Helping children through anxiety and depression: 20 Reasons to consult a therapist

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Dr. Debra Moore is the Clinical Director for Fall Counseling Associates in Carmichael, California. She has observed alarming trends in her business over the last generation.

“There are more children than ever before with anxiety and depression related issues,” Moore said. “It used to be in the 1980’s it was perhaps 5% of my practice, today it’s 50%.”

Some of her patients are two and three years old.

Dr. Moore offers some tips to help parents understand when they might need to consult a therapist.

20 Reasons to Consult a Therapist: A Checklist for Parents

  • Your child is unhappy much of the time.
  • Your child is stressed, anxious, aggressive,or upset.
  • Your child just doesn’t seem to care anymore.
  • Your child doesn’t seem to be able to regulate emotions successfully.
  • Your child has difficulty making or keeping friends.
  • Your child is struggling at school and needs help.
  • Your child can’t sustain attention or focus.
  • Your child’s moods are extreme or change abruptly for no real reason.
  • Your child is consistently negative, or self-deprecating, or has no confidence.
  • Your child is causing other family members distress.
  • Your child genuinely seems to dislike you or other family members.
  • Your child’s appetite or sleep patterns have changed or are worrisome.
  • Your child frequently complains of physical aches or pains.
  • Your child has fears that interfere with their happiness.
  • Your child can’t tolerate being told no.
  • Your child is consistently disrespectful or oppositional.
  • Your child only cares about a narrow interest and resists other activities.
  • Your child can’t handle transitions or is inflexible.
  • Your child has intentionally hurt themselves.
  • Your child has ever, even once, talked about wishing they weren’t here.

With the advent of the Internet and mobile phone, Dr. Debra Moore has seen a ten-fold increase of children needing treatment for anxiety and depression.

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About Joanna Jullien

Joanna Jullien

Joanna ( and her husband have raised two sons in Roseville, CA. She has a degree from U.C. Berkeley in Social Anthropology (corporate culture). Her honors thesis was awarded the Kroeber Prize and funding from National Science Foundation grant. Joanna writes to help parents with the modern-day leadership challenges of raising children. She is a contributing writer for The Granite Bay View, the Press Tribune, the Sacramento Examiner, and editor of Banana Moments.