Raising Healthy Children: Covid-19, How to Recognize and Deal with Depression and Anxiety

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by Azure Sullivan

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03.22.2022

Raising Healthy Children: Covid-19, How to Recognize and Deal with Depression and Anxiety

Blue Emerald Wellness | Kids Health Secrets

black teenage girl with depression and anxiety

A blog about kids’ anxiety depression from the impact of Covid-19. Learn how to identify the signs of depression and anxiety in your children, and find helpful tips on how to deal with them.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in five children in the United States experiences a mental health disorder in a given year. That’s a lot of kids! And these disorders can have a major impact on their lives if they aren’t treated properly. In this blog post, we will discuss depression and anxiety in children, how to recognize them, and what you can do to help your child deal with them.

Statistically, anxiety impacts twice as many young people than depression, however anxiety is often left undiagnosed because of the wide range of symptoms. Both depression and anxiety can cause problems in children’s schoolwork, social life, and physical health.

  • Approximately 4.4 million children aged 3-17 years have been diagnoses with anxiety (7.1% of kids)
  • Approximately 1.9 million children aged 3-17 years have been diagnoses with depression (3.2% of kids)
  • The number of children diagnoses with anxiety depression have increased over the last 10 years

(CDC.gov)

Anxiety affects children in different ways and occurs in children when they feel worry or fear that is out of proportion to the situation at hand. Anxiety can cause children to feel overly worried or anxious about things that are usually not a big deal. Some kids feel very anxious all the time, while others have short-lived episodes of anxiety. Common signs of anxiety in children include:

– Excessive worry or fear

– Restlessness or irritability

– Difficulty sleeping or concentrating

– Physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, or dizziness

Depression in children often looks different from depression in adults. Depression occurs in children when they experience persistent sadness and low energy for more than two weeks. Children may not show all of the symptoms listed below, and some symptoms may be more noticeable than others. Common signs of depression in children include:

– Sadness or hopelessness

– Withdrawal from friends and activities

– Low energy or enthusiasm

– A feeling that nothing is fun anymore

– Poor concentration

– Changes in eating and sleeping habits

The first step to treatment for your child with anxiety or depression is to get a diagnosis. If you think your child is experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression, take them to see a mental health specialist. A mental health specialist can help determine the cause of your child’s symptoms and prescribe the best treatment plan. If you are having difficulty finding a mental health provider for your child, discuss with your child’s pediatrician, reach out to your health insurance plan or visit mentalhealth.gov. In addition, if your child is having thoughts of suicide, homicide or hallucinations, take your child to your local emergency department or crisis center for immediate evaluation.

There are many different types of treatments for anxiety and depression, including therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes.

What can you do as a parent

black man and woman stretching

-Encourage healthy eating with a balanced diet

-Have your child participate in age appropriate physical activity daily

-Make sure your child gets the recommended amount of sleep each night based upon age

-Learn mindfulness, meditation, and relaxation techniques and practice them with your child

Covid-19 and impacts on children’s mental health

Covid-19 has led to increased diagnoses of anxiety and depression in children. Schools have been closed, leaving kids with a lot of unstructured time which can lead to boredom and anxiety. Additionally, many parents are working from home which can cause stress and isolation. If you feel that your child is experiencing increased levels of anxiety or depression in response to Covid-19, there are things that you can do to help.

-Limit your child’s exposure to news and social media

-Make sure your child has a structured daily routine with plenty of activities to keep them occupied

-Encourage family time and communication

-Spend time outdoors in nature

-If needed, seek professional help for your child. Your pediatrician or health insurance plan can

If you think your child may be experiencing a mental health disorder, it’s important to get help. Talk to your pediatrician about how to best treat the problem. There are many treatments available for depression and anxiety, so don’t hesitate to ask for help.

Sign up for Kids Health Secrets, an online kids’ preventive health and wellness platform to learn more. Kids Health Secrets has on-line classes, live classes, and resources that are perfect for any parent including those that are expecting, new parents, experienced and those that have children with special needs. Consults are available! Online classes start at $129 and live classes start at $49.99 so check them out today!

For more information and resources on your baby’s or child’s health, parent tips and tricks, pediatric emergencies, please visit our website or blog. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. You can also visit our website to download free PDF guides and hear our podcasts.

The information in this blog is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content is for general information purposes and is the opinion of staff at Blue Emerald Wellness. Please do not delay seeking medical advice or treatment because of something you read in this blog.

Authored by Azure Sullivan

Reviewed by Dr. Christopher Haines

Disclosure: We only recommend products we would use ourselves and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a small commission. Read our full privacy policy here.

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