Understanding Anxiety & Depression In Children & Adolescents

Anxiety is generally defined as excessive worry and apprehensive expectations, occurring more days than not for at least six months about several events or activities such as work or school performance. Depression, however, is generally defined as persistent sadness and a lack of interest or pleasure in previously rewarding or enjoyable activities. It’s essential to understand what anxiety and depression are and how they can occur in children and adolescents so they can receive the necessary care. If your child may have depression or anxiety, Innerspace Counseling in New Jersey is here to help.


Common Causes

Some common causes of anxiety and depression in children and adolescents include:

  • Exposure to conflict
  • Trauma
  • Lack of stability
  • Abuse
  • Isolation
  • Lack of control
  • Lack of social or familial support
  • Family history,
  • Poor peer support
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Signs And Symptoms Of Anxiety & Depression In Toddler To Preschool-Aged Children

Identifying depression and anxiety in preschool age children can be challenging because very young children are less able to articulate their emotional state. Here are a few changes parents and educators can look for.

  • Frequent headaches or stomachaches

  • Difficulty going to sleep, difficulty staying asleep, or excessive sleeping

  • Changes in appetite

  • Lack of interest in social interactions

  • Irritability

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Signs And Symptoms Of Anxiety & Depression In Children Aged 5-12

While children in this age group are better equipped to verbalize their emotions, they may often keep their feeling to themselves, making it harder for a parent or caregiver to discern the signs of depression. At Innerspace, our children’s counseling services will allow the child to open up and communicate with others about their feelings. Here are some signs to look for.

  • Frequent aggressiveness

  • Frequent sadness

  • Regular negative feelings and remarks about themselves

  • Feelings of guilt

  • Fear or constant worry

  • Headaches or stomachaches

  • Lack of energy

  • Loss of interest

  • Problems sleeping

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Signs And Symptoms Of Anxiety & Depression In Adolescents

Teen years can be filled with angst and drama. Peer pressure, academic expectations, and changing bodies can result in many ups and downs for teenagers. But for some, these lows are more than just temporary feelings — they resemble symptoms of depression.

  • Feelings of sadness

  • Frustration or feelings of anger

  • Feeling hopeless or empty

  • Irritability

  • Loss of interest

  • Conflict with family and friends

  • Low self-esteem

  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt

  • Fixation on past failures

  • Self-criticism

  • Extreme sensitivity to rejection or failure and the need for excessive reassurance

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Types Of Anxiety And Depressive Disorders

Common types of anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, specific phobias, separation anxiety, selective mutism, and medication-induced anxiety disorder.

Common types of depressive disorders include major depression, bipolar disorder, and situational depression.

Our highly-trained staff members offer a uniquely designed program to tailor to the needs of your child.

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Long Term Effects of Untreated Conditions

  • Changes in sleep

  • Changes in appetite and weight

  • Significantly reduced energy levels

  • Poor self-esteem

  • Increased medical problems

  • Lack of confidence

At Innerspace Counseling in New Jersey, we strive to provide counseling services to all those who need the tools and support to live a better, happier life. To learn more about our services, or if you want to find out if your child is a good candidate for our program, contact Innerspace Counseling to request a consultation!

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