What are "internalizing" problems?

Internalizing symptoms encompass issues that are directed "inward." This includes signs of depression or an anxiety disorder, which can manifest as social withdrawal and feelings of sadness or fear. Physical complaints like stomachaches, nausea, or persistent fatigue can also indicate internalizing problems.

It's important to note that symptoms of internalizing behavioral issues often don't occur in isolation; various internalizing symptoms can co-occur.

Depression falls under affective disorders, meaning the illness relates to a person's emotional state. Depression can manifest in diverse ways. Typical symptoms include loss of interest, joylessness, sleep disturbances, concentration and/or thinking problems, restlessness, feelings of worthlessness, thoughts of death, or changes in weight.

Feeling down and experiencing periods of grief are familiar to every human being. The difference between these phases and depression is that depression persists for at least two weeks, and the person experiences significant distress due to the symptoms, which restrict their daily life and functioning.

Just as every person has felt moments of sadness, nearly everyone has experienced significant fear. Fear is a normal and innate emotional response to dangers and threats. It motivates actions like fleeing or fighting to end this negative emotional state.

This "normal" fear can be differentiated from pathological anxiety. In an anxiety disorder, an excessively intense fear reaction occurs in situations that are actually safe. This means the fear is not proportionate to the real threat. For those affected, the fear is both psychologically and physically intense, prolonged, and occurs excessively frequently. Anxiety results in severe impairments in professional, everyday, and social life. Therefore, the affected person experiences significant distress in this situation as well.