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ADOLESCENT DEPRESSION MYTH? OR FACT!

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You don’t have crawl into a dark corner; take a bold step, open the shut door to your emotions, feelings, thoughts and step out into the light.

You don’t have to keep up a smiling face when you are hurt or sad deep inside; take off that mask and seek for help!

Often in life, there are certain events that cause different emotional responses, ranging from excitement, happiness, enthusiasm to fear, anger, disappointment, weariness, tiredness, sadness, etc. This is only natural. But when you allow the feelings of sadness to last for days, weeks or perhaps months and it keeps you from living your normal life, interferes with your normal social activities, enjoyable interests, or schoolwork, such that you are now a shadow of whom you used to be; then what you are feeling is no longer sadness. You may be experiencing Depression.

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Do you often feel so exhausted, not from a stressful day, that when you are asked the question “how do u feel”, the only explanatory response you can give is “Am fine, I just feel tired”? But then you try to sleep to relieve the feelings of tiredness and it doesn’t seem to be able to fix it. Do you feel the need to be alone just by yourself but at the same time not wanting to be lonely? Do you feel the need for friends but you don’t want to socialize or relate with others? Or perhaps you are in a pressurizing situation and you feel worthless, helpless, and hopeless that you decided to shut everyone out? You may be suffering from Depression.

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Adolescence is always an unsettling time, with many physical, emotional, psychological and social changes that accompany this stage of their life. When the moods of teenagers disrupt their ability to function on a daily basis, this may indicate a serious emotional or mental disorder that needs attention.

Adolescent depression is a disorder that occurs during the teenage years. It involves persistent sadness, discouragement, loss of self-worth and loss of interest in activities they previously found pleasurable or enjoyable. Depression is associated with an increased risk of suicide and prior studies have revealed that suicide rates among adolescents have nearly tripled in recent times.

Depressive symptoms among adolescents are often attributed to the normal stress seen at this stage of life. This is often misdiagnosed as primarily conduct or substance abuse disorders. Neglecting depression among adolescents can have a tragic effect. Regrettably, adolescents who experience depression at an early age often struggle with depression throughout their lives.


LITERATURE REVIEW

A study carried out in the South-Eastern part of Nigeria (2015) on depression among adolescents in secondary schools between the age range of 9 – 18 years, revealed that the prevalence of moderate depression in adolescent was lowest at the age of 10 and highest at the age of 13. It further revealed that the prevalence of severe depression in adolescents was lowest at the age of 11 and highest at the age of 12. Furthermore, the study revealed that children whose parents are separated showed higher incidences of depression with the female gender at a higher risk.

Another study carried out in Greece (2015) on depression in late adolescence among students in senior high schools between the age range of 16 – 18 years, revealed that 49.38 % of the adolescents with depressive episode had at least one comorbid anxiety disorder. Only 17.08 % of the adolescents with depression have visited a doctor due to a psychological problem during the previous year. It further revealed that anxiety disorders, substance use, female gender, older age, having one sibling, and divorce or separation of the parents were all associated with depression. In addition, the presence of financial difficulties in the family was significantly associated with an increased prevalence of both depression and depressive symptoms in adolescents.

CAUSES

There’s no single known cause of adolescent depression. Some of the factors that could lead to depression in adolescents include:

  • Genetic factors: a family history of first-degree relatives with depression could put a child at higher risk of having depression. Most especially, it could be passed from parent to child.
  • Environmental factors: heartbreak, academic problems, health concerns, or acute stress.
  • Past traumatic event: the loss of a family member or friend; sexual abuse (rape), physical abuse (beating), or emotional abuse (insults, bullying, words of discouragement).
  • Hormonal changes resulting in irregularity in mood and behavior.

Having a pessimistic mindset or thought: a child being surrounded with people or an environment where negative thoughts or way of life, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness is a norm instead of facing challenges head on and a winning attitude; such child can end up not being able to feel positive when in distressing situations.


SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS TO LOOK OUT FOR
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Most times it is often difficult for parents to know that their children are suffering from depression. Parents often mistake it for stress, adjustment issues or growing up/puberty. Some of the depressive signs to look out for are:-

  • A decreased interest in activities your child once found pleasurable.
  • Appearing sad, irritable, or tearful.
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, hopelessness or helplessness.
  • Changes in appetite or unintentional weight gain/weight loss.
  • A decrease in energy (fatigue) and regular complaints of boredom.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • A decline in academic performance.
  • Substance abuse (Drug or Alcohol).
  • Withdrawal from social situations, friends, or after-school activities.
  • Major changes in sleeping habits (Insomnia or Hypersomnia).
  • Recurrent thoughts and talk of suicide, death or attempted suicide.
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease even with treatment.


EFFECTS

Depression is associated with high levels of stress, anxiety, self-harm and in the worst possible scenarios, suicide. It can also affect a child’s:

  • personal life
  • school life
  • social life
  • family life

This can lead to social isolation and other problems.


TREATMENT

  • Support: ranging from discussing practical solutions and contributing stresses, to educating family members.
  • Psychotherapy: also referred to as talking therapies, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Interpersonal Therapy.
  • Mindfulness Meditation Therapy
  • Biofeedback Therapy
  • Neurofeedback Therapy
  • Audio-visual entrainment Therapy
  • Drug treatmentantidepressants medications.
  • Regular Exercise
  • Adequate sleep
  • Hygienic and balanced diet
  • Avoid substance and alcohol intake

You may be bent, but you are not broken; you may be scarred but you are not disfigured; you may be sad but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost; you may be tired but you are not lifeless; you may be afraid but only you has the power to change that; you may be angry but you don’t have to be bitter. All in all, you may be depressed but do not give up!

– Anonymous

For more information on the therapy procedures visit our website on http://www.mobilehealthconsult.org and remember to follow @DrMorayoJimoh on twitter.

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WHAT IF I FAIL AGAIN?

PIX 1

Failure is the opportunity to begin again, only more intelligently. – Henry Ford.

Are you scared of taking on a challenge all because you think you might not succeed? Are you holding yourself back from starting that project because you are scared you might fail? Or are you just so afraid of failing that it causes you to be stuck or moving on? Or you hesitate from trying, thinking you are not good enough?

Everyone has experienced failure at one point or another but that doesn’t have to hinder you from trying neither does it have to be the end of it. More often than not, to succeed at times we need to have failed at a point. Failure is a way of learning to think of better ways to achieve our set goals in order to come out with excellent outcomes better than we ever thought.

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Funny it may seem that what a person may categorize as failure may just be an opportunity to learn for another. The thought of failing can be scary, true; but when you are so scared of failing that you allow it stop you from doing something that will bring your progress, hence, causing you to be stuck and hinder you from progressing, you are experiencing what is referred to as ‘Atychiphobia’ – fear of failure.

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A person is said have phobia when he/she has an extreme, unreasonable or irrational fear of something or situations as a result of being exposed to certain situations, objects, places or creatures. A person is said to have ‘Atychiphobia’ if he/she is experiencing persistent, recurrent and irrational fear of failure.

Phobias like ‘Atychiphobia’ can be so extreme that they completely paralyze you, making it difficult to carry on with your tasks at home, school, or work. You may even miss out on important opportunities in your life, both personally and professionally.

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Failure does one of two things: it will either keep you stuck or get you moving!

CAUSES OF ATYCHIPHOBIA

It may be difficult to say what the real cause behind one’s fear of failure is but one is likely to have a fear of failure if:

  1. You have watched other people fail and perhaps not able to recover from it. This is called ‘Observational Learning Experience’.
  2. You heard or read stories about other people’s experience and as a result, you developed fear of failure. This is called ‘Informational Learning Experience’.
  3. You have had personal past experiences of failure that resulted in serious consequences; for example, losing a job.

SYMPTOMS OF ATYCHIPHOBIA

The symptoms range in severity from mildly severe to extremely severe. You may experience some of these symptoms if have a fear of failure:-

  1. You may feel reluctant to explore new things or ideas or take on challenging tasks.
  2. When you have a low self-esteem or lack of confidence in yourself.
  3. Uttering negative statements like ‘I am not good enough to take on that project’.
  4. When you are fond of procrastinating; that is, postponing your set out goals because you too scared of starting.
  5. If you are only willing to try as long as you certain that the outcome will be positive – perfectionism.

Other symptoms may include;

  1. Intense feeling of panic or anxiety.
  2. A serious need to escape a situation that produces the fear.
  3. Feeling detached from yourself.
  4. When you feel you don’t have control over a situation
  5. When you generally feel powerless over your fear.

HOW TO OVERCOME YOUR FEAR OF FAILURE

  • If you are experiencing Atychiphobia, the first step to overcoming it is to believe in yourself that you are good enough and try again.
  • It’s best to seek the help of a professional, a psychotherapist or perhaps a Certified Psychologist for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This will give you exposure to the tools that you need to overcome your fear of failure.

For more information on the therapy procedures visit our website on www.mobilehealthconsult.org and remember to follow @DrMorayoJimoh on twitter.

 


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Be Positive!

positive-attitudes-quotes

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones,

you’ll start having positive results”

– Willie Nelson

After setting goals and making resolutions for the new year, it is so certain that challenges will come up 100% of the time to distract you from achieving your set goals and all of a sudden even the seemingly “easy” goals you’ve set begin to kind of look difficult then you start procrastinating… maybe tomorrow…, maybe next week…, maybe next month…and it goes on and on till it is never done.

That has to stop this year!

It’s time to wake up and make changes that you’ll be thankful for at the end of the year. First, we must establish who or what the determinant of the outcome of your life in this year is. No doubt, external factors do have a role to play in this but be informed that the major factor that determines your outcome or the accomplishment of your set goals is YOU! Yes YOU!

So it’s very important that you believe in the possibility of your goals becoming a reality. Let your belief form a firm foundation for everyday of this year. Then start working on them, never forget the goals, place them where you can see them every day and see yourself achieving them!

3 ways to be positive this year

Treat yourself better: When you set goals such as health and fitness goals, it is important that you do so for yourself and not because you want to please others or fit in. you have to be positive about yourself this year. Get more organized, eat healthier, exercise more, drink more water, sleep better, give yourself a treat occasionally, do something special for yourself, buy yourself a gift, see yourself in a better way, present yourself better, take better care of yourself, look better and be self-motivated. Let’s be positive about ourselves!

Treat others better: It can be really rewarding when we treat people better. There is this inner joy that comes with that. We certainly feel good when people treat us well, so why don’t we make more impact this year by treating others better? You’ll touch so many lives by this act and it will bring more opportunities your way. As an employee, resolve to treat your employer better. As an employer, resolve also to treat your employees better. Let’s be positive about others!

Go the extra mile: You have to leave your comfort zone this year. Enough of the mundanity. It’s time to change gears for the next level, a time to change old methods of doing things and embrace better ways instead. It is also time to take risks to see growth and productivity. Be adventurous this year and push yourself to do what you thought you could not do because, it is possible! Let’s be positive about our actions!

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It’s never too late to change your thought patterns about yourself, others and your actions. Add daily doses of positivity to these 3 aspects and watch yourself have positive results with a happier and healthier life.

Kindly follow me on twitter @drmorayojimoh for more interesting updates on #positiveyou