Education Matters

How to recognise depression or anxiety in your child

Posted by Trinity Grammar School on Oct 10, 2016 6:00:00 AM

How to recognise depression or anxiety in your child.Most children and teenagers will have periods of difficulty when they experience low moods or anxiety, and then improve. Sometimes however, mental health issues in children can be ongoing and interfere with many aspects of their life. Mental health difficulties affect approximately 14 percent, or one in seven Australian children. Depression and anxiety are examples of common mental health difficulties in school-aged children. Below we’ve listed some common symptoms which will tell you how to recognise depression or anxiety in your child.

It is important to note that most children will experience some of these symptoms at some time in their lives. The distinction however, between usual behaviour and that which demonstrates mental health difficulties, is that the symptoms are consistent, prolonged, and impact your child’s ability to interact with their world appropriately.

So how do you know if your child is suffering from depression or anxiety? Here’s what you might see in a child with depression:

  • Prolonged sad mood
  • Easily irritable or has outbursts of anger
  • Loss of interest in normal activities such as playing and games
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Difficulties with concentration and motivation
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Thoughts of self-criticism and hopelessness
  • Socially withdrawn
  • Decline in performance at school
  • Engaging in risk-taking behaviour.

This is what you might see in a child with anxiety:

  • Constant feeling of tension, agitation or can’t stop worrying
  • Physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach aches, nausea or muscle tension
  • Avoids difficult or new situations
  • Socially withdrawn
  • Difficulties with concentration
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Procrastination, for example difficulty starting school work
  • Excessive reassurance seeking, or difficulty asking for help
  • Highly sensitive to criticism
  • Expects the worse to happen.

If you notice any of the above signs, and they are significant in terms of their: intensity; persistence; impact on the child’s functioning; or they represent a significant change for the child, it is important to talk with your child and seek help from a mental health professional.

At Trinity, we are committed to the health and wellbeing of every student. Trinity Grammar School provides counselling by registered psychologists to students and/or their families. The counselling team can provide advice, and assist parents wanting to discuss concerns relating to their children. 

Trinity is fuelled by a pastorally aware culture with exceptionally high levels of individual student attention, and we pride ourselves on knowing, understanding and nurturing every student.

To learn more about the Trinity difference and how we help boys to realise their potential, passions and purpose in life, download our prospectus.

Trinity prospectus download

Topics: Parenting tips, Trinity difference, Raising boys, Pastoral care, Mental health