Saturday, December 9, 2023

Teenage depression is real, wake up, recognise and act before it gets too late


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A teenager in Hyderabad recently committed suicide after being chided by his parents. This should be a wake up all for every parent raising a teenage kid. They may be severely ill and we not even know about that.

It’s normal for teenagers to be moody, its very natural for them to behave differently when they have to deal with a lot of issues both mentally and physically. But, you have to be watchful and read the signals carefully before it is too late.

Mental illness is more common in teens than you think and it needs timely diagnosis and treatment instead of ignorance.

Teenagers fighting mental issues need professional help

Warning Signals

Keep an eye on your teenage kid if there is sudden drop in their grades, a disinterest in friends, or out-of-character irritability. If at least one of those symptoms is present, you have to be watchful.

In addition to this, if your kid has experienced few of the following symptoms nearly every day, for at least two weeks, he or she might be diagnosed with major depressive disorder –

  • Irregular sleep pattern
  • Constant feeling of guilt for no apparent reason
  • Drop in energy level
  • Lack in concentration
  • Sudden drop or uptick in appetite
  • Lack of motivation
  • Suicidal tendencies

Types of teen mental issues

A report by World Health Organisation says that globally, one in seven 10-19-year-olds experiences a mental disorder, accounting for 13% of the global burden of disease in this age group.

Depression, anxiety and behavioural disorders are among the leading causes of illness and disability among adolescents. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among 15-19 year-olds.

Here are some of the most common mental issues that the teens are fighting across the globe –

  1. Generalized anxiety—Excessive worry about everyday matters
  2. Social phobias—Severe feelings of self-consciousness and insecurity in social settings
  3. Depression—Persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, and/or emptiness

You should see your child’s pediatrician or family physician first. Their familiarity with your child’s medical history can make it faster and easier to reach a diagnosis.

Early detection and treatment

The consequences of ignoring adolescent mental health conditions extend to adulthood therefore it becomes crucial to address the needs of adolescents with mental health conditions. The key to address this is to prioritise non-pharmacological approaches, and respecting the rights of children in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and other human rights instruments are key for adolescents’ mental health.

Ask an expert

If you suspect your teen may have a mental health issue, seek professional help without further delay. It is also a good idea to consult your child’s physician about your concerns or have a detailed conversation with a trained mental health professional.

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