Everyone will have times when they feel sad or anxious, but prolonged mood disorders are serious and more difficult to control. Children and teens can be diagnosed with depression and/or anxiety, and as parents we need to be mindful not to dismiss real warning signs as just kids being mopey or going through a phase.
Sleeping poorly or not at all
Apathetic toward previous interests
Lack of energy, motivation, or effort
Changes in appetite
Expression of perceived lack of self worth/importance (low self esteem)
Expression of hopelessness
Physical self-harm or expression of self-harm (e.g. threatening suicide)
I think my child is dealing with depression; what should I do?
If you suspect your child is struggling with depression or anxiety, tell your doctor! Depression is not something to be ignored in the hope that it will go away on its own. There are multiple options for helping someone dealing with depression and anxiety, and the sooner the issue can be addressed the better. Early detection and intervention can help reduce the severity of symptoms and quicken recovery.
My child is confirmed as having depression; what should I do?
Communicate with whomever is treating your child (primary care doctor, specialist, etc.) for advice on how to handle your child’s depression that will best align with their treatment. Provide a positive environment at home for your child. Make sure they know their depression is not their fault or because they did something wrong. Build them up as much as possible; look for ways to encourage them and support them.
As always, if you have questions or would like more information, please contact either office or reach out to us online and we will be glad to help you!
Information compiled from articles from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America and Nationwide Children’s Hospital