Signs of depression and anxiety in children
Signs of depression or anxiety in children can be so hard to spot, especially in teenagers who so often keep their feelings to themselves.
It can really help to take a moment to think about what is 'normal' behaviour for your child, and whether you have noticed any changes in that normality lately.
Some signs of depression include:
constant lack of motivation
being withdrawn from friends and family
regularly feeling upset or tearful
significant changes in behaviour eg. change in eating or sleeping habits
Signs of anxiety can include:
- socially withdrawn
- panic attacks
- upset often
- mood swings and hitting out
- trouble sleeping and/or eating
It's certainly not easy to accept that your child may be struggling with their mental health. Very often you can immediately believe that you, as a parent, have done something wrong and are at fault. Ultimately, though, the most important thing is to ensure that your child knows that you are there for them and will help them through this.
Some ways in which you can help a child who may be struggling:
- reassure them that you are there to help them and always will be
- try talk to them in whatever way is best for them. Perhaps via text where they find opening up easier
- letting them know that the best thing for them to do is to open up and talk about what they feel
- remain patient with them and always be available for them to talk to
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