When you bring your teens and preteens in for the annual wellness visit at Thrive Pediatrics, we screen their emotional and mental health for any concerns. Specifically, they are screened for the most common mental health disorders that can affect children including depression and anxiety. All children experience some of the symptoms of depression and/or anxiety at some point in their life but this does not mean it is a disorder. They can experience sadness, discouragement and nervousness but it is only a disorder when it interferes with their ability to function in their daily lives.
When to Watch for Mental Health Symptoms
Puberty increases the risk of these mental health disorders simply because the hormone changes that occur also affect brain development. Family history of these conditions also increase their risk of developing a mental health disorder.
Aside from the annual wellness exam where they are screened for these conditions, parents too can observe for symptoms of depression or anxiety. The more obvious symptoms are that they report feeling down or depressed without an obvious event that triggered the feelings. They might lose interest in their favorite activities. They have difficulty controlling their worries or appear anxious to the point that they don’t want to go to school or perform an activity they normally enjoy doing.
Signs to Look For
More subtle signs are difficulty sleeping, changes in appetite or decreased concentration manifested by change in grades at school. They may feel like they let themselves or the family down or worry about so many things out of their control. If you have any of these concerns regarding your children then call us today to schedule an appointment with Thrive Pediatrics. We are here to help you and your child through both the routine aspects of growth and these disorders that threaten the neurodevelopment of our youth.