Depression & Anxiety Treatment for Teens
Just like adults, children and teens can also feel sad, hopeless, or worried. This is a normal part of being human; however, if your teen is constantly sad, hopeless, or anxious this can be a cause for concern. It’s important that you don’t just ignore these symptoms, as they could be signs of adolescent depression or anxiety. Here at Pediatric Specialists Medical Group, we work with many families who have teenagers dealing with mental health disorders. Here’s what you should know about adolescent anxiety and depression,
Signs of Anxiety
Yes, even teens will experience fear and worry from time to time. Perhaps they are nervous about their first day of school or worried about an upcoming test. These feelings are normal; however, if your teen worries and fears start to affect their home, school, or social life then it’s probably time to talk with your pediatrician. Some signs of anxiety in children and teens include,
- Experiencing extreme fear around certain objects or scenarios (e.g. airplanes; animals)
- Experiencing intense anxiety when separated from parents or family
- Experiencing intense worry around going to school or socializing with others
- Fear of the future or worried that bad things will happen to them or their family
If your child or teen suffers from panic disorders they may also experience lightheadedness, rapid heart rate, and sweating during an attack. It’s also normal for teens with anxiety to complain of poor sleep, decreased appetite, fatigue, and stomach issues.
Signs of Depression
While you never want to see your teen sad, this emotion is one that everyone will experience; however, if they have been displaying signs of depression for more than two weeks, it’s time to speak with their pediatrician. These signs include,
- Changes in sleep (sleeping too much or not sleeping enough)
- Appetite changes (overeating or loss of appetite)
- Lack of enjoyment in things that once brought them pleasure
- Feeling hopeless, sad, or worthless
- Increased irritability and mood swings
- Trouble concentrating
- Self-harm or harm to others
Bringing Your Teen in For an Evaluation
If your teen is displaying any of the telltale symptoms of anxiety or depression it’s important to talk with our healthcare provider to determine the next steps. While we can easily examine your teen and look for these same symptoms we can also provide you with the proper resources and mental health referrals to ensure that your teen gets the evaluation and comprehensive treatment they need to manage their anxiety or depression for the long term.
We can also work with families to determine ways to improve their teen’s lifestyle (e.g. dietary changes; supplements; regular exercise) in order to better manage symptoms and improve mental outlook.