Childhood depression and anxiety are complicated conditions. It’s easy to want to find definite causes for it but, unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Nonetheless, there are risk factors to consider as well as triggers for depressive and anxiety episodes. Before we get into these, though, it’s important to understand what depression and anxiety are.
Important for you to know that clinical depression and major depressive disorder symptoms include low mood and lack of motivation in the your teen. Normal activities and enjoyable things become difficult. And may make it hard just to get through the day.Anxiety disorders, on the other hand, involves an extreme, fight offlight response. The person can have heightened a fear and nervousreaction to things that others would take in their stride.
In other words, depression and anxiety are not just simple holiday blues or a case of worrying a bit too much. They are medical conditions and should be treated as such. That means getting medical help for your child. With that said, let us discuss the risk factors:
• Physical health. The social and physiological stresses of severe or chronic medical conditions, including obesity, can lead to emotional stress, which can, in turn raise the risk of depression and anxiety.
• Environment. A chaotic or toxic home environment or sudden difficult changes at home or school can be difficult for a child to deal with, which puts the child at risk.
• Family history. Yes, there is a genetic component. If there is a family history of depression or anxiety, the risk increases.
• Biology. An imbalance of hormones and other chemicals in the body can put a child at risk of developing these conditions.
As a matter of fact, While many of these are difficult to control, there is one in particular that the people in the child’s life have some influence on. Maintaining a safe and healthy home and school environment is good for any child, not just those who have depression or anxiety. Yes, there will be challenges. For example, your teen may have trouble adjusting to higher grades.
It is important, though, that your child understand that you are on their side. Listen to their concerns, especially if they seem uneasy about something. Your involvement, advice, or even your listening ear could be the difference between increasing risk and lowering it.
If someone has depression or anxiety, episodes often have triggers. For example, a pop quiz might be too much for a child with anxiety because of fear of failure. Or a visit from a family member who used to bully your child could bring up bad memories and lead to symptoms of depression. As a parent, it’s important to be aware of these triggers so you can provide support.
With the support of loved ones, your child can navigate life with depression or anxiety. Knowing that there are people who care for them and can support them can help give them the strength they need to move closer to a positive outcome.