What is Anxiety and how is it different from Depression?
How can a parent identify if their child is suffering from Depression?
How can parents help if they find out that their child is suffering from anxiety and/or depression?
First thing that all of us need to understand is that anxiety and depression are not any kind of disorders. They are normal human emotions and should be handled with the same approach.
Especially when we talk about teenagers, their emotions and conditions are complex and idiosyncratic.
We have a step by step plan in which we have broken down all that you as parents need to know as simply as possible!
ANXIETY IN TEENAGERS
‘S worries too much. When there is a test in school, he stops eating and going out with friends. He worries and puts his entire energy towards preparing for the test.’
‘R‘ worries too much. When there is a test in school, he worries and becomes so overwhelmed that he can neither eat nor focus. He becomes nervous and starts imagining the worst.’
S and R are both good students. But who do you think has anxiety and who worries just as much as is required?
Anxiety is a normal human reaction that involves both mind and body. It serves as an alarm system when ever the body goes into stress or senses threat or danger.
UNDERSTANDING TEENAGE DEPRESSION
The term ‘Depression’ is used a lot in casual conversations, many of us not knowing the real difference between anxiety and depression. Although they are related as they are both considered to be mood ‘disorders’.
Understanding the distinction between the two emotions (is what i like to refer to it) and characterizing the severity of the problem can help you know what your child is going through and help him/her feel better.
Tell tale signs of Depression
Look out for these signs as mental markers of depression:
- Be hopeless: Assuming that nothing positive will happen in the future for themselves or for the world.
- Believe that its not worth trying to do anything to feel better.
- Feel worthless
- Persistent thoughts of death and in some cases of severe depression, more specific suicidal thoughts can be present.
Physical signs of Depression
- Difficulty with concentration, focus and memory due to constant overthinking and negative thoughts.
- Lack of energy.
- Loss of appetite or significant increase in appetite.
- Moving or talking more slowly than usual.
- Physical aches and pains for no reason.
- Sleeping more or much less than usual.
Behavioral symptoms include, anger and irritability, declining grades and withdrawal from friends and family.
While it is difficult to determine a specific reason but in some cases these factors might play a role:
- Biochemical Imbalances
- Genetic predisposition to depression
- Social exclusion
Teen depression can have so many causes and because mood shifts can be so common in teens, it can be difficult for parents to recognize the signs.
The best way to identify is to keep the communication line open. Talking to them and being in touch with their daily problems and events will help you identify any alarming signal.
KNOW HOW CAN YOU HELP AS PARENTS.
The Doctor will suggest treatment options such as medicine, psychotherapy or a combination of the two.
While both medicine and therapy has proven benefits and help improve the quality of life, you should also make lifestyle changes.
Modifications such as establishing a good sleep schedule, getting regular physical exercise and eating a healthy diet goes a long way in keeping your kid feel better.