(By Dr.Sunita Yadav, Head Quality, Dalmia Medicare)
You May Be Depressed and might not even be aware of it, As India Is one of the Worst Hit by Depression according to WHO. Depression can lead to suicide which is the second biggest cause for people between the ages of 15 to 39 to end their life.
WHO has focused this year’s campaign on depression and their slogan for this year is: “Depression: let’s talk about it.” Yes, talking can help reduce the level of depression it needs to be embraced, understood, taught new tricks, and ultimately brought to heel, exactly like a dog.
These are the ten early signs of depression in your kid:
Symptoms of depression may vary between children; it may vary in the children of same age group. In addition, family history of violence, physical, sexual and alcohol abuse plays a critical role in the development of depression in kids. However, we can consider the following listed signs as the early symptoms of depression in your kids:
Constant feeling of hopelessness in your kid.
Drastic changes in sleep pattern: either very little or excessively.
Change in appetite and weight: increased or decreased.
· Restlessness or irritability.
· Lack of concentration, tiredness and low energy.
· Sudden outburst or crying.
· Loss of interest in school, studies and educational failure.
· Feeling guilt-ridden or shame faced.
· Lack of interest in activities like playing with other kids, extracurricular activities in home and in school, social function and events.
· Thought of death and suicide attempts.
· Start to take drugs or alcohol, if they are above age 12.
Parents Alert! Seven tips to identify if your kid is suffering through depression:
Behavioral or emotional changes:
· Feeling of unhappiness in most of time.
· Aggressiveness and temperament.
· Development of negative believes like nobody likes me at School and I am bad and incapable child.
· Feeling of humiliation.
· Excuses of health problems like stomach ache, headache for no medical reason.
Showing of loss of energy and interest in daily activities:
· Do not like to play with friends which child usually loves more than anything else.
· Changes in sleeping pattern or sleep disorder.
· Lack of concentration on any work and memorizing the things.
Changes in School going Child:
· Lack of academic performance and not taking part in any extracurricular activities.
· Unable to adjust in school environment and avoiding playing along with the friends.
Mental Health Awareness: Some important points about depression:
· According to the recent report of Indian Council of Medical Research, 12% of children in India are suffering from psychiatric disorders. As per WHO assessment by 2020, mental depression will become a major cause of global disability.
· Mental health problems and depression can be characterized by persistent sadness. It can be prevalent in both male and female. Prevalence of mental disorders is slightly more prevalent in 0-3 year’s age group which is 13.8% in comparison to 12% in 4-16 year children.
· Mental health illness can be characterized as major, minor and invisible. Where, major and minor are easy to recognize and treat in comparison to invisible which is difficult to distinguish.
· Children suffering from mental health issues report three times more physical health problem, underperformance in studies and increase in suicidal tendency in comparison to mentally healthy child.
· With the advancement in medical science and technology, effective treatments are available for mental health and depression. However, people are unable to take the advantage of these services due to lack of awareness. If it’s left untreated or ignored then it may become a chronic disorder.
· First step to deal with the mental health illness and depression starts right at home. Parents can manage their child by spending more time with the child, by appreciating their small work or achievements, engaging them in extracurricular activities, regular consultation with health professionals and taking report of child through class teacher and school staff on periodical basis.
Dr. Tuleshwar Singh, MD Pyshiatry, AIIMS: If you have feeling that your child is suffering from depression by seeing the above mentioned symptoms and if, it persists for more than 2-3 weeks. “Firstly, you should talk to your child and find out the reason of concern. It may happen that the reason could not be a major problem, however consult to general physician. Secondly, after the recommendation of your physician consults to psychiatrist immediately for right advice or therapy in the case. Please don’t follow any superstitions and myth in this situation”