Child Anxiety & Depression

Anxiety and depression are not just conditions that adults face. Children can suffer from anxiety and depression, too. Between 3 million and 6 million children, as of 2010, suffer from depression and are at risk for suicide, according to the Healthy Place website. If you suspect that your child is anxious or depressed, don’t blame yourself, because the causes are often complex.

Professional Help

Fewer than one in five children who suffer from mental illness get help for it. The key is to determine whether your child needs help and then to seek treatment. One sign to look for is a sadness that your child can’t seem to shake. Other signs to look for are difficulty sleeping or concentrating, falling grades in school, mood swings and low self-esteem. A child psychiatrist can evaluate whether your child needs help.

Depression

If you or your husband suffers from depression, your child is three times more likely to suffer from it, too, according to the Healthy Place website. Chronic stress in the household can also lead to depression. If a child lives in a home with an alcoholic or abusive parent or if a child must deal with the loss of a parent through death or divorce, this incredible stress can lead to depression. Psychotherapy is an effective treatment for children because the symptoms are not yet entrenched.

Anxiety

Anxiety comes from fears that children have. It is common for young children to develop a fear of the dark or a monster under the bed. If these fears become worse and start to interfere with daily life, this can be problematic and could mean your child needs professional help. Separation anxiety is a common childhood anxiety that causes a child to panic when separated from you or another loved one. A child may refuse to leave the house and become clingy to you. This anxiety could lead to your child being afraid to go to school. Doctors often use behavioral therapy to help the child learn to overcome the fears.

Significance

One in eight children suffers from anxiety disorders. If left untreated, your child could miss out on social experiences, do poorly in school, and be tempted to try drugs or alcohol, according to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America. With the proper treatment, your child can manage the anxiety and live a normal life.

Relationship Between Anxiety and Depression

Many times children can have depression and anxiety. About half the people who have depression also have an anxiety disorder, according to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America. A psychiatrist can often treat depression and anxiety at the same time and in the same way, generally with behavioral therapy and sometimes with antidepressants.

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