Anxiety and depression in children: Get the facts
Anxiety and depression in children: Get the facts
Anxiety and depression in children: Get the facts
Anxiety and depression in children: Get the facts

Anxiety and depression in children: Get the facts

  • February 16, 2024 8:03 pm


Many kids experience anxiety and fear, and they occasionally may even feel depressed and hopeless. Throughout growth, strong concerns may surface at different times. For instance, even when they are secure and well-cared-for, toddlers frequently experience extreme distress when they are separated from their parents. While some anxieties and fears are common in youngsters, excessive or persistent forms of melancholy or fear may indicate depression or anxiety. Find out more about childhood depression and anxiety.


Numerous kids suffer from anxiety and despair.1.

From 2016 to 2019, 5.8 million children aged 3 to 17 years (or 9.4% of all children) received a diagnosis of anxiety.

Between 2016 and 2019, 2.7 million children aged 3 to 17 years (or 4.4% of all children) were diagnosed with depression.

Depression and anxiety have grown over time.2.

The percentage of children aged 6 to 17 who reported “ever having been diagnosed with either anxiety or depression” rose from 5.4% in 2003 to 8% in 2007 and 8.4% in 2011–2012.

The percentage of children aged 6 to 17 who reported “ever having been diagnosed with anxiety” rose from 5.5% in 2007 to 6.4% in 2011–2012.

The percentage of children aged 6 to 17 who reported “ever having been diagnosed with depression” did not vary between 2007 (4.7%) and 2011–2012 (4.9%).

Find out more information regarding the mental health of kids.


A kid may be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder if they do not outgrow their typical early concerns and anxieties or if their fears and worries become so overwhelming that they interfere with their play, school, or home life. Various forms of anxiety disorders include, for example

Extreme fear when one is not with one’s parents (separation anxiety)

Extreme dread of a certain object or circumstance, such insects, dogs, or visiting the doctor (phobias)

having severe anxiety about going to school and other social situations

worrying excessively about the future and the possibility of negative events occurring (general anxiety)

experiencing recurrent periods of abrupt, unexpected, extreme terror accompanied by symptoms such as racing heart, difficulty breathing, or sweating, dizziness, or trembling (panic disorder)

In addition to exhibiting fear or worry, anxiety can also cause youngsters to become agitated and agitated. Physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, and weariness can also be signs of anxiety, as can difficulty sleeping. Since some children who are worried tend to keep their problems to themselves, it is possible to ignore the symptoms.


All children experience sadness and hopelessness from time to time. On the other hand, some kids experience melancholy or disinterest in activities they used to enjoy, or they experience powerlessness or hopelessness in circumstances they can alter. Children may receive a diagnosis of depression if they experience sadness and hopelessness on a regular basis.

Typical behaviors observed in youngsters experiencing depression include

feeling depressed, gloomy, or easily agitated all the time

Reluctant to engage in or enjoy enjoyable activities

exhibiting alterations in eating habits, such as eating significantly more or less than normal

exhibiting alterations in sleep habits, such as sleeping significantly more or less than usual

exhibiting fluctuations in energy, such as being frequently anxious and restless or exhausted and lethargic

Finding it challenging to focus

feeling guilty, ineffective, or worthless

displaying self-destructive and self-injurious behavior

A youngster experiencing severe depression may consider or make plans to take their own life. One of the main causes of death for young people between the ages of 10 and 24 is suicide1. Learn about the prevention of teenage suicide.

Some kids might not express their feelings of helplessness and hopelessness or show signs of sadness. A youngster experiencing depression may also behave irritable or unmotivated, leading others to either overlook their depression or mistakenly categorize them as lazy or troublemakers.

Treatment for Anxiety and Depression

Speaking with a healthcare professional, such as your child’s primary care physician or a mental health expert, about obtaining an examination is the first step towards receiving therapy. Certain indications and manifestations of anxiety or depression in kids may be brought on by other illnesses, like trauma. A mental health specialist can create a treatment plan that is most effective for the family and kid. Behavior therapy encompasses family therapy, child treatment, or a mix of the two. Involving parents in treatment is crucial for very young children; the treatment plan may also include the school. Getting advice from a medical professional can assist in deciding whether medication is necessary as part of the treatment plan.

Go to for assistance in selecting a treatment provider.

Managing Symptoms: Staying Healthy

While health is vital for all kids, it might be particularly crucial for kids who struggle with anxiety or depression. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can also help manage the symptoms of anxiety and depression in addition to receiving the appropriate medication. The following healthy habits could be beneficial:

A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes (beans, peas, and lentils), lean protein sources, nuts, and seeds is considered healthful.

engaging in daily physical exercise according to age

obtaining the appropriate sleep each night for one’s age

Using relaxation or mindfulness practices

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