From an interview with
Dr. Meghan Jordan
McLeod Pediatric Associates of Florence West
Parents should be careful to watch for anxiety and depression in their children during this pandemic, says McLeod Pediatrician Dr. Meghan Jordan.
Here is a summary of Dr. Jordan’s remarks:
During this COVID-19 pandemic with, there’s been an increase in depression and anxiety, not only in adults, but also in our pediatric population. In general, adolescents are definitely the most at risk for anxiety and depression, it a situation like this. Young children don’t quite know what’s going on
For adolescents, a lot of their enjoyment comes from afterschool activities, sports, clubs, and the time they have with their peers. That’s been taken away from them. So people, who were prone to anxiety and depression beforehand, are definitely more likely to experience it now.
After age 11 and up, when your child comes to see us for a well visit, we screen for depression. If we have concerns, we talk to you and your child about how they’re feeling and if they seem to have some symptoms of anxiety or depression.
Early warning signs for a parent to look for in a child experiencing anxiety or depression would be trouble concentrating, fatigue, sleeping more or less than usual and eating more or less than usual. A parent may notice that their child is not enjoying activities that they used to. If that’s the case, you may want to sit down and have a conversation with the child about how they’re feeling. Just talk to them about the situation this COVID-19 situation we’re in and how we can continue to take care of our mental health.
At the first sign that you are worried your child is struggling with anxiety or depression, bring them in to talk to a pediatrician. Don’t wait on that. Pediatricians can be your first line of defense. We can help you figure out what resources there are in the community and talk to you about whether therapy, medication or both are something that would benefit your child.
Find a Pediatrician near you.