Did you know that millions of American children are dealing with anxiety and depression? The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 7.1% of children in the United States between the ages of 3-17 have been diagnosed with anxiety and 3.2% of children within the same age range have been diagnosed with depression.
Learn more about depression in children and how you can help your child through it.
Top Signs of Depression in Children
Similar to depression in teens, it can be difficult to identify anxiety and depression in children. With so many changes happening within school and extracurricular activities, it can be hard for parents to identify which specific signs signal depression in children.
The following are a list of symptoms that may mean your child is experiencing anxiety and depression and may need help:
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Excessive fatigue
- Excessive feelings of sadness
- Expressions of low self-worth
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Loss of interest in activities he or she once enjoyed
- Thoughts of death or suicide
- Weight gain or loss
5 Ways to Help Your Child With Their Anxiety or Depression
If you are concerned that your child has depression, there are several things you can do to help her.
First and foremost, if your child has expressed thoughts of death or suicide, contact a medical professional immediately.
- Then, try and open lines of communication with your child. Discuss what is upsetting them and ask for tangible ways that you can help them feel better.
- Second, let their doctor know. In some cases, annual exams include a depression screener. If your pediatrician does not use a depression screener, speak up and let him or her know that you have concerns about your child’s mental health.
- Promote good health in your home. Encourage daily exercise, dense nutrition and consistent sleep patterns. While these will not cure depression, they can help produce endorphins and dopamine to combat its symptoms.
- Pursue psychotherapy and potentially medication. Psychotherapy is an effective tool in treating depression in children — some types of therapy mimic play, which can help children express their anxiety and emotions. In moderate to severe cases of depression, medication may be prescribed. This works best in conjunction counseling and psychotherapy.
- Residential treatment centers are another option for children who have depression. Removing a child from their familiar environment can give them the space needed to heal and focus on their mental health. Residential treatment centers also include school so that students do not fall behind academically.
Where to Find Healing and Hope: Lake House Academy
If you are concerned about your child coping with their anxiety or depression, contact Lake House Academy today.
A therapeutic boarding school in Flat Rock, North Carolina, we at Lake House Academy help teenage girls between the ages of 12-16. We specialize in helping girls and their families communicate the essentialness of anxiety and depression being reduced through a connection with trusted others.
Our students also receive play-based therapy, called Theraplay, along with other innovative and research-backed therapies.
We are ready to help your family heal. You can connect with us at: (855) 214-2998