Diagnosing depression, anxiety, and/or trauma is important for children as it impairs their ability to learn, be social, and/or their ability to complete self-care skills. Mood symptoms can emerge as young children but typically are noticed by family members of teachers in school-aged children and adolescents.
Symptoms may lead to a diagnosis of Depression include sadness, hopelessness, low self esteem, withdrawal, isolation, lack of motivation, lack of energy, lack of excitement or pleasure during activities, and agitation. Depression and anxiety are correlated; people who experience depression also show some anxiety-like symptoms.
Symptoms that lead to an Anxiety diagnosis typically include excessive worry, difficulty calming down, fears, phobias, nervousness, rigidity, inattention, fatigue, panic symptoms, and obsessive or ruminative thoughts. People who experience anxiety also experience some depression as they acquire a sense of hopelessness in dealing with their symptoms.
Children and adolescents who experience trauma frequently have difficulty expressing their symptoms. A trained clinician who has worked with trauma victims specializes in administering trauma test measures, which help determine the symptoms they are experiencing in a safe manner. In addition, psychological testing determines the level to which the symptoms impact the person’s ability to function on a daily basis.
Psychological Assessment is important as it helps the person learn whether they experience more depressive, anxiety-like, or trauma symptoms. In addition, Psychological Evaluations for mood disorders and trauma lead to treatment recommendations and resources which can help the person, learn how to treat and hopefully improve their ability to experience happiness, socialize, and function on a daily basis.