Sometimes we have an idea of what depression and anxiety look like, especially if we've gone through them ourselves. However, when it comes to our children or teens, the signs may be different. It's important to recognize that both children and teens may experience anxiety and depression, and it often times will look a little different than it does in adults.
Children and teens with depression or anxiety may display these symptoms:
Do you know a teen struggling to find hope, purpose, and motivation? Is anxiety or depression overwhelming them?
If you, or anyone you know, recognizes someone experiencing the symptoms above, additional services and support may benefit them. Coming from someone they trust, such as their teacher, counselor, or physician, it would be helpful to suggest therapy services at this critical time. People often make the excuse of “oh, it’s not that bad”….yet. Now is the time to be proactive in working through their negative thinking patterns, overwhelming emotions, anxiety producing situations, lack of motivation, and finding hope, purpose, and enjoyment in the future.
Allison Kidd at Resolve Counseling and Wellness specializes in working with teens experiencing anxiety and depression. Through individual therapy, she provides guidance in empowering them to understand and reframe their negative thoughts and perceptions. Allison is passionate about helping others to thrive, find joy in their life, and identify future goals to work towards. To contact Allison or book an appointment, click here.
Allison Kidd, LMSW, LAC
(913) 735.4056 (cell- text)
"Loneliness does not come from not having people around you - but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to you" - carl jung
We seem to have forgotten how to listen. We think we are listening, but we are, in fact, not listening. We sit in a car next to someone, go out to dinner with friends, or talk on the phone with someone, and we are hearing them, but we are not listening. Because if we were listening, conversations wouldn’t start with “I” all the time. We wouldn’t reply to someone with simply how it relates to us or unintentionally try to one up the other person.
I was recently in a conversation with a few other people when something caught my ear. I noticed that what was happening really wasn’t a conversation at all. It was a hodge podge of “I-statements” simply replying to the other’s “I” with another “I” or “my”. The people in this conversation weren’t talking about a particular subject with collaborated ideas, questions for each other or learning more about another perspective. Instead, each statement was being replied to by a statement about the person talking.
I was baffled. How did I just now notice this? How long had this been going on? These were both questions I had in my head. The answer, I think, is that it’s been going on for awhile and not by the fault of any one particular thing, person, or community. In a world full of opportunities of communication, we talk, text, email, chat, IM, or snapchat with each other often times hundreds of time during the day; however, we are not connected to this person. Because if we were connected, this kind of conversation wouldn’t be enough. If we were connected to people, conversations wouldn’t be about you. They would be about the connection you have with that other person and genuinely trying to get to know them or where they are coming from, exchanging ideas, and collaborating--not something resembling the Disney movie where the birds on the beach are saying “Mine”, “Mine”, “Mine”.
Because of this conversation, I began to understand my clients a little bit more. Sometimes, people come see me for a variety of symptoms, including feeling isolated, depressed, lost, sad, or really anxious. Sometimes they see me for trauma or loss of purpose. Often times, these symptoms stem from one simple, yet very complex, thing: disconnection. Many people feel as if they have no one they can talk to. They think that no one really understands them or can see where they are coming from. This leads people to believe that they are the only ones going through life adversities or hardships and can lead to even more isolation. It makes them feel like a therapist is the only one who gets it and isolates them from reaching out to people in their own social support networks or circles. It increases isolation and magnifies loneliness.
Think about it. Think about the last conversation you had. Was the person really hearing you? Did you leave the conversation thinking, “Wow, that person really understands what I just said”. I hope you did, but I am going to guess you didn’t. In order to have connection, I believe you need to have three things:
To be heard.
It’s one thing to be listened to; it’s another to be heard. To have someone really hear what you are saying and respond with validation and reflection. Brene’ Brown talks about those people you don’t want to share some inner parts of you with: those who are one uppers, those who degrade you, those who give you advice and those you have console.
"Rarely does a response make something better. what makes something better is connection." - brene brown
To be understood.
Few things are worse than sitting next to someone who is sitting on their phone distracted, not looking at you, or distracted by other things while you are trying to talk with them. Understanding requires empathy. Empathy is the skill to be able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and see things from their perspective. It’s the ability to really view life from the other’s eyes and to then reflect back what that person is saying to show them that you get it. You aren’t doing this for yourself. You’re doing this for them--to show this person that they aren’t in it alone and that even though you may not agree, that you understand.
To be respected.
You can have 2 of the 3 pieces of connection and still come up short. For example, if you hear someone and understand them but don’t have respect for them or their beliefs, then you may counteract with your own beliefs or tell the person the way they feel is wrong. Obviously or not, this is not helpful when you’re communicating with someone or when you’re trying to build connection.
To respect someone is to value their beliefs, ideas, and perspective. It’s knowing that each person has a different childhood, different background, and different history than everyone else and that people view life through different lenses than yourself. Let me be clear: you don’t have to agree with someone to respect them.
Have you ever felt like you were the only one on planet Earth when you were sitting in an auditorium or a room full of people? This is the type of disconnection I'm talking about: the feeling of being alone or being disconnected, not being understood, and not feeling heard when there are physical human bodies around. The power of disconnection can lead many people down a rabbit hole of isolation, of depression, of loneliness, and hopelessness. By respecting someone's perspective, hearing what they are saying instead of responding, and understanding where someone is coming from even if you can't relate or are unsure what the experience is like will build connection, improve relationships, and improve a greater quality of life.
Robin Helget, LMSW, CPT
To read more articles by Robin, view her bio. Robin works with millennials and other adults on loss of purpose in life, depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Robin believes there is more than one template to being happy and seeks to help her clients build their own template for happiness in their own lives. Robin also works with young children and their parents on issues at school, difficulty adjusting, trauma, and attachment/adoption. If you would like to schedule an appointment with Robin, click here.
They say we are selfish, self-centered, and don’t work hard. They say we don’t value hard work, the value of a dollar, or don’t care about anything that matters. They say we are lazy and expect good things to just get handed to us. While one can generalize one person who fits those characteristics to the rest of us Millennials, there are other traits that many of this age groups possesses that goes unnoticed.
Brookings Institution says by 2025, Millennials will account for 75% of the workforce. They say we are almost 90 percent more likely to purchase something based on whether it supports specific social issues. Eighty-eight percent of us do not believe that money is an indicator of success thus are more focused on gaining experiences versus things. We also are less likely to trust people - only 19 percent believe that we can trust almost anyone, comparatively to 31 percent of Gen X and 40 percent of Baby Boomers.
We hear what they are saying about us, and we are less likely to value or buy in to what you are saying because of it. Blaming us or anyone else for that matter is not going to get you far, so maybe another approach could be helpful. This is what I see when I read these statistics about Millennials:
Most of my friends, colleagues and others whom I respect are Millennials, and most of them don’t talk about not wanting to work or want money and success to just come to them like many people think we do. They instead talk about how they think they are meant to do something more than just go to work, make money, and die. They often talk about how they feel like there is something bigger for their life, how they can help people, and how they can make experiences with their loved ones versus how they can buy them the next best thing to make them happy.
Maybe you have met one of us that didn’t fall in this category. Maybe you deemed this person as lazy or not hard working. I encourage you, then, to ask them what brings fire to their eyes - what makes them wake up each morning. Their answer may not be the same as yours - what a boring world we would live in if it was.
Ask questions. Get to know them. See life from a different lens without feeling pressured to take that same lens with you.
If you are a millennial who is having difficulty finding your mission in life, who may be stuck or unfulfilled in the place you are in, or one who wants to process through trauma or significant life events from your past to become a healthier version of yourself, call Robin for a free consultation at 785.408.7529. After chasing the next thing that would make her happy (the next phone, the nicest car, the newest style of clothing, or a certain dollar amount in the bank account), Robin has learned how to counter society’s expectations by changing her expectations of herself, of her success, and of growth and can help you do the same.
"Millennials don't want to just read the news anymore - they want to know what they can do about it,"
Robin Helget, LMSW, CPT