How to Help a Child Who Suffers from Anxiety or Depression

Child looking away from lens.

Suspecting your child is depressed and watching them struggle through each day is a painful experience for any parent to live through. It’s important to dig deeper to find out whether your child is actually struggling with depression or whether the cause of their pain is due to anxiety. Understanding what the issue is can help you determine a path to healing.

If you are not sure where to turn, personal coaching sessions could help, they are ways to discuss with a professional how to move foward. Once a professional listens to your story, and hears the needs of your family, a plan can be made. Maybe life changes could help alleviate negative feelings. Also, it is important to talk to a child’s primary healtcare provider to schedule an evaluation.

Is It Depression?

Anxiety can be caused by external factors in the child’s day-to-day life, and can happen anywhere. Sometimes expectations and demands put on a child makes it uncomfortable for the child to cope with what lies ahead. The child may exhibit all the symptoms of depression, but since it’s a level of nerves and anxiety this is triggering withdrawn, sad, and quiet behaviors, the child may not be suffering from depression itself.

Actual depression can be further confirmed by exploring the child’s feelings before making an appointment with a doctor (which could easily make the child more withdrawn because the child could view the need for an appointment as something wrong with them). Also, the right professional can be selected once it is clear if your child is suffering from depression, anxiety, or both.

Here are a few things you can look for as beginning signs of a child’s depression. A depressed child may:

  1. Cry a lot, including crying for what seems like no reason.
  2. Choose to spend more time in their bedroom than be involved with family members or friends.
  3. Lose interest in activities that previously generated joy.
  4. No longer participate in social conversations.
  5. Verbally lash out at anyone who challenges what he or she does or does not do.

Understanding the mind of anyone who is depressed, and especially a child, can be challenging. It is sobering and frustrating to be disconnected from someone so young who should be happy and enjoying life.

How Do We Move Forward?

If you suspect depression in your family, there are ways to establish a healthy path forward. A child should not experience negative feelings for an extended period of time. If the dark feelings are connected to one event they may fade. But if the feelings do not shift within a short or reasonable amount of time, seek professional support. You can consult with a professional through a phonecall or talk to your child’s doctor. In both instances, you will have taken a positive step to helping your child and rebuilding balance for your family.

Kendall Van Blarcom is a senior helping seniors. Contact Van Blarcom Consulting today for help with your personal problems. Or, reach out to provide support for an older adult in your life.

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Kendall E. Van Blarcom, Psy.M.,