Common Signs of Distress in Children and Youths

When children and teenagers are dealing with problems, it can be hard for them to express themselves. They don't have the same emotional maturity as adults, so they can't always identify their feelings. Therefore, a counsellor needs to be able to consider all of their behaviours, including their emotions and actions, in order to understand what might be bothering them. So, if you think that your child is experiencing complicated feelings they can't accurately express, therapy can help. Here are some common signs to look out for.
Child & Youth Therapy lonely

Social Withdrawal

If your child is displaying uncharacteristic social withdrawal, they may be experiencing challenges such as bullying, domestic violence or self esteem issues.
Child & Youth Therapy mood

Lingering Sadness

Sadness is commonly one of the most noticeable signs that something is wrong. If your child is experiencing persistent sadness, there may be a deeper issue.
Child & Youth Therapy anger

Anger & Aggression

Children are often unable to articulate their feelings or explain what is going on with them. This can lead to them feeling frustrated, angry and aggressive.
Child & Youth Therapy study

Dropping Grades

Distressed or struggling children and teenagers may start to neglect their school work or have difficulty focusing which can negatively impact their grades.
Child & Youth Therapy focus

Difficulty Focusing

It is normal for children to be distracted, but persistent difficulties with concentration can indicate concerns such as ADHD, dyslexia, anxiety, depression, and more.
Child & Youth Therapy sad


Mood swings are common, especially in teenagers, but if they are so extreme that they are unable to function normally at school or home, it may be cause for concern.
Child & Youth Therapy scared

Sleep Issues

If your child is sleeping too much, having trouble sleeping, or having frequent nightmares, it may be a sign that they are experiencing mental health issues.
Child & Youth Therapy food

Dietary Changes

If you notice that your child is suddenly engaging in unhealthy eating habits such as binging, purging, or starving themselves, it’s important to seek help from a professional.

Bullying Issues

Bullying is when someone targets another person repeatedly over time by using insults, threats or physical violence. It can happen face-to-face or online. Many children and teenagers experience bullying in school, and it can leave them feeling powerless, lonely, and anxious. Therapy can help children and teenagers cope with these feelings, develop the skills to manage their emotions, develop resilience and recognize the signs of bullying in other people so that they can avoid becoming a target themselves.
Child & Youth Therapy bullying

Family Situations

Children and teenagers may develop mental health issues when they experience persistent stressors in the home. In many cases, they absorb and experience the same mental health issues observed in the adults of the home including anxiety, depression, stress, anger, and grief. Additionally, domestic violence, divorce, and sibling bullying are other common contributors to mental health issues in children and teenagers.
Family therapy counselling
The effects of these stressors can be devastating to children and teenagers who are trying to cope with their own feelings while also absorbing the feelings of others around them. It is important for parents to understand how their behaviour affects their children in order to avoid creating a negative environment at home. Therapy is often necessary to help children and teenagers process and interpret their feelings about these stressful situations and to help them develop healthy coping skills that can be used throughout life.

Children & Youth Therapists

Dailyn Mccalla
Virtual & In-Person

Dailyn Mccalla

Provisional Psychologist
$200 per hour
Dailyn works with individuals, couples, and youth with a variety of mental health conditions including anxiety, developmental disorders, depression, trauma, PTSD, eating disorders, gender and sexuality, families, trauma and more.
Joel Brooks
Virtual & In-Person

Joel Brooks

Registered Psychologist
$220 per hour
Joel works with adults and youth living with anxiety disorders, depression, and personality disorders. He also provides ADHD assessments, psycho-educational assessments, mental health assessments, personality assessments and social emotional assessments.

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