Depression and Anxiety:
Problems with mood and worrying are very common in society today. Everybody has bad days at times, but it’s important to get some extra help when anxiety or sadness begin to interfere with one’s ability to parent well, be successful at work, or simply to be happy. Also, when your child or teen is experiencing anxiety or depression symptoms that are causing distress to them and/or beginning to interfere with their daily life, support is critical.
The good news is that anxiety and depression are very treatable, and people can learn to manage these challenges well with help. Medication and therapy are both approaches that can help with these difficulties. We focus on therapy to help the client learn lifelong strategies to tackle these kinds of problems.
For parents, recognizing depression and anxiety in their children can be difficult as the child or teen is not always aware themselves, and some may be unwilling or unable to express what they are feeling. Below are some of the signs.
Depression is a mood disorder and can look like:
- Long periods of sadness and tearfulness
- Increased irritability, reactiveness and aggression
- A child not wanting to get up in the morning, and/or seeming more lethargic
- Increased trouble focusing and doing schoolwork
- Complaints about physical health (e.g., headaches, stomachaches)
- Thoughts or actions related to self-harm or suicidality
Anxiety can look like:
- Worries (e.g., being liked, being judged, being separated from parents, something bad happening to them or their loved ones, school performance/exams, the weather)
- Changes in mood (e.g., irritability), lowered concentration and school performance
- Physical complaints (e.g., headaches, stomach aches)
- Difficulties with sleep and energy
- Panic attacks (including rapid breathing, intense fear, and chest pain)