How to Understand Depression in Children and Adolescents?

How to Understand Depression in Children and Adolescents
How to Understand Depression in Children and Adolescents?

Depression has recently become a problem not only for adults, but also for children and adolescents. Stating that the first symptoms of depression appear at an earlier age than expected, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Specialist Dr. Melek Gözde Luş states that the Covid-19 pandemic has also changed the lives of children. Dr. Melek Gözde Luş; He points out that attempts such as rebellion, lack of concentration, social withdrawal, substance and alcohol use are symptoms of depression. Luş advises parents to primarily have emotion-focused conversations at home and to rearrange the routines that are disrupted at home.

Üsküdar University NP Etiler Medical Center Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Specialist Dr. Melek Gözde Luş drew attention to the symptoms of depression, which is also seen in children and young people, and gave very important advice to parents.

Depression is also a major problem for children.

Stating that it has been understood recently that depression is not only a problem experienced by adults, but also a problem experienced by children, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Specialist Dr. Melek Gözde Luş said, “In fact, the first appearance of depression occurs at an earlier age than is thought. When it comes to adolescence, especially with the increased risk of suicide, depression itself becomes a warning to the society. Studies on the recognition and proposition of early-onset depression, starting with people in the high-risk group, are increasingly important nowadays. kazanHe's eating." said.

Pandemic measures have changed lifestyles

Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Dr. Melek Gözde Luş, 'After the pandemic was declared, UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) expressed the opinion that children whose lives were changed due to COVID-19 may be among the biggest victims of this epidemic.' said and continued:

“Children's constant exposure to negative situations and news about the epidemic at home, social isolation during the epidemic, stress and changing lifestyles can cause fear, anxiety, depression and many related psychosocial problems in children. Isolation methods such as the closure of schools and curfews, which had to be implemented in order to prevent the pandemic, led to significant changes in the lifestyles of children. It has been seen that children who cannot go out, stay away from the educational environment, have limited contact with their friends and experience this situation as being kept under forced house arrest should be handled specially during the pandemic period. It is estimated that this situation will take a long time for some children.”

Play therapy benefits young children

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Specialist Dr. Emphasizing that, on the contrary, ignoring the sadness and anxiety of young people by trying to give advice such as 'don't worry, you can beat, you are strong', anxiety causes the person to feel that they are not understood. Melek Gözde Luş said, “Psychotherapy has a very important place especially in adolescents when clinical signs of depression are seen. Psychotherapy can be used in conjunction with drug therapy, or it can be effective alone. Listening to the adolescent, trying to understand and helping him/her be aware of his/her own characteristics through frequent meetings are the main aims of treatment. Play therapy can be beneficial for younger children. In addition, drug treatment is applied to children starting from the school period.” he said.

These symptoms indicate depression

Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Dr. Melek Gözde Luş; He said that especially rebellion, increase in risk-taking behaviors, lack of concentration, failure in school lessons, social withdrawal, decrease in interest and activity, deterioration in friendships, avoiding school and home, tendency to use substances and alcohol, and suicidal thoughts and attempts can be counted as symptoms of depression. Luş said, “Young people experience sudden changes in their feelings, thoughts and relationships, and depressed adolescents can experience these changes faster. Depression should be considered when physical problems such as sibling fights, restlessness, fear, aggression, nausea and vomiting, avoidance of responsibilities, difficulty in focusing, and sleep problems are seen in children starting from school age. said.

Broken routines need to be rearranged

Stating that parents hold themselves responsible for the child's condition many times, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Specialist Dr. Melek Gözde Luş said, “Informing families about this issue plays an important role. Parents should not blame themselves for this situation of their children. Especially from the age of play, families should spare time for the child and make him feel that they value him.” said.

Dr. Melek Gözde Luş concluded her words as follows: “Especially in the home environment, effort should be made to have emotion-oriented conversations as much as possible. An environment should be created in which the child can express his feelings as easily as possible and it should be ensured that he/she expresses what he/she feels. Routines are very important for children and adolescents. Therefore, it is necessary to try to reorganize the disrupted routines such as eating and drinking, sleeping hours and weekend activities in the family as much as possible. When it is seen that children have symptoms such as sadness, anxiety, loss of appetite, sleep problems and they do not feel well, it is useful to consult a child and adolescent mental health specialist without wasting time.”

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