Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Helping Your Child With Depression And Anxiety

Help Them Change The Channel

Tips for Helping Children Cope with Anxiety and Depression During the Pandemic

If your child is anxious about things they cant control, such as being worried that it might rain tomorrow and cause a baseball game to be canceled, help them get their mind off the anxiety.

When your child is preoccupied with a specific worry, ask, Is there anything you can do about that? If the answer is yes, help them solve the problem.

For example, if they’re worried about a science test, studying would be a good idea. Or, if they’re worried about not making the basketball team, they could practice their skills.

But, if they’re worried about things they cant control, like the weather or someone elses behavior, discuss the fact that the only thing they can control is how they respond. Talk about how they might make the best of bad weather or how they might respond if someone is mean to them.

Then, help them get their mind off the subject. Incessant worrying will keep them stuck in a state of anxiety, so help them change the channel to shift the mood.

One effective way to change the channel is to encourage them to move their body and get involved in an activity. Working on a chore, running around outside, or playing a game are some simple ways to get their mind off any worries.

Dr Tim And Mrs Noreen Muehlhoff

Dr. Tim Muehlhoff is a professor of communication at Biola University in La Mirada, California where he teaches classes in family communication, interpersonal communication, apologetics, gender, and conflict resolution. Tim and his wife, Noreen, are both on staff with Biolas Center for Marriage and Relationships where he is a co-host of The Art of Relationship podcast.

Signs Your Child Might Be Depressed Or Anxious And What To Do Next

By Lauren K. Ayr-Volta, PhD, and Kelly Maynes, PsyD

As weve weathered the ups and downs of the pandemic, some parents and pediatric experts have noticed an increase in youth anxiety and depression.

For general advice on how to support your teen, check out Is Your Teen Stressed, Sad or Angry? They May Be Feeling Grief.

If youre wondering how youll know when your child needs extra help whether its from a counselor or physician, or just more support at home read on.

Recommended Reading: What Medication Is Used To Treat Depression

Improve Sleep Hygiene With A Weighted Blanket

Anxiety disorders and sleep troubles often go hand in hand. In fact, the ADAA identifies insomnia and poor sleep as one of the most common side effects of anxiety. According to the National Sleep Foundation, even missing as little as 30 or 60 minutes of sleep a night can have an impact on kids.

For kids with anxiety disorders, missed sleep can also make anxiety worse. One way to fight back is by improving sleep hygiene. While this may sound like washing your hands or using a good shampoo, it actually means creating an environment thats conducive to healthy, restful sleep.

Besides ensuring your child gets enough rest, you can also take steps to make sure their rest is peaceful and soothing. Research has shown that weighted blankets help reduce the physiological hallmarks of anxiety by lowering blood pressure, improving pulse oximetry and regulating pulse rate. In studies, 78 percent of participants also preferred a weighted blanket as a calming modality.

At SensaCalm, we make weighted blankets in a wide variety of patterns and colors, so kids can choose a fun print or their favorite character. Generally, weighted blankets are made with about 10 percent of the users body weight, but you may wish to go up or down in weight depending on your childs preferences.

Why Children And Young People Need Childline

Childhood Panic Attacks

Children dont always know who to trust with their worries. Without a safe place to turn, they can put their trust in the wrong person or keep their fears to themselves. Home isnt a safe place for every child, and the pandemic made even more children feel trapped, lonely, and unsure who to trust.

“I just wanted to say a big thank you to the counsellor I spoke to this morning. I dont know what I would have done if you had not been there to talk to. You made me feel so much better about myself and gave me hope that maybe I will make it. I am so grateful for everything you have done. I was able to feel like my feelings are valid and that I have worth and a reason to live.”Girl aged 14

Childline gives every child access to free, confidential support whenever they need it. In 2020/21, we delivered 76,000 councilling sessions to children and the young people contacting us for the first time. Childline is always here to listen, whatever their worry.

Childline is here for children and young people wherever and whenever they need us. Feedback from young people has told us:

  • Childline helps them feel less alone with their problems
  • Childline helps them see their problems from a new perspective
  • Talking about problems with Childline helps them open up with other people.

In 2018 we created childline.org.uk/kids specifically for children under-12, to ensure our information is accessible for young people of all ages.

Read Also: Natural Supplements For Adhd And Depression

Managing Symptoms: Staying Healthy

Being healthy is important for all children and can be especially important for children with depression or anxiety. In addition to getting the right treatment, leading a healthy lifestyle can play a role in managing symptoms of depression or anxiety. Here are some healthy behaviors that may help:

Create A Relaxation Kit

What do you like to do when youre stressed? For some people, de-stressing means taking a long bubble bath or snuggling up with a good book. Others enjoy a leisurely jog on a nature trail or just hanging out with their dog in the local dog park.

For kids, it often helps to be a little more structured. You can create a relaxation kit filled with toys, activities or items that help your child refocus and calm down. Ideas for a go-to relaxation kit include filling a box with coloring books, a few fidget toys, a favorite plush animal or even kinetic sand or clay.

At SensaCalm, one of our parent favorites are our Peaceful Pals, which are weighted plush toys that come in both cuddle fabric and waterproof fabric. Designed to be as cuddly and cute as any regular plushie, Peaceful Pals come in both three- and five-pound weights. The weight inside provides a form of anxiety therapy called deep pressure touch stimulation, which mimics a firm but gentle massage or hug.

Don’t Miss: Living Away From Family And Depression

Fight Flight Freeze A Guide To Anxiety For Kids

For even more information and tools, visit MAP for Children! My Anxiety Plan is an anxiety management program designed to provide adults struggling with anxiety with practical strategies and tools to manage anxiety. MAP includes 6 easy to navigate units with 45 lessons.

Does My Child Have An Anxiety Disorder?

As discussed throughout this website, anxiety is useful in certain situations, some of the time. But how do you, the parent or caregiver, know when the signs of anxiety you are seeing in your child might be significant enough to qualify for an anxiety disorder? An appointment with your family physician or a trained mental health professional is a good first step. However, in preparation for that visit, or to decide whether a visit is needed, it can help to understand what professionals look for in diagnosing an anxiety disorder.

To begin with, there are eleven different types of anxiety disorders, and each anxiety disorder has a list of commonly occurring symptoms clustered into 4 areas:

  • Physical responses
  • Emotions
  • Behaviorus
  • Attending school
  • Joining social, athletic or recreational clubs
  • Meeting age expected demands such as sleeping through the night, doing homework, and making friends.

Common Topics for Children

Navigating A Toxic Culture With Your Daughter

Helping children deal with anxiety and depression

As a pediatrician, Dr. Meg Meeker has seen thousands of girls come through her office through the years. They struggle with eating issues, sexual identity, social mediaand many other challenges in this toxic culture. Dr. Meeker will encourage parents to invest love and time in their daughters and develop their character to give them the best opportunity for a bright future, all rooted in a spiritual foundation. The discussion also includes healthy feminism vs. toxic feminism

Also Check: Uv Light Therapy For Depression

Depression In Children: Warning Signs

Parents should be particularly vigilant for signs that may indicate that their child is at risk for suicide.

Warning signs of suicidal behavior in children include:

  • Many depressive symptoms
  • Social isolation, including isolation from the family
  • Talk of suicide, hopelessness, or helplessness
  • Increased acting-out of undesirable behaviors
  • Increased risk-taking behaviors
  • Focus on morbid and negative themes
  • Talk about death and dying
  • Increased crying or reduced emotional expression
  • Giving away possessions

If you suspect that your child or teenager is depressed, take the time to listen to their concerns. Even if you don’t think the problem is of real concern, remember that it may feel very real to them. Itâs important to keep the lines of communication open, even if your child seems to want to withdraw. Try to avoid telling your child what to do. Instead, listen closely and you may discover more about the issues causing the problems.

If you feel overwhelmed or unable to reach your child, or if you continue to be concerned, seek professional help.

Show Sources

What Goes On In The Teen Years That May Trigger Anxiety Or Depression

Ginty Butler: Whether its gender identity or separating from parents and attaching to a peer group, the teen years are a time when kids are figuring out who they are. Fitting in can be a big source of stress for teens. Meanwhile, their bodies are changing and theyre becoming more aware of how they and their peers are affected by real-world issues such as climate change and racial injustice. It can be a lot for teens to deal with.

OBrien: Teens in this country are under a lot of pressure to excel socially, academically, and in numerous extracurricular activities. Many are also living with the stress of family conflict and financial uncertainty. If they dont have a way to take a break, stress escalates and makes it harder for them to enjoy the activities theyre involved in.

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Love In Every Season: Understanding The Four Stages Of A Healthy Relationship

Every relationship goes through four life-changing seasons: Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Each season plays an important role in taking your relationship to the next level. And depending on how you navigate each season, your relationship will either flourish and grow, or it will slowly die. Whether youre single, dating, engaged or married, join licensed professional counselor and relationship expert, Debra Fileta as she takes you on an eye-opening psychological and spiritual journey through the four seasons that she has observed in every healthy relationship.

What To Expect From Your Child

Innovative New Therapy For Children With Anxiety and Depression

Children and adolescents are not mini-adults. They are developing and changing at a rapid pace, even when they experience a depressive episode. As such, symptoms can intensify and lessen throughout treatment. You might find that the depression seems to have lifted, only to notice a relapse in depressive behavior a few days later.

Irritability, feeling overwhelmed, and outbursts are common in depressed children. As hard as this can be for the parent on the receiving end of these behaviors, it is important that parents remain calm and focus on active listening. Its the natural tendency for the parent to want to fix it or somehow put a stop to it, but mental illness is complicated. It cant be fixed or stopped. It can, however, improve. With proper treatment and supports in place, your child can thrive and enjoy childhood once again.

  • American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, American Psychiatric Publishing, Washington, D.C., 2013: Pages 160-168.
  • Also Check: Icd 10 Code For Severe Depression

    What To Do If Youre Worried About Depression In Children

    Depression doesnt go away on its own. You need to help your child if you think they have depression.

    Heres what to do:

    • See your GP, and get a referral to a paediatrician, psychiatrist or psychologist who can diagnose depression in children.
    • If you cant get help quickly, feel concerned about your childs safety or dont know what to do, find your local area mental health service by calling your nearest hospital or by calling Lifeline on 131 114.
    • If your child is having trouble talking to you about how theyre feeling, you could ask if they want to talk to another trusted adult. But always let your child know that youre there for them and want to understand whats happening.
    • If your child is five years old or older, they can talk with a Kids Helpline counsellor by calling 1800 551 800 or using the Kids Helpline email counselling service or the Kids Helpline web counselling service.
    • help your child get better faster
    • reduce the risk that your child will have depression later in life
    • help your child grow up healthy and well.

    Your GP will probably talk with you about a mental health treatment plan for your child. If you have a plan, your child can get Medicare rebates for up to 20 sessions with a mental health professional. You can also get Medicare rebates for visits to a paediatrician or psychiatrist.

    Signs And Symptoms Of Depression In Children

    If you notice any of the following signs in your child, and these signs last longer than about two weeks, your child might have depression.

    Changes in your childs emotions or behaviour You might notice that your child:

    • seems sad or unhappy most of the time
    • is aggressive, wont do what you ask most of the time, or has a lot of temper tantrums
    • says negative things about themselves for example, Im not good at anything or No-one at school likes me
    • feels guilty for example, your child might say Its always my fault
    • is afraid or worried a lot
    • keeps saying their tummy or head hurts, and these problems dont seem to have a physical or medical cause.

    Changes in your childsinterest in everyday activities You might notice that your child:

    • doesnt have as much energy as they usually do
    • doesnt want to be around friends and family
    • isnt interested in playing or doing things they used to enjoy
    • has problems sleeping, including nightmares
    • has problems concentrating, remembering things or making simple decisions.

    Changes in your childs behaviour or academic performance at school If your child is at school, you might also notice that your child:

    • isnt going so well academically
    • isnt taking part in school activities
    • has problems fitting in at school or getting along with other children.

    Also Check: Percentage Of People With Depression

    Diagnosis Is Confirmed Now What

    Once the Anxiety diagnosis is confirmed you can begin to learn strategies to help your child. Become familiar with the treatment approaches and understand their strengths and weaknesses. Take the time to consider what would work best for your child. Most therapeutic approaches can be adapted and combined to provide your child with various tools to address the issue.

    In addition to getting help it is always recommended that parents and children learn additional skills at home to help treatment work more effectively. These include some of the parenting skills and lessons on this website. By implementing them in your home you and your child will be able to move more quickly through the process of treatment and your child will improve.

    Getting Help For Teenagers With Depression

    Helping with Kids Suffering from Anxiety or Depression

    Depression is unlikely to go away on its own, but teenagers with depression usually get better with treatment. This means that seeking early help for your child is the best thing you can do.

    Seeking help also shows your child that you care. Talking to your child and seeing a health professional together sends the message that your child isnt alone. And most young people wont seek help themselves, so your child probably needs your help to get professional support.

    If youve tried to talk to your child, but your child has refused help or said there was nothing wrong, you might need to seek help by yourself to start with.

    There are many professionals and services you can go to for help with teenage depression:

    • your local community health centre
    • local mental health services.

    If youre unsure, your GP will be able to guide you to the most appropriate services for your family.

    Depression is no-ones fault, even if it seems to run in your family. Many factors influencing depression will be outside your control. But theres a lot you can do every day to foster your childs mental health and reduce your childs risk.

    Recommended Reading: Can You Relapse Into Depression

    Identifying Triggers In Your Marriage

    They were both convinced they had married the wrong person. From almost the very beginning of their marriage, Amber and Guy Lia experienced various tensions and personality clashes related to house cleaning, backseat driving, workaholism, and intimacy. In this two-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Amber and Guy discuss how they bravely faced the triggers head-on, and committed to working on their own relationships with Jesus. As you listen to the Lias story, youll feel hope that you, too, can see real marriage transformation!

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