According to a report of National Comorbidity Survey Adolescent Supplement, approximately 31.9% of adolescents in the age of 13-18 had an anxiety disorder. There were a few severe cases, and the numbers were higher in females. The alarming fact is that these depression statistics have been skyrocketing since then.
Anxiety in children is rising rapidly, giving birth to self-harming cases and countless suicidal examples. These behavioral issues and endless struggle in a kid’s life, especially teenagers, need immediate attention.
Causes of depression are not defined or produced by one single incident. It can be an academic dilemma, bullying incident, or a mere fistfight in school. While it takes time to identify the reason behind the anxiety disorder, parents need to track the signals and then reach the root cause.
How to Identify Anxiety Disorders Symptoms in A Child?
There are noticeable changes in a kid’s behavior when the child goes through a problem in life. Parents need to be sharp enough to identify these fluctuations before the symptoms get uncontrollable.
Enlisted here are the common indications of anxiety in a child:
- Picking at the skin when the mind is revolving around uncertain thoughts.
- Always fearing loneliness and only feeling comfortable in the company of people
- Getting short-tempered and irritable on small issues
- Being overly critical about every situation
- Constant nail-biting with a wrinkled forehead.
- Withdrawal from social gatherings
- Uneasiness and restlessness
- Some cases also display OCD-like actions
- Few children keep sleeping, and others lose sleep (extreme cases in anxiety patients)
- Unreasonable desire to binge eat
- Some kids even resort to substance abuse
- Sudden withdrawal from school activities
- Continuous complaints of headaches, fatigue, and stomach aches
Although this list is just a small chunk out of the many unique symptoms identified in a clinically depressed child, however, these signs are enough to diagnose the root cause.
What Are the Root Causes of Anxiety and Depression in Children?
According to child experts, several reasons cause depression and anxiety disorder in a child. But specific pressures on kids weigh more than the others.
The 5 most severe causes of anxiety disorder are:
- Pressure of success
Not all kids are able to comprehend the value of academic performance. Some understand early, while others take a lifetime to find reason in academic achievement.
Good grades are essential; however, they don’t speak for the real talent in a student yet many parents have a habit of pushing their kids to an extent, where they completely breakdown and lose interest in everything in life.
Some children, performing poorly in school but probably achieving excellence in sports, often become a target of unjustified pressure. The child is forced so desperately to achieve good grades that he/she stops demonstrating interest even in sports.
Out of the many root causes of depression, pressurizing children to achieve unattainable goals is one of the chief sources.
- Social Media addiction
It is straightforward to guess that social media plays an insensible impact on the lives of children. Kids in the age group of 13-18 years are most influenced by social media content.
To understand the reason behind the kid’s depression because of social media, one has to understand and examine the content a child comes across, for example:
– Friends achievement
– Friends on vacations
– A relative moving to a new destination
– Negative news (rape, kidnapping, slaughter, etc.)
– Cruelty against animals
– Violent content
– Sexual and adult content
– Videos defending terrorism
– Religious views
The chief problem with social media content is that the majority of the videos are filtered and made viral just for fun. However, kids being kids, take all posts seriously. Very often, in the effort to enact what they see or achieve what others are accomplishing, kids fall prey to depression.
Many parents have resorted to parental control and monitoring apps to control social media addiction in children, and some cases achieved resolution because of these apps.
- Peer pressure
Every kid in a decent private school flaunts expensive gadgets like smartphones. And it is difficult to stop one particular kid from bringing devices to school. After constant restrictions from schools, many students take such constraints with a pinch of salt. There is no accountability and responsibility towards the school, but this habit affects a child who may not be able to afford an expensive item all his life.
Peer pressure is a constant troubler for a child. Some smart kids do not get affected by the false display of money and status, but there are others who fall for such tricks only to feel rejected from the good amenities of life.
There is not much one can do about other kids, but your child needs to be educated on how to outwit such feelings and how those kids are spending their valuable time on wrong machines.
- Disturbed environment at home
Several cases of depression in kids, reported in the past, are due to the upsetting environment at home. Children are unable to witness- separations, fights, domestic violence, financial crisis, and other disturbing issues at home.
Most children turn negative, seeing the environment at home. Psychological trauma is higher in these cases because the people involved are parents and loved ones. And in most cases, there is never a permanent solution to domestic problems. However, the only change that is observed is the kid who turns into an angry and irritable person, gradually turning into a depressed soul.
A child raised in a disturbed home can rarely see any optimism in life. So, word of caution, such children turn into very annoying and grumpy adults and face innumerable challenges in life.
- Lack of attention
Few psychologists have observed a difference in a child’s behavior because of the lack of attention from parents and family members. A child is always in need of love and affection as a kid, and if these two components go missing in the child, there is a good chance the child will start feeling lonely and insecure.
Loneliness and insecurity are two big reasons for falling into depression. The child is always anxious and restless and often looks for escape options at the wrong place like social media chat rooms.
Anxiety and Depression in Children Need Immediate Attention
Without any doubt, we can confirm that depression and anxiety are treatable. However, there are precautions and measures which are recommended for parents to avoid the situation altogether.
The two most essential ways to deal with your kid’s childhood worries:
- Talk to your child very often and discuss their day to day activities
- Secondly, introduce your child to a professional counselor at an early age who can ensure the child is doing well or showing signs of anxiety disorder. (A visit twice or thrice in the year is enough to check your child’s status).
Rising numbers of depression in children are inexplicably alarming for parents and doctors. But the most critical aspect is to be aware of your child’s mental status at the right time. Ask questions and state up-to-date with your child’s activities.