'Kids are sneaky:' Local pediatrician goes over signs of COVID-19 anxiety and depression

Posted at 6:00 PM, Jan 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-18 18:00:19-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Kids are struggling with anxiety and depression too. That's the message Lexington doctor Caitlyn Iddings shared on her blog. Dr. Iddings works at Pediatric and Adolescents Associates, P.S.C. in Lexington.

"The reason I wrote that blog was so parents can kind of be aware and keep a lookout because sometimes anxiety and depression can be really subtle then you read that list of the warning signs and realize, 'Oh my kid has five of those things going on right now," said Iddings.

Iddings, a mother herself, says kids are sneaky. She explains young children under the age of four can mask symptoms of anxiety by saying they have a daily bellyache, headache or are more irritable than usual. Other red flags include difficulty sleeping, wetting the bed and a need for constant reassurance among other symptoms.

While sometimes seeing a therapist is helpful, Iddings says recognizing the signs and talking with your children can work wonders.

"Just really emphasizing it's okay to be feeling this way right now that's normal, but we need to learn how to deal with that have healthy emotions," Dr. Iddings said.

Dr. Iddings says during regular check-ups parents will tell her they notice their child is acting differently but "can't quite put their finger on it."

She hopes her article title, 'Mental Health During a Pandemic' helps parents and their children cope better.

In older children and teenagers, Iddings says signs of depression and anxiety include withdrawal, changes in sleeping or eating, and loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy.

Iddings says getting back to a routine offers much-needed normalcy. Another helpful tip is continually reaching out and talking to your teen.

To read more on the article by Dr. Iddings, click on this link.