When you watch the world through your child’s eyes, everything you took for granted becomes new again. Children are amazed by the things that you just pass by and don’t even think about each day. They are in awe of the first snowfall, each shell they collect on the beach, and pictures in books that capture their attention. In elementary school, they discover new things every day, from writing their first paragraph to learning addition and subtraction to completing their first art project. As children grow into adolescents, they learn more about relationships, how to succeed on exams, and what areas of study they want to pursue in the future.
When children and adolescents are growing, it is natural for them to experience “ups and downs” in life. But, how do you know if something is a normal part of growing up or the warning sign of a problem? For parents, it is sometimes difficult to know when your child is experiencing struggles in school, activities and friendships. As parents, you want to do everything you can to support your child and help them when a problem arises.
When your child faces a “road block” in life, it may be a good idea to visit a therapist or a counselor about what is challenging or hindering him in relationships, school or at home. At Thriveworks Charleston Child and Adolescent Therapy, therapists, psychologists, and counselors have years of experience in working with children and know about the many different problems they face. These providers are professionally licensed and have years of experience in the mental health field.
Reasons to Seek Child and Adolescent Therapy
Children can encounter many challenging situations, whether it is being the victim of bullying, not being able to keep up with lessons at school, or feeling stressed about taking tests and quizzes. Teenagers deal with a ton of feelings and emotions, and there are many demands to make friends, do well at school, make their parents happy and be content with themselves. With such a tall order to fill, many teenagers attempt to achieve all of these things but find themselves wrought with sadness, despondency, irritability, guilt and hopelessness. For some teens, this phase ends quickly. For many others, it can last weeks or months. It is not uncommon to go through phases of feeling irritable, frustrated, and useless as a teen. In addition, being sad some of the time is natural. However, if these feelings persist for a period of weeks or months, it may be depression.
Sometimes, children and teens struggle with emotions. Even with the help of parents or family members to support them, they may still not be able to overcome their problems. Working with a therapist or counselor can help children and adolescents identify what is causing them stress and find ways to deal with their feelings. Children and adolescents seek therapy for many reasons, such as when they experiencing the loss of somebody close to them, parental conflict, a trauma in their life, bullying and more.
Depression in Children and Teens
There is not a definitive way to describe depression, since everyone experiences it differently. The following are some of the symptoms that are associated with depression.
- Low appetite
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory issues
- Feeling sleepy during the day and staying awake all night
- Social withdrawal
- Frequent bouts of crying
- Extreme feelings of sadness and anxiety
- Forgetful and irresponsible behavior
- Preoccupation with death or having suicidal thoughts
Fortunately, a counselor, psychologist, or therapist can help your child or teen work through their depression. Here are a few important keys to addressing or preventing depression and feeling better:
- Talk—give words to what you are thinking and feeling. Sometimes talking about what is on your mind can be the most helpful and relieving thing to do. If you have a trusted friend, loved one, teacher or school counselor to talk to about what is on your mind, discussing the problem may feel like something really heavy was lifted off your chest. Giving words to your thoughts and emotions is sometimes a tough thing to do, but it is also the best thing you can do for yourself. While some people feel that it will make them seem weak, it shouldn’t. Asking for support and being able to talk about what is bothering you is one of the bravest things you can do.
- Stay connected—you need social contact. Try to stay socially active, because it can make you feel better. A depressed person will be more prone to isolation and loneliness, so it is best to keep in touch with friends. Social support is essential to overcome negative feelings. By neglecting relationships, it can worsen the condition. In addition, having a friend around can improve your mood and outlook toward life. While they are not able to offer you professional help, they can listen to you with care and concern without judging you—and it may help more than you think.
- Exercise—Among the many reasons that exercise is good for you, it has been scientifically proven to stave off depression. It can improve the moods in individuals who have mild to moderate depression. Exercise is a powerful fighter against depression and can be as effective as medications to relieve a person from its symptoms. A 2005 study found that walking fast for about 35 minutes a day results in a significant influence on mild to moderate symptoms of depression. Walking or exercising stimulates the secretion of endorphins, a chemical released by the body that reduces pain and enhances immunity. This, in turn, can help improve an individual’s mood and make him feel better.
What Techniques Are Used in Child Therapy?
The experienced therapists and counselors at Thriveworks Charleston are professionals in working with children, adolescents, and their families. Their treatment options for issues like depression are numerous. Therapy is a way to help children and adolescents understand the nature of their depression and how they are able to feel better. The goal is to help them deal with low moods, manage their social relationships, and enhance their skills in solving problems.
Thriveworks in Charleston, SC therapists and counselors have had years of training on how to help individuals with many issues, including depression. They create surroundings where both the individual and family members feel safe to talk about their problems and feelings. The therapists and counselors work with the child or adolescent to earmark their problem, delve into what they are feeling and figure out ways to manage their issue.
Some of the many ways counselors and therapists work with children and adolescents are through helping them develop methods to cope with their problems, play therapy where the use of toys is incorporated (particularly for very young children who are not yet able to communicate their thoughts), and talk therapy with the individual and sometimes with members of the family.
Schedule a Child Therapy Appointment Today at Thriveworks Charleston
Choosing the therapists and counselors at Thriveworks Charleston means choosing the professionals who are licensed, skilled, and experienced. These therapists and counselors are familiar with the many issues that children, tweens, and teens face—Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism, Post-Traumatic Stress, neglect, a transition in life and much more. They work to find trust between all parties—therapist, the child, and family members—in order to incorporate an environment of security and harmony.
The child therapists and counselors at Thriveworks in Charleston, SC understand the development of children at every stage in their lives and can help find solutions as well as a path to a more joyful life. Call Thriveworks Charleston at (843) 480-4034 for child and adolescent therapy.