Depression in adolescents is currently a burning problem and shows signs of increasing significantly. If this condition is not detected early and with appropriate interventions, it will seriously affect the health, life activities and future of young children.
Current status of depression in adolescents
According to statistics from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), on average, more than 3,000 adolescents die by suicide every year. What is more remarkable is that this number is showing signs of significant increase, but parents and adults are still quite apathetic, do not know how to identify and intervene appropriately.
In fact, in recent years, it is not uncommon to come across articles and information on media websites about suicides of boys and girls of a young age. Tragic deaths cause a lot of loss and obsession for loved ones, especially parents.
It can be seen that suicide is the second leading cause of death (after traffic accidents). It is a pity that this situation is more concentrated in the age group 15 to 29. In Vietnam, the suicide rate due to depression among adolescents is also increasing significantly. One study found that up to 26.3% of depression cases occurred in adolescents. The number of children with thoughts and thoughts about death accounted for 6.3%, children with a plan to commit suicide accounted for 4.6% and up to 5.8% of children tried to commit suicide.
Experts say that teenagers are extremely sensitive. Children will easily experience psychological trauma when experiencing or witnessing major incidents and shocks in life. According to experts, girls will be three times more likely to have the disease than boys, especially those who are in the period of puberty.
Experts warn that depression is the third leading cause of teen death. If parents do not promptly help and take good remedial measures, the child will sink deeper into negative thoughts, gradually turning into a major depressive disorder and causing many extremely dangerous consequences. .
Signs of teen depression
Statistics from hospitals and specialized facilities show that most of the cases of depression in adolescents who come for treatment have turned to moderate and severe stages. It is worth mentioning that there has not been any family with persistent treatment for more than 6-7 months, most of them give up. Or, there are some cases where the symptoms of the disease have been relieved, and then voluntarily stop treatment, causing the recovery process to fail, and the risk of disease recurrence is higher. On the other hand, the treatment of recurrent depression is more difficult, the recovery rate will be much lower than the initial one.
Therefore, in order to help children quickly overcome depression and limit possible dangerous consequences, parents should pay more attention to their children. At the same time, learn and understand some typical signs of the disease to promptly prevent and intervene.
Here are some early signs of teen depression:
- Children often feel sad, depressed, hopeless.
- Children gradually lose interest in activities and fun events outside, including things that they used to love before.
- Children become sensitive, excitable, irritable, angry for no reason or over very trivial matters.
- Children show disappointment, have pessimistic, negative thoughts about life and the future.
- Children are often worried, restless, insecure about everything around
- Declining self-confidence, feeling worthless, incompetent, low self-esteem, or feeling guilty or guilty.
- Children will lose concentration, reduce attention, have difficulty thinking, reasoning and have many difficulties when making decisions or any choice in life.
- Eating disorders, may be loss of appetite, loss of appetite, often skipping meals or eating too much, eating out of control.
- Sleep disorders, 80% of adolescents with depression find it difficult to fall asleep, sleep poorly, or have nightmares. Some other cases will sleep too much, sleep constantly, lethargy.
- Children begin to think about death, have suicidal thoughts, or engage in self-harming behaviors.
- Besides the above symptoms, children may also show physical signs such as headache, dizziness, back pain, severe abdominal pain, etc.
According to sharing from mental health experts, the symptoms of depression in adolescents sometimes develop silently, hiding inside, so it is difficult to detect. Instead, these children will have a tendency to refuse to listen to, or oppose, and resist the opinions and contributions of people around them.
Children will often have behaviors and words that oppose the actions and events mentioned by their parents, will always have a sense of precaution, alertness and want to separate and separate from everyone. In particular, children will become sensitive, feeling like they are being attacked and tortured with gestures, words and actions.
At this time, children will become rebellious, irritable, stop receiving information or have more aggressive behaviors. These expressions sometimes make it easy for parents to confuse and think that children are rebellious at a “wet” age.
Causes of depression in adolescents
Teenage depression can have many different causes. Here are some of the most common reasons:
- Due to heredity
The results of many specialized studies conducted in the United States found that more than 40% of adolescents’ depression is related to DNA. In fact, children who are born and grow up in families with relatives such as parents, grandparents, or siblings who have suffered from depression are three times more likely to suffer from depression than those who have suffered from depression. other children.
- Environmental factors
Children, especially adolescents, tend to imitate and follow the actions and words of adults. If the family does not orient the child’s thinking from a young age, the child will easily become a copy of someone.
For example, a family with a father, mother or anyone who often comes into contact with the child but suffers from depression, daily life activities will easily affect and affect the child, from which the child is susceptible to illness. than. Children will not be able to understand and distinguish their quiet, sad, contemplative, and shy expressions that are abnormal, caused by mental illness.
Therefore, it can be seen that the environment has a great influence on the mental health of young children. At the same time, it is also a factor that increases the risk of depression for many people.
- Due to the pressure of studying
Experts say that, for young children, to be able to develop comprehensively, it is necessary to know how to balance learning, play and healthy physical activities. However, the reality today shows that many young children have to spend most of their time studying. Not only studying at school, but also learning more, learning skills, talents and many other areas.
The academic pressure not only comes from teachers and schools but even parents who have too high expectations for their children. Setting goals too high for your child will make them feel extremely tired, obsessed with grades, achievements, and exams. Sometimes children’s study time also takes up play and relaxation time. Many children have to stay up all night to complete their assigned homework.
On the other hand, when the learning results are not achieved as expected by parents and teachers, children have to face ridicule, contempt, frustrated attitude, even anger, irritation. , scolded badly. This gradually causes children to lose confidence, doubt their ability, feel ashamed. These are all negative emotions, causing children to gradually fall into a state of depression.
- Due to psychological trauma
When faced with traumas and traumatic events such as bereavement, sexual abuse, school failure, abuse, being a victim of school violence, a child’s psychological well-being will change. so unusual. Children will gradually live a closed life, always feel insecure, afraid, do not want to communicate with people around and form negative thoughts. Without proper emotional release and psychological orientation, children will be prone to depression and anxiety disorders.
- School violence
It can be said that school violence is one of the big reasons why many teenagers fall into depression. When going to school, children who are shy, timid or have some outstanding or unusual characteristics are often teased and bullied by their peers. In particular, children who are victims of this condition often have a tendency to hide and do not want to share it with anyone.
In addition, parents’ indifference, indifference and lack of listening and understanding push children into the abyss. Children will feel lonely, alone and lose faith in life. Over time, they will become closed, afraid to share, do not want to communicate with people, the risk of depression increases.
What should parents do when their child shows signs of teen depression?
The role of parents in overcoming and supporting their child through teen depression is extremely important. At this time, parents should spend more time with their children, learn to listen and understand them more. Specifically, what parents need to do are:
1. Encourage your child to connect with society
As shared above, adolescents with depression often have a tendency to want to isolate themselves, find ways to separate from society, not participate in any fun activities, any entertainment. However, if this situation continues for a long time, it will make the level of depression even worse. Even children will gradually lose the ability to communicate, become shy, timid and unable to integrate well with the outside life.
Therefore, the best way that parents should do right now is to skillfully help their children reintegrate and connect well with society. Allow your child to participate in fun and recreational activities based on their interests. Help your child have more opportunities to interact with the outside world, make friends, chat to stabilize his mind.
2. Don’t Ignore Your Child’s Signs
Along with encouraging and creating opportunities for their children to reintegrate well into society, parents should also pay more attention to their children’s signs and symptoms of illness. At this time, it is necessary to show interest in the child, express love and absolutely not examine and criticize the child.
Parents should create a comfortable atmosphere for their children, try to talk to them more, open up so that they can speak out their feelings and thoughts in their hearts. Thanks to these conversations, parents will also understand their children better, and at the same time easily notice abnormal signs in their children to prevent them in time.
3. Prioritize your child’s physical health
Experts say that physical and mental health are closely linked. When a child’s psychological state is not well balanced and stable, his physical health is also seriously affected. At the same time, depression will become worse when physical activities are not guaranteed.
In particular, at present, adolescents tend to form negative habits such as eating irregularly, tolerating too many processed foods, containing preservatives, staying up late, consuming too much food. phone, computer excessive. Parents need to be the ones to support their children to get rid of these habits and build a healthier, more positive lifestyle.
For cases of depression in adolescents should try to direct children to healthy physical activities such as jogging, playing sports, swimming, etc. At the same time, it is necessary to pay more attention to diet. Children’s daily routine, supplement with lots of green vegetables, fresh fruits and vegetables, nutritious meat and fish. The quality of sleep also needs to be ensured, children need to go to bed early before 23 o’clock and practice the habit of sleeping and waking up at the same time of day.
4. Know when to seek expert help
If the above measures have been fully implemented, but the child’s depression is still not overcome well, parents should also consider taking their child to see a psychologist. Being able to talk directly with a psychologist or neurologist will help children relieve stress and fatigue and gradually change their negative behaviors and thoughts for the better.
Experts say that psychotherapy is currently the preferred method of first application for cases of depression in adolescents. Young children are not only restored to their health in the most natural way, but also are taught how to control their emotions and improve the necessary skills to cope well with difficulties and obstacles in life.
For some severe cases, children with self-harm behaviors or suicide attempts need to be combined with some supportive drugs. Antidepressants will help control and relieve symptoms of depression, while minimizing the risk of suicide in patients. However, the use of drugs should be guided and prescribed by a psychiatrist to ensure safety.
5. Parents take care of themselves and other members’ health
In fact, when having a child with depression, no parent can be happy and comfortable. Parents will often put all their time and energy into supporting their children, sometimes forgetting the needs of themselves and the rest of the family.
However, in order to be the biggest spiritual support for their children, parents need to know how to take care of themselves, stay optimistic, happy and positive to transmit the best energy to their children. At the same time, it is also a shining example for children to learn and follow.
How can teen depression be prevented?
Instead of having to spend a lot of time and effort to treat depression in teenagers, be aware now and immediately apply the following effective prevention methods:
1. Always listen to your child
Children of any age need a lot of attention and sharing from their parents. Therefore, the best way to help your child avoid the risk of depression is to take the time to listen and talk to them, helping them to release the negative emotions around life.
However, after listening, parents should also refrain from giving negative evaluations and judgments about thoughts, concepts or problems that children are facing. Because of that, children will feel themselves worthless, from which they will gradually no longer trust and want to share with their parents.
2. Help your child establish good habits
Regularly maintaining negative habits such as staying up late, playing games continuously, using social media, and eating unhealthy are also factors that increase the risk of depression in adolescents. Therefore, parents should help their children rebuild a suitable lifestyle. Specifically like:
- Encourage your child to sleep on time, making sure to get enough sleep depending on your child’s age.
- Plan a scientific and nutritious meal plan.
- Practice the habit of physical activity, exercise every day, practice sports.
- Support your child in planning for learning, playing, and relaxing.
3. Mental and physical security for children
According to many scientific studies, children who live in families that are loved by their parents, receive a lot of attention and share, have a lower risk of depression or any other mental disorder. any other god. Therefore, parents need to create a healthy living environment for their children to freely express their feelings to their children so that they can feel safe living in their family.
At the same time, parents also need to agree on how to teach their children. When your child encounters difficulties, support and discuss the best ways to overcome them. Parents should not solve everything for their children, but should be the ones to encourage, contribute ideas and suggest appropriate things for their children.
4. Do not put pressure on children to study
Although any parent wants their child to study well and achieve many outstanding achievements. However, you also need to know about your child’s abilities and strengths. Each child will have different strengths, focus on promoting them and avoid making them feel obsessive about learning.
Encourage instead of forcing. Always remind and monitor your child in the learning process. When your child is distracted, always tactfully steer him in the right direction. At the same time, if the child does not achieve the achievements, the set goals should not be yelled at or cursed at, but analyzed and encouraged for the child to try harder.
Depression in adolescents is not an uncommon condition, but if not timely recognized and properly intervened, children face many serious, even life-threatening consequences. Hopefully, through the information of this article, readers will gain the necessary information and help children avoid the risk of depression.