Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and Depression

What is Anxiety?

• Anxiety has biological/chemical, emotional and spiritual components

• Anxiety is the mind and body's reaction to stressful, dangerous, or unfamiliar situations.

• It's the sense of uneasiness, distress, or dread you feel before a significant event.

• A certain level of Anxiety helps us stay alert and aware, but for those suffering from an anxiety disorder, it feels far from normal - it can be completely debilitating.

• Is there a difference between Anxiety and Worry? Is it a sin to be anxious? 

Common Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety

• Constant and persistent worry

• Edginess, nervous or jumpy

• Reluctance or refusal to go to school or other activities

• Agitation

• Restlessness

• Inattention, poor focus

• Somatic symptoms like headaches or stomachaches

• Avoidance

• Tantrums

• Crying

• Meltdowns before school about clothing, hair, shoes, socks or after school about homework

• Difficulties with transitions within school, and between school and an activity/sport

• Difficulty settling down for bed

• Having high expectations for school work, homework and sports performance

Different types of Anxieties

Phobias: When fears are Out of Control

Separation Anxiety: Fear of Being Away from Family Grown-Ups

Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Constant Worrying for Months at a Time

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Thoughts and Actions You Just Can't Stop

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Stress and Fear from a Terrible Memory

What is Depression?

• Depression is persistent sadness.

• When it occurs, the Person feels alone, hopeless, helpless, and worthless.

• When this type of sadness is unending, it disrupts every part of the child's life.

• Red Flags can include: child/teen acting out, isolating and no longer wanting to do the things they have enjoyed in the past, self-harming behaviors or comments about not wanting to live

• What to do about self-harm and/or suicidal thoughts – ALWAYS take this information seriously.

• Reach out to a professional for help, support and resources.

Common signs/symptoms of Depression

• Changes in appetite -- either increased appetite or decreased

• Changes in sleep -- sleeplessness or excessive sleep

• Continuous feelings of sadness or hopelessness

• Difficulty concentrating

• Fatigue and low energy

• Feelings of worthlessness or guilt

• Impaired thinking or concentration

• Increased sensitivity to rejection

• Irritability or anger

• Physical complaints (such as stomachaches or headaches) that do not respond to treatment

• Reduced ability to function during events and activities at home or with friends, in school or during extracurricular activities, or when involved with hobbies or other interests

• Social withdrawal

• Thoughts of death or suicide

• Vocal outbursts or crying

Anxiety and Depression Patient Behavior Change

• Are you noticing different patterns in behavior? 

• Changes in eating/sleeping patterns.

• Withdrawing/isolating

• Reports of changed behavior by teachers, child care providers, friends and family

• Is your child/teen withdrawing and not willing to talk to you?

• Does your child/teen share that he or she is sad, lonely and/or worried?

• Have there been significant life changes or losses (moving, friendship loss, illness or injury, divorce or separation, death of a friend or family member)

• Has your child/teen been the victim of bullying?

Treatment for Anxiety and Depression in Children and Teens

• Counseling – specific approaches including Play therapy, TBRI, CBT, EMDR

• Relaxation training

• Medication/Supplements/Vitamins 

• Psychological assessment/testing for specific disorders such as ADHD

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