By the time many kids sit down on my office couch, they’ve been struggling with things like anxiety, low self-esteem and even depression for quite some time. More often than not, they don’t know how to even begin to express their emotions. They feel stuck and they don’t know how to be happy.
1. Issues beyond the home
2. Social isolation
I find that parents often wait to seek out therapy for kids, attempting instead to provide help on their own before seeking professional support. Other times, kids don’t exactly express the level of their anxiety or sadness.
Either way, it can be confusing and overwhelming for parents.
Kids tend to be pleasers by nature. To that end, they have a tendency to hide their emotions as best as possible. They don’t want to cause added stress for their parents. It’s also natural for kids to have worries and feel very sad at times. Kids face a number of stressors http://number of stressors these days, and each day has the potential to be either really great, a complete pressure cooker or something in between.
The fact is that not every worrier has an anxiety disorder and not every bout of sadness leads to clinical depression. Kids experience emotional shifts and struggle. That’s part of growing up. Understanding when the struggle shifts from average childhood behavior to requiring professional intervention is crucial.
Anxiety and depressive disorders are on the rise among young children. According to the National Institute of Mental Health http://National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders affect 1 in 8 children. When childhood anxiety disorders are left untreated, children are at risk for poor school performance, difficulty making and maintaining friendships and even substance abuse.
It’s important to know when to seek help.
You know your child best, so trust your gut if something doesn’t feel right. Your pediatrician or family doctor can recommend a psychotherapist specializing in children and adolescents. If you notice any of the following red flags, make that phone call as soon as possible.