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Childhood depression, an unseen reality: what are the warning signs?



Globally, one in seven adolescents aged 10 to 19 suffers from a mental disorder, according to UNICEF global figures. Last year, experts warned of an increase in mental health consultations for children under the age of 15.

On a lesser-talked-about topic, both boys and girls can be diagnosed with depression, which can make detection much more complicated.

In Chile, the prevalence of depressive disorders in childhood reached 2% and increased towards adolescence to reach 8%, showing a 2:1 distribution between females and males.

In this context, it is important to demystify the belief that children have no problems or worries, or that depression is just a medical condition in adults. Most adult mental health disorders have been shown to occur primarily during childhood or adolescence.

Depressive symptoms are on the rise in this age group, according to a post-pandemic study conducted by the CJE Educational Justice Center in collaboration with the University of Tarapaka.

And confinement reduces everything to the same physical space, alters daily routines, limits recreational activities, and increases mental and emotional loads such as uncertainty, fear, anxiety, boredom, anguish, and sadness. Connected. Others.

Academic reports confirm that the highest prevalence of cases are women and students, who have problems with family, school and peers.

Alejandra Kakeo Urizal, PhD in Psychology and Director of the UCN-UTA PhD in Psychology, said:

But experts say that children with high rates of depression are “in situations of high vulnerability…that is, in dysfunctional families, where one parent has a psychopathology, and where poverty rates are high.” high, especially experiences of loss or abuse”.

Symptoms of childhood depression

Caqueo explains that some people have similar symptoms, but “the symptoms may be different than in adults.”

In children and adolescents, the most recurrent symptoms presented to diagnose this disorder include “feeling depressed most of the day, greatly reduced interest in almost any activity, sudden weight loss or increased appetite, changes in appetite, insomnia or hypersomnia”. Every day, palpitations, fatigue, excessive guilt, thoughts of death,” repeats the scholar.

The example above is “When you start to get irritated or get frustrated, He exhibits episodes of uncontrollable crying, as well as stopping talking to close friends, stopping playing sports, and isolating himself most of the time. These are some of the indicators that parents should consider.

Additionally, Caqueo said: This means paying attention to any significant changes your child or adolescent exhibits in both behavior and emotion, and you should go to a specialist who can professionally assess the condition.

The expert and his team of experts conduct clinical interviews to determine what happens to the children. Implement specific verbal and non-verbal techniques as this age group has cognitive and verbalization limitations.

Parents and teachers are essential to the process as they can provide important information that can help professionals. In some cases, it may also include medication, psychotherapy, or family intervention.

Finally, the director of the PhD in Psychology said, “The most important thing is to be in constant communication with both your son or daughter and the school, actively listening to their opinions and supporting them according to their needs.” is to provide

warning symptoms

According to the clinic University of Navarrewith similar symptoms in children and adults, but more attention should be paid to the youngest.

– Irritability, anger, extreme hostility.
– Frequent sad or crying episodes.
– Feeling hopeless.
– Decreased interest in activities or difficulty in enjoying activities you used to enjoy.
– Persistent boredom.
– Lack of energy or fatigue.
– Social isolation or lack of communication.
– Low self-esteem, feelings of guilt, or responsibility for bad things that might happen.
– Very sensitive to rejection or have little resistance to failure or error.
– Frequent complaints of physical problems for which no medical cause can be found (headaches, abdominal pain, dizziness, nausea, etc.).
– Frequent absence from school or poor academic performance.
– Concentration problem.
– Significant changes in eating and sleeping habits.
– Conversation about intention to run away.
– Thoughts or expressions of death, or active or passive suicidal intentions.

Source: Biobiochile

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