child with anxiety/low mood

Anxiety/Low Mood

It is common for children to experience some level of worry and low mood from time to time. Sometimes these difficulties persist and become more intense which can lead to high levels of anxiety and depression. When this happens it can become devastating for the child and their family. Anxiety and /or depression can seriously impact on a child’s enjoyment of life and can affect their sociability, relationships and engagement in activities, as well as their sleep, appetite, behaviour and academic performance.

Anxiety and mood difficulties in children are often overlooked, especially for those with developmental or learning disabilities. It can be hard for children to let other people know how they are feeling. Often, as a result of their internal distress, their behaviour becomes more difficult to manage. This is often what parents, teachers and other professionals notice and try to change because they are unaware of the underlying reason.

Anxieties such as specific phobias can be more obvious but can also seriously affect the quality of life of both the child and their family. Phobias can limit children’s activities because they can become fearful of going to particular places or even leaving their home. They can also feel the need to leave activities quickly because they have become anxious, which can be frustrating for siblings and difficult for parents. Families can become reluctant to take the child out and about in case they become upset or behave inappropriately.

Children with developmental or learning disabilities are more likely to experience anxiety and low mood. Among other reasons, they are more likely to have difficulties communicating and managing their emotions, and can have differences in their sensory processing which can result in higher levels of arousal. Difficulties with problem solving, making friends and managing relationships can also cause worry and discontent.

With help, children can overcome or learn to manage anxiety and low mood and their abilities and enjoyment of life can be restored.

My approach

Often children appreciate the opportunity to discuss their thoughts and feelings with a non-judgemental professional they can trust who provides them with space to think. Sometimes, children are not able or do not want to engage in this type of discussion and it is more appropriate for them to receive professional help indirectly through a family member or teacher. I provide a confidential, understanding and child-centred service for children and young people with and without learning disabilities, their families and their teachers. When working with children I use creative and fun methods tailored to their needs, interests, experiences and abilities, to assess their difficulties and to help them to manage their emotions.

If you would like to know more about whether the work I do is likely to help your child then please contact me for an informal chat.