Anxiety and Depression

School refusal: When a child won’t go to school

The adjustment from summer vacation back to the structure and demands of the school year affects many students, but some experience so much anxiety that they avoid going to school. Understanding the reasons for school refusal can help parents identify problems and act quickly.

Back to school anxiety

For some children, the start of the school year triggers back to school anxiety. This can be especially challenging for kids who already have issues with anxiety. Parents can do several things to address these issues and help their children cope better.

Anxiety in children

Francesca Coltrera

Senior Content Writer, Harvard Health Publishing

Young children may feel worried or fearful from time to time, but more serious anxiety in children can interfere with development. There are a variety of treatment options, and parents can learn strategies to help children manage anxiety.

Omega-3 fatty acids for mood disorders

The observation that people in populations that eat more fish seem to have lower rates of depression led researchers to investigate whether omega-3 acids may be beneficial for people with depression or other mood disorders.

Do I have anxiety or worry: What’s the difference?

Everyone experiences anxiety (and a certain amount can be beneficial), but some people’s anxiety levels are high enough to be considered a clinical disorder. If your feelings of anxiety are somewhere in the middle, there are strategies you can use to bring them down to a less distressing level.

Depression: Common medication side effect?

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

Many medications list depression or suicidal thoughts as a possible side effect, even those for unrelated conditions like high blood pressure or allergies. A recent study found that these side effects may be more prevalent than previously believed, particularly among those taking multiple medications with these side effects.

Anxiety: What it is, what to do

Francesca Coltrera

Senior Content Writer, Harvard Health Publishing

Some anxiety in your life is normal and may be beneficial, but a response to anxiety that is out of proportion to the cause or source can be an indicator of an anxiety disorder. There are a variety of treatments for anxiety, and often the most effective approach is a combination of different methods.

I’m so lonesome I could cry

The health risks of loneliness and isolation have been known for some time, but more recently research has shown the specific effects in the brain. Finding ways to make connections with other people is the best “medicine” to alleviate the mental and physical effects of loneliness.

Eating well to help manage anxiety: Your questions answered

Uma Naidoo, MD

Contributor

Paying closer attention to diet is important for people with anxiety. Making dietary changes in favor of a balanced diet that emphasizes whole, unprocessed foods and minimizes added sugars helps smooth out the highs and lows that can contribute to anxiety.

In children and teens, depression doesn’t always look like sadness

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Aside from the more common behavioral indicators that a person may be depressed, there are several other changes in behavior that can be signs of depression in children and teens. If you notice any of these, consult a doctor or a mental health professional for advice.