For many parents and guardians, understanding adolescents can feel a bit like trying to understand quantum physics. In other words, it can be a challenge. 

However, it is important to be aware that some hard-to-understand adolescent behaviors may stem from larger mental health issues. In fact, according to the National Alliance on Mental Health Wisconsin, 70,000 Wisconsinites ages 12-17 have depression. [1

Learning the signs and symptoms of common mental health disorders can help families identify when a child needs intervention. Below are some of the common warning signs and symptoms presented by adolescents with anxiety and depression: 


Common symptoms of anxiety disorder

  • Does your child have separation anxiety? 
  • Do they fear school, sports or activities that used to be engaging for them? 
  • Do they worry about irrational thoughts? 


Common symptoms of depressive disorder

  • Is your child feeling sad, low or irritable most of the time? 
  • Does your child lack interest in food or exhibit decreased energy? 
  • Do they show signs of self-harm or injury? 

To understand more about the warning signs of anxiety and depression, and to access additional resources, please visit the CDC or National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

If you are interested in behavioral health services for your child, you can quickly schedule a virtual appointment with a behavioral therapist using Maddy Virtual Care or contact your pediatrician.

[1] National Alliance on Mental Health Wisconsin, Wisconsin State Facts Sheet,