Anxiety and Depression

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

Also, Visit: Pathophysiology Notes

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