Depression And Anxiety Are More Common Than You Think
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the U.S. It is common for someone who suffers from an anxiety disorder to also suffer from depression and vice versa.
The number of children and adolescents that struggle with anxiety and/or depression has increased over time. According to a report from 2011-2012, more than 1 in 20 children and teens suffer from anxiety or depression.
These issues can interfere with one’s school, home, and social life. The two mental illnesses are often linked to other health conditions such as neurobehavioral issues, obesity, eating disorders, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Bullying, the pervasiveness of social media, and the overwhelming demands of being a member of the “real world” are all contributing factors to the rise of these kinds of mental/emotional disorders among children and adolescents.
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms of depression and anxiety may include, but are not confined to the following:
- Depressed or irritable mood
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
- Change in grades, getting into trouble at school, or refusing to go to school
- Change in eating habits
- Feeling angry or irritable
- Mood swings
- Feeling worthless or restless
- Frequent sadness or crying
- Withdrawing from friends and activities
- Loss of energy
- Low self-esteem
- Thoughts of death or suicide
If these symptoms last for more than two weeks and begin to interfere with your child’s ability to function on a daily basis, you should seek medical attention as your child may have a depressive disorder.
Short and Long Term Effects
Upon diagnosis, anxiety and depression require an increased use of healthcare services. An estimated 20 percent of children with anxiety and depression did not receive proper healthcare treatments in the past year. Only one-third of children with anxiety and depression had a consistent healthcare source and care coordination.
If these issues in children and teens go undiagnosed or untreated, it can quickly begin to significantly interfere with one’s life. Research shows that children and teens with these disorders are at a greater risk to experience the following: poor performance in school, missing out on important social experiences, engaging in substance abuse, and/or have suicidal thoughts or tendencies.
Wilderness Therapy: A Therapeutic Approach to Addressing Depression and Anxiety
Properly addressing depression and anxiety extends beyond medical treatment. Wilderness therapy is a great method of treatment to consider if your child struggles with these issues. This type of therapy is designed to teach children/adolescents to integrate their wilderness experiences into real-world skills. Through wilderness therapy, the goal is that your child will experience an increased sense of self-awareness and confidence, and use the unique skills they have acquired and apply them to everyday life.
Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapy program for teens, ages 10-17, who face the everyday challenges associated with anxiety and depression. Our mission is to provide our students with a beneficial experience that will contribute to their personal growth and recovery. We utilize individual, group, equine, and wilderness therapy to ensure your child is getting the most out of their experience. Let us help your family today.
For more information about help for children and teens struggling with anxiety and/or depression call us at (800) 975-7303 or send us a message to see how we can best help.