Anxiety and Depression in Children

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Posted By Alex Perez - Mental Health Writer, B.A.

Anxiety and depression affect many children 1 7.1% of children aged 3 to 17 (about 4.4 million) are diagnosed with anxiety disorders. Anxiety and depression increased over time “among children 6-17 years old who had never been diagnosed with anxiety or depression,” the number increased from 5.4% in 2003 to 8% and 8% in 2007, and 4% in 2011-2012 About 7% of children aged 3 to 17 suffered from anxiety disorders; about 3% suffered from depression. 

Signs of Anxiety and Depression in Children

depression in children

Anxiety and depression tend to be higher in older children and teens between the ages of 12 and 17. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3.2 percent of children ages 3 to 17 are diagnosed with depression, with age and poverty levels affecting access to treatment. Teens are more likely to suffer from depression than young children. 

Many of the same life issues that affect young children can lead to depression in teens. Extreme depression can lead a child to contemplate suicide or plan to commit suicide. In young people, depression can often be masked with excuses such as being too busy. Anxiety about schoolwork and finances can lead to depressive symptoms such as depressed mood, loss of interest in life, changes in life, weight, and suicidal thoughts

Too often we hear adults underestimate the feeling of depression in teens because it’s not a real-world problem. may seem huge and stressful for a young person. This type of depression experienced in childhood, adolescence, or adolescence can predispose people to future mental health problems. In general, what happens to children does not in itself lead to mental health problems, but traumatic events can trigger problems in children and young people who are already vulnerable.

Problems at school can be a symptom of depression in children and teens, as can problem behaviors. Depression in children can affect the way children interact with their loved ones and in the classroom. Depression can affect the way a child interacts with friends and family. While children naturally experience mood swings as they grow and develop, depression is different. 

Get the Facts About Depression in Children

depression in children

Globally, depression is the fourth leading cause of illness and disability among adolescents aged 15–19 and the fifteenth among adolescents aged 10–14. Behavioral disorders in childhood are the second leading cause of disease burden in adolescents aged 10 to 14 and eleventh in older adolescents aged 15 to 19. Trends in depression across the country clearly show that levels of depression are rising dramatically among children under 12 and young adults under 25. Several recent studies have shown that teens and young adult users who spend most of their time on Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms have significantly (13 to 66%) higher levels of depression than those who spend less time.

A study by the study’s lead author found that those girls who interacted intensely offline as well as on social media did not experience an increase in depressive symptoms, as did those who interacted less in person.

Author Bio : Ankita Rathore, Counselling Psychologist and Relationship Coach


Ankita is a certified Counselling Psychologist at Mantra Care who majorly deals with Depression and Anxiety. She has completed her Bachelor’s in Psychology from Banasthali University, Jaipur (India), and her Master’s in Psychology from University of Delhi (India). She has also completed training in Guidance and Counselling. She is an experienced CBT Practitioner and follows a person-centered approach in her sessions. Apart from this, she is also a relationship coach who has been successfully handling relationship counseling cases with an experience for two years now.

JAMA: Depression and Anxiety Disorder in Children and Adolescents

CDC: Anxiety and depression in children. Get the facts

WebMD: Depression in Children

NHS: Depression in children and young people

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