Anxiety and Depression
What is Anxiety and Depression? Many students feel FEAR and WORRY, or even SAD and LONELY now and then. These feelings can be normal and part of childhood development. If you are feeling "persistent or extreme forms of fear and sadness then it could be due to anxiety or depression. Learn about anxiety and depression in children. " Center for Disease Control
"When children do not outgrow the fears and worries that are typical in young children, or when there are so many fears and worries that they interfere with school, home, or play activities, the child may be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Examples of different types of anxiety disorders include
Being very afraid when away from parents (separation anxiety)
Having extreme fear about a specific thing or situation, such as dogs, insects, or going to the doctor (phobias)
Being very afraid of school and other places where there are people (social anxiety)
Being very worried about the future and about bad things happening (general anxiety)
Having repeated episodes of sudden, unexpected, intense fear that come with symptoms like heart pounding, having trouble breathing, or feeling dizzy, shaky, or sweaty (panic disorder)
Anxiety may present as fear or worry, but can also make children irritable and angry. Anxiety symptoms can also include trouble sleeping, as well as physical symptoms like fatigue, headaches, or stomachaches. Some anxious children keep their worries to themselves and, thus, the symptoms can be missed." Center for Disease Control www.cdc.gov/childrensmentalhealth/features/anxiety-depression-children.html
"Occasionally being sad or feeling hopeless is a part of every child’s life. However, some children feel sad or uninterested in things that they used to enjoy, or feel helpless or hopeless in situations they are able to change. When children feel persistent sadness and hopelessness, they may be diagnosed with depression.
Examples of behaviors often seen in children with depression include
Feeling sad, hopeless, or irritable a lot of the time
Not wanting to do, or enjoy doing, fun things
Showing changes in eating patterns – eating a lot more or a lot less than usual
Showing changes in sleep patterns – sleeping a lot more or a lot less than normal
Showing changes in energy – being tired and sluggish or tense and restless a lot of the time
Having a hard time paying attention
Feeling worthless, useless, or guilty
Showing self-injury and self-destructive behavior
Extreme depression can lead a child to think about suicide or plan for suicide. For youth ages 10-24 years, suicide is among the leading causes of death.
Some children may not talk about their helpless and hopeless thoughts, and may not appear sad. Depression might also cause a child to make trouble or act unmotivated, causing others not to notice that the child is depressed, or to incorrectly label the child as a trouble-maker or lazy." Center for Disease Control www.cdc.gov/childrensmentalhealth/features/anxiety-depression-children.html
Do you need to talk to someone NOW?
NAZCARE (1-888-404-5530)sponsors a statewide Warm Line that callers can utilize from the hours of 11:00am − 10:30pm seven days a week. Trained Warm Line Mentor staff offer callers active listening skills, coping skills when requested, and make referrals to resources and crisis services to cities and counties throughout Arizona.
TEEN LIFELINE (602-248-8336 or 800-248-8336) trained peer counselors are available from Noon-9pm. Peer Counselors provide a connection of hope for teens in crisis.
If you are in need of support, feeling overwhelmed, or just want to talk, their caring staff are available to provide non-judgmental and confidential telephone services. Warm Line staff are certified in Peer Support Training, and experienced in discussion and support related to a broad range of issues surrounding wellness and recovery.
How to Cope
With our world continuing to change and become more isolating, it is important to care for yourself and your emotional health. According to SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration), there are some steps you can take now to care for yourself.
Take Care of Your Body: It is important to take care of your physical well being by eating healthy, exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep, and avoiding alcohol and other drugs.
Connect: Use this time to connect and reconnect with friends and family members. Share your feelings and try and maintain relationships with your support system, even if you don't get to physically be around them.
Take Breaks: Make time for yourself by doing something that you enjoy, or try something new you have always wanted to do.
Stay Informed: Keep up to date on news and local information, but make sure you are getting your information from reliable sources.
Avoid Excess Media: Try not to obsessively watch the news or constantly read posts about the situation from sources that are not reliable. Too much exposure can be stressful and unhelpful.
Ask for help: Reach out and talk to family members, friends, teachers, your school counselor, or warm lines. You are not alone. A lot of people are feeling anxious and scared.
According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), sometimes it is a good idea to check in with yourself. These are some common signs of distress that we all can feel. It is time to be concerned if they begin to interfere with your completion of daily activities for multiple days in a row.
Feelings of shock, numbness, or disbelief
Change in energy or activity levels
Changes in appetite
Sleeping problems or nightmares
Feeling anxious, fearful, or angry
Headaches, body pain, or skin rashes
Chronic health problems get worse
Increase use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs