What are anxiety and depression?

Anxiety and depression are mental health issues. Anxiety is a feeling of fear or extreme worry. Depression may make you feel hopeless.

What can lead to anxiety or depression?

Young newcomers experience lots of mental health challenges. Many young newcomers experience anxiety or depression because of moving to a new place, adjusting to a new culture, facing language barriers and racial discrimination, which can all cause stress.

Some risk factors for anxiety and depression include:

  • Family genetics 
  • Facing challenging life events (e.g., being bullied, experiencing the loss of a loved one, having health issues, etc.)
  • Experiencing something traumatic during childhood, like sexual assault
  • Financial difficulties 

What is anxiety?

Anxiety occurs when you feel so much tension, fear, or worry that it gets in the way of your day-to-day activities. 

You may be feeling anxious if:

  • You are worrying about things you never used to worry about.
  • You feel overwhelmed with your feelings.
  • You are not sleeping well or you can’t sleep at all.
  • You are eating too much or too little.
  • You start becoming obsessive about some things, like washing your hands all the time.
  • You start to panic in certain situations, or have a panic attack.

Panic attacks are a major symptom of anxiety and can be really scary to experience. Here are some signs that you're having a panic attack:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Hyperventilating
  • Chest pain
  • Racing heart
  • Dizziness

What is depression?

Depression occurs when you feel of hopelessness or worthlessness, and those feelings last for at least a couple of week

You might be depressed if:

  • You feel negatively about the world, and about yourself.
  • You are having troubling dealing with sad about things that have happened to you, or you think about them a lot without feeling better about life.
  • You feel tired all the time.
  • You can’t sleep, or you sleep too much (can’t get out of bed).
  • You start eating more or less than you usually do.
  • You start feeling pain in your stomach or other parts of your body.

How do I get help for anxiety or depression?

If you feel anxious or depressed consistently for more than 2 weeks then you should get help as soon as possible. Speak to an adult your trust, like a parent, a teacher, or your family doctor. 

You may also want to try these resources: