It’s normal for all of us, even kids and teens, to feel sad, hopeless, stressed out, or worried every once in a while; however, it’s when these emotions become persistent and impact a child or teen’s life that it’s time to turn to a doctor that can help. Here at Children's Healthcare Medical Associates in San Diego, we not only have a team of skilled, compassionate pediatricians but also psychologists and family therapists on site. This means that the same practice where your child or teens get regular checkups can also provide them with anxiety and depression evaluations, screenings, and treatment.
Signs of Anxiety
Anxiety can manifest itself in many different ways in kids and teens. Children that show severe distress when away from their parents may be dealing with separation anxiety. Some kids develop intense fears of certain objects or situations (better known as a phobia), while other kids may have episodes where they feel intense fear that causes them to feel lightheaded and dizzy (panic disorders). It’s important that if you see persistent fear or worry in your child that you talk with them and find out what’s going on.
If you suspect that they could have anxiety, our pediatric team can sit down with them to discuss their symptoms further and determine if anxiety is at play. If so, there are many treatment options these days that can help children better cope with their anxiety, from psychotherapy to certain medications. We’d be happy to discuss treatment options with you and your child during their evaluation.
Signs of Depression
Your child or teen may feel sad or down every once in a while, but if these symptoms of hopelessness, helplessness, and sadness persist then it could be a sign of depression. Of course, children and teens with depression may show certain behavioral signs, as well. Pay close attention to see if:
- Your child’s hunger changes (they may have a sudden increase in appetite, or they may eat very little)
- Your child’s sleep patterns change (they may need to sleep all the time or they may have trouble sleeping)
- Your child has lost interest in activities they once loved
- Your child is dealing with increased irritability or mood swings
- Your child seems tired and fatigued a lot
- Your child has trouble concentrating and may forget things that were told to them
If you think your child might have depression, you must schedule an evaluation with our team right away. These symptoms aren’t to be ignored. While there isn’t a cure for depression, there are many ways to help children and teens manage their depression through medications, lifestyle changes, and therapy.