A 2018 study from the National Survey of Mental Health found that the rates of anxiety and depression in people ages 6-17 years old are increasing. The signs and symptoms of mental health disorders, like depression and anxiety, can be similar to those of stress, but are much more intense, impact daily life, last longer, and require different supports and intervention. Because of the overlap in symptoms between stress and mental health issues, many parents and young people are unaware that there is a mental health disorder present.
People with an anxiety disorder often experience excessive worry, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and sleep disturbance, whereas people with depressive symptoms often experience low mood, lack of interest in activities, change in eating habits, a lack of energy or motivation, and difficulty concentrating.
More serious symptoms individuals with mental health challenges experience include:
- Constant fear of the future
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- Suicidal thoughts or behaviors
If your child is experiencing any negative thoughts or feelings without relief seek professional support. For information on resources, visit the HarfordTalks Resources Page or the Harford County Crisis Center.