Is your child acting strange? Don’t worry; kids go through all sorts of phases that are difficult to understand!
However, sometimes it can be challenging to gauge when normal childhood behavior shifts to something more serious. Unfortunately, anxiety and depression in children are more common than you may realize.
Although it’s generally under-reported, around 5-10% of children are diagnosed with anxiety or depression. As a parent, you hate to think of your child suffering; fortunately, you can help.
Addressing mental health issues early gives them the chance to fully recover and enter adulthood in a stable mental state and ready to take on the world.
So, how can you tell if your child is anxious or depressed? Read on to find out.
Changes in Appetite
Similar to adult mental health issues, these problems often manifest in appetite changes. Have you noticed your child is eating significantly less or more than usual?
If they’re overeating, this may just be because they’re growing and need more food. If this is the case, feed them healthy options to avoid potential obesity and watch for other symptoms.
If they’re under-eating, try to find out why – maybe they don’t like the food! If the reason is unclear, take them to a registered dietitian.
Acting Younger Than They Are
Children that have experienced trauma or early mental health issues often revert to childlike behaviors. Look out for your child acting baby-like or having unexpected developmental delays.
Of course, this could be nothing to do with mental health and could be a physical problem. Take them to a doctor for a full assessment in this case.
Unexplained Physical Symptoms
Frequent tummy aches or headaches are usually an indication that they may be living with depression or anxiety. These mental health issues often manifest in physical symptoms.
You should get an opinion from a doctor, and if they agree, you can get therapy for kids here.
Although common during potty training, it indicates severe emotional distress if bedwetting continues into childhood. Make sure not to make your child feel shameful about bedwetting but definitely take the issue seriously.
Pediatricians and pediatric psychiatrists will be able to provide expert advice about the best course of action if your older child is still experiencing bedwetting episodes.
Identify and Treat Anxiety and Depression in Children Now
Even if your child displays symptoms of deteriorating mental health, things will probably be fine. Every child, teen, (and adult) goes through difficult stages in their lives – most manage to resolve their issues without intervention.
However, anxiety and depression in children should be taken seriously. If you think your child is displaying more severe symptoms than typical sadness or nervousness, make sure you get them help now.
Did you find this article helpful? If so, make sure to check out the rest of our page for more parenting and lifestyle tips.