It’s no secret that people have been struggling with mental health during the pandemic.

For many teens and children, feelings like anxiety and depression might be feelings they don’t know how to communicate.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Rudy Nydegger of Schenectady says that it’s important to try to keep things as normal as possible for teens, during a time when everything else seems to be changing.

“They don’t know who to talk to or what to do,” Nydegger said. "Parents and friends are a good support system.”

Nydegger says parents should look out for any changes in their child’s behavior and can ask these questions if they notice they're acting differently. 

“Are you feeling more nervous than usual? Are you worried more? Are you isolating yourself?” Nydegger said of things parents can ask their child. 

Nydegger says that talking with friends and family can help, but if the symptoms of depression and anxiety don’t go away, then professional help should be considered.

“You can talk to friends [and] family, but a professional brings knowledge, experience, expertise and a point of view; that’s different,” Nydegger said. 

Even though the idea of sharing your feelings with a stranger can be scary, Nydegger recommends trying therapy at least once.

He says that many teens come to like talking with someone who’s neutral and sympathetic.