits into the daily lives of children helps to shape the brain in a positive way. A child spends the majority of their time with parents and teachers, modeling many of their behaviors after them. This leaves a strong need to educate parents and faculty of schools on the importance of brain health and how they can teach principles to children in order to combat the rising rates of mental illness.
It is The SoulPhysio Foundation’s mission to combat Mental and Neurological Illness in children by doing research and creating wellness programs that work to address the root cause of disease using natural methods. These methods include nutrition, exercise, yoga, meditation, and more treatments that help to boost brain function in addition to improving cellular health. They have 2 clinics based in Orange County, CA focused on Brain Health and Eastern Medicine. SoulPhysio is currently looking to raise $1.5M by the end of 2020 to construct an online learning platform that will make quality wellness education available to inner city schools and families. They will also be conducting clinical trials on children with Autism, taking a deeper look at the underlying causes. SoulPhysio is going to be filming an Autism Awareness Documentary showcasing their research as well as interviewing various experts to explore what the future of Autism treatment will look like.