The teenage years are often very difficult for children and their parents. This period is very important for mental well-being. We figure out what features of a teenager’s behavior should be paid attention to and when to see a doctor and use desirett.
People of all ages experience sadness, irritation, or loss of energy from time to time. Such feelings are considered normal, but if the negative does not disappear and does not subside for a long time, this is a reason to consult a specialist. In the case of a child, this condition can mean depression. It is treatable, but not always easy to recognize, even by a specialist.
How serious is this problem at all?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is one of the leading causes of morbidity and disability among adolescents worldwide, with about 10–20% of them experiencing mental health problems but not being diagnosed and treated.
Who are at risk?
The reasons for the development of depression in adolescents are different and are determined individually in each specific situation. Emotional, social, and physical factors make a person vulnerable: violence and abuse, social status among peers, family well-being, school or university performance.
Some adolescents are at a higher risk of depression. This problem affects children with chronic diseases or other neuropsychiatric disorders, such as autism spectrum disorders. At risk are teenagers who have become parents or married early, as well as ethnic minorities.
Maybe my child is just lazy and doesn’t want to do anything? Or just upset? How to understand that he is really bad?
Depression is not a condition that can be overcome with an effort of will. This is a persistent lack of interest in any activity, accompanied by a feeling of sadness. Often, this condition can cause suicidal thoughts, disturbances in sleep and wakefulness, and even physical symptoms such as pain in the head and abdomen, and a constant feeling of fatigue. It may seem that a person is lazy, does not want to do anything, in fact, he will be in a state of apathy, which is one of the symptoms of depression.
Very often, depression is disguised as mood swings, and sometimes the teenager himself does not make contact, isolates himself from family and friends and does not want to talk about his mood. This condition should not be ignored, because it can result in serious consequences – asocial behavior or, in the worst case, such as a suicide attempt.
You should not immediately try on labels on a teenager, because he may be sick, which is why it is so important to know about the symptoms of depression and communicate with your child. Gently bring him into the conversation, win him over, make it clear that you are on his side and you care. Start your conversation with these phrases:
“Let’s talk to you about this, it’s important to me.”
“Let’s think about how we can solve this problem.”
“You mean a lot to me, your condition worries me.”
What should you pay attention to?
First and foremost, depression can manifest itself in different ways in different children and it does not proceed in the same way as in adults. Adults with depressive disorder are more likely to experience sadness, and children and adolescents are more likely to be angry and irritable. Also, a sharp decline in grades at school often begins, and changes in normal behavior are observed. Here are some warning bells:
defiant, reckless behavior, abrupt changes in behavior;
irritability and anger;
complaints of pain in the head or abdomen;
insomnia or, conversely, too long sleep;
tiredness, lack of energy;
decreased appetite, loss, or, conversely, gaining excess body weight;
decreased physical activity;
difficulties in making decisions;
lack of concentration;
Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
thoughts of death or suicide;
the use of psychoactive substances, alcohol;
the child cries for no reason;
increased sensitivity to criticism;
a feeling of hopelessness and helplessness.
Which doctor can treat depression?
Depressive disorders are dealt with by psychiatrists, psychotherapists, and sometimes psychologists. Unlike SARS, which in most cases can be dealt with independently at home, depression requires mandatory observation by a doctor, since the causes of the disease are different. Hence the different methods of treatment.
Typically, adolescents are prescribed medication, psychotherapy, and recommendations for lifestyle changes. Normalizing sleep and wakefulness, sports, and a balanced diet – all these simple things can really do their bit in the fight against depressive disorder.
How long will the treatment take?
Overcoming depression can take time, in this regard, unfortunately, no guarantees can be made on the timing. According to Russian recommendations, treatment should be continued for 4–6 months after remission, since shorter periods of time increase the risk of depression recurrence. Therefore, the teenager will need a lot of support. Remember, depressive disorders are treatable! This is not a life sentence, and a teenager will not be registered with a psychiatrist if he does not pose a threat to himself.