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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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Understanding Milestones and Delays

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It’s amazing how a once helpless and totally dependent infant can over time become a skilled and independent individual. Every adult including you has passed through some developmental stages i.e infancy, childhood and adolescence. Through these stages, you have acquired skills and built capacity to function and respond efficiently to the demands of everyday life. However, some individuals are not capable of this due to some gaps in infancy and childhood.

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Child development is the pattern of change that occurs between birth and the end of adolescence. It is a multidimensional concept that encompasses physical, cognitive, language and socio-emotional aspects. Children develop through different stages in a relatively predictable time and pattern known as developmental milestones. Developmental processes in childhood are very critical and have a huge impact on a child’s capability later in life.  When children experience a significant lag in attaining age expected developmental milestones, it is called a developmental delay. Simply put, developmental delays occur when a child does not reach specific developmental milestones for his or her age. For example, if the normal age range for a child to begin walking is between 9-18 months and a 24 month old child is not able to walk, it can be considered as a motor developmental delay.

Two factors play major roles in child development. These are:

  • Heredity: A child can be born with a chromosomal abnormality if such is present in the genes of either or both parents. These abnormalities cause developmental delays.
  • Environment: Environmental influence occurs in cases of exposure to harmful agents during pregnancy and/or after birth thus causing delays in the child’s development.

InteractionBelow are some warning signs of a developmental delay at different stages of childhood.

INFANCY (0-12 months) : Most children start to speak their first words by 18 months of age and by age 3, most of them can make short sentences. However, if a child is unable to speak words or make short sentences by age 3, this is considered as a language developmental delay.

TODDLERHOOD (1-3 years): Children at 12 – 30 months are usually adventurous and playful as a result of their increased energy and curiosity but when children at this age exhibit the opposite, it may indicate a developmental lag.

PRESCHOOL (3-5 years): Preschoolers are usually calmer and less dependent than toddlers. They are learning to become more independent, imaginative and creative. However, if the opposite is displayed by a child within this age range, it may be a sign of developmental delay.

SCHOOL AGE (6-12 years): At this stage, a child is expected to be able to solve basic problems, distinguish between right and wrong thereby making somewhat independent decisions. However, a child that does not exhibit this competence might be experiencing a developmental delay.

It is expedient that parents monitor their child’s development and seek help when they notice some of these signs so as to enable the child undergo a thorough professional evaluation in order to ascertain the presence of a developmental delay and proffer necessary interventions.

Don’t delay when a developmental delay is noticed in your child or any child you know. Early interventions go a long way in alleviating the effects of developmental delays.

Kindly visit http://www.mobilehealthconsult.org for more information.

Remember to follow @DrMorayoJimoh for more informative updates on child development.

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You can also download our e-books on Child development by clicking HERE


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When Does Life Begin?

crying babyThe anticipated joy of a couple becomes complete at the sound of the cry of their new born after about 9 months of pregnancy and several hours of labor. The birth cry has been known to signify life and is looked out for by the medical professionals at the point of delivery. However, it should interest you that life does not begin at birth but at the moment the man’s sperm fuses with the woman’s ovum (This is called fertilization in biological terms or conception). A child’s life begins at this time. According to a renowned developmental psychologist, Professor Agiobu-Kemmer, the womb is the primary environment where an unborn child develops. It cannot be seen with unaided eyes but advancement in technology has made it possible to know what happens in there.

What evidence exists regarding life at conception? What makes one know that a child starts developing from the womb? Why must environmental factors both in the womb and outside be considered for optimal development?

sucking babyThe developing “child” or “fetus” in the womb hears, feels, sees, and moves even before birth. At approximately two weeks after conception, a lot of development occurs in the womb of a mother. At this stage, nutrition and environmental factors as well as genetics play a role. The body organs and parts begin to develop and take shape. At 12 weeks (3months), the fetus can smile, frown, suck and swallow. This same period coincides with when the fetus can urinate, move arms, legs, fingers and toes. Sucking the thumb usually is not learnt after birth, rather at about 20 weeks after conception, fetuses have been reported to have begun this behavior. At 25 weeks, they begin to hear and at 32 weeks they begin to respond to sounds particularly their mothers’ voices. A very recent study by Lahav (2015), an assistant professor of pediatrics, indicated that neural connection grew at sound centers of the brain of premature babies in incubators who heard recordings of their mother’s voice rather than the regular noise of intensive care units. This research shows how important it is for a mother to speak to her child while in the womb.  Another recent story was published in the news by Mail Online; A newborn baby who refused to be pacified kept on crying until he heard his father’s voice and was held by him. This provides evidence that bonding begins in the womb and both parents play a role.

It is really amazing the delicacy of the life that exist in the womb. How all the organs develop is still a continuous source of inquiry for scientists and researchers. Nutrition, emotional attachment, genetics and the  physical environment during pregnancy play a role in determining a child’s life outside the womb.  Thus, it is important to note that all these factors determine a child’s physical, intellectual and socio-emotional development

“Everything a mother does and is, is shared with her unborn child”.

Development

Every child deserves the best and remember that what a mother does or does not do during pregnancy will affect the child’s development in later years.

For more interesting updates on #child development, kindly follow @DrMorayoJimoh.


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They Are Watching You!

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“Every word, facial expression, gesture or action on the part of a parent gives the child some message about self worth. It is sad that so many parents don’t realize what messages they are sending.”- Virginia Satir

Children are good observers and imitators. They tend to copy and replicate the words and actions of people around them especially their parents and caregivers.

What they say and do is usually what they’ve heard and seen!

As time goes on, children begin to form belief systems based on the actions and words they have been exposed to. Therefore, it is imperative for parents and caregivers to watch what they portray either directly or indirectly to their children.

 Directly: In terms of the parents’ actions and reactions to their children.

What you say and do to them matters a lot.

Indirectly: Refers to the parents’ actions and reactions to others in the presence of the children. This connotes how you talk and act towards others in the presence of your children.

Children have the capacity to emulate behaviours/attitudes

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Try to avoid the following:

Insulting and Cursing: Try as much as possible not to hurl insults or curses on your child if he/she misbehaves. Also don’t insult or curse others in the presence of your child. Love with your words instead!

Yelling: Some parents think that yelling is a way of stamping their authority over their children. This should not be. Try to correct them in a more constructive manner when they exhibit unacceptable behaviours.

Lying: Never lie to your children. Always be honest with them and let them know that honesty is the best policy. The truth should be told all the time.

Comparing: One of the worst things parents can do to their children is comparing them to others. Every child needs to feel unique and accepted at home. Stop comparing your child to others as it destroys the child’s self-esteem.

Rather than display the above, reinforce positive behaviours with praises, rewards and encouragements while constructively dealing with negative behaviours.

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Communicate love to your children because what you give to them is what they’ll become and in turn give to others. Always remember that regardless of what you tell them, they are watching you!

Give your children a chance to believe in themselves.

Watch out for our free e-books on child development coming out soon!

Kindly follow @DrMorayoJimoh for more interesting updates on #Parenting.


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A mother’s love: Love like no other

mothers loveIt’s February, the month of love, when we celebrate valentine. As in the last article, family is truly where love starts from. A person cannot give what he or she does not have as such, even as family is the first agent of socialization, it is also the first place where a person learns what love means. Right from birth, the attachment a child has with the mother is very crucial in the formation of interpersonal relationships with others in future. There is really nothing like the love between a mother and a new born infant. Such love is revealed in touch, stares, caring, sucking and feeding. While these activities go on, the child may either learn to trust or mistrust the care giver. Babies of responsive mothers develop trust while babies of unresponsive mothers may develop mistrust.

This may seem like a whole lot of psychology, but research shows that attachment in childhood influences personality and interpersonal relationships in adulthood. Just like a newborn infant seeks attention, we older “babies” are no different. Love thrives on attention. The amount of time you spend with your loved one be it your friend, spouse or family member determines the quality of such a relationship.

The best inheritance a parent can give to his children is a few minutes of their time each day– M. Grundlermothers love 2

Extending love to the younger generation contributes a lot to our own fulfillment as adults. Extending your attention, care, love, time and resources to your child or another leaves a lasting impact on that life which may culminate into eventual success.

The mother-child love is so strong that it comes with a lot of benefits. An enormous amount of literature and research have highlighted some of the following as benefits of a secure and strong bonding between a mother and a child.. You would love this:

  • Children grow up to become sociable with good interpersonal skills and less aggressive behaviors.
  • Strong bond determines whether a child develops a stable romantic relationship later in life.
  • Exposure to less stress occurring as a result of consistent responses to your child’s cries and frustrations optimizes brain development. On the other hand, high levels of stress may result in irreversible brain damage.
  • Children with a securely attached parenting are able to control their emotions.
  • They have a positive self-concept and high self esteem.
  • As adults, they are able to make positive assumptions about others as such they have better relationships.
  • When relating with others, they engage in more helping behaviors such as showing gratitude, appreciation, care, comfort, and volunteering.mom-kisses-child1

The above mentioned can only be made possible through a responsive parenting and bond between a caregiver and a child. The reverse is usually the case when parents are absent, negligent or abusive.

One way you can be more responsive to your child’s needs is by monitoring your child’s progress.

As the cell is to the body, so is the family to the society. You can learn more tips on parenting by following @drmorayojimoh on twitter.

 

 


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Tips To Strengthen Family Ties

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Which of these do you have more in your family?

Fights, Quarrels, Malice, Anger, Hatred, Jealousy, Mistrust, Unforgiveness and Fear?

OR

Peace, Trust, Love, Humour, Happiness, Joy, Forgiveness, Friendship, Care and Togetherness?

There is no perfect family, every family experiences good and bad times. No matter what holds in your family, the bond you share with the people with whom you have gotten a great percentage of your features and attributes from, will always need to be made stronger.

Looking at the family as a support system, it is expedient that we make it stronger so as to stand the test of time. Parents as well as children have a part to play towards strengthening the family ties.

Gaining tips to achieve this will be of great benefit in this month of Love and always. Here are some amazing tips to help strengthen your family ties.

Tip #1respect

Respect: respect is reciprocal- this old saying is so true even when it comes to family life, having mutual respect for one another in the home is necessary in building a strong family. Children having respect for parents, husband and wife having respect for each other, parents respecting their children and children respecting one another. When there is respect in the home it creates an atmosphere of being thought of as important.

Tip #2

Express Love: actions speak louder than words. A lot of families love each other in their hearts but never express it with actions. Let there be no boundaries when it comes to expressing Love to your family. Saying I love you is important and adding actions to it makes it even better. Deliberately do things for each other and let it become a habit.

Tip #3

Do things together: family playsome call it “family time”, making time to do things together as a family should not be downplayed. Let’s look at it this way, your family is the team you belong to and for you to win or score, you all have to work together. For your family to bond more, you have to do these more often: Laugh together, work together, eat together, play together, pray together, go for walks together, watch TV together etc.

Tip #4

Study each other: you may not have a Degree in Psychology but proximity affords you the opportunity to study your family members, at least the ones close to you. The reason for this is because the more you know about someone, the more you’ll better handle or live with such a person and vice versa.

Tip #5forgive1

Forgive easily: forgiving can be difficult sometimes but what unforgiveness does to you is even worse. So learn to forgive each other easily no matter what has happened, it might take a while but don’t let it take forever.

Tip #6

Treat your family specially: you are familiar with your family but that does not mean you should treat them with contempt as this is often the case. It’s sad to see people treat others better than they treat their own family members. this has to stop! Treat your dad, mom, brother, sisters and significant others specially. This will make your family stronger and knitted together.treat special

Tip #7

Use kind words: some call it “magic word” every family has one or more, it may be “please”, “am sorry” “excuse me” or “can you?” these are polite  statements which express something positive to the receiving party. Use these and more kind words with your family, it will grow tenderness and kindness in your hearts.

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Families are complicated yet wonderful and implementing these simple tips will help you strengthen your family ties. The beautiful thing is that it gets less complicated when you are knitted together in love.

“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”– Mother Teresa

 

You can join in our daily Love dare throughout the month of February by following @DrMorayoJimoh for more amazing updates.

 


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Family Ties

“Family is the most important thing in the world.”Princess Diana

 familyThey have watched you laugh, cry, win or fail at different points in your life. They have seen you at your worst and best, they have shared in your joy and pain. They know and understand your strengths and weaknesses and they may seem to criticize you the most. You didn’t choose them and you can’t forget them in a hurry but out of all the people in this world, they are the ones that probably know, understand and accept you the most – Your family! Yes, your father, mother, sister, brother, spouse, children and significant others. They are the ones who will be with you in times of crises, celebration, mourning and even at death.

“Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life!”- Albert Einstein

 Every family is different, what applies to one family may not apply to another. It’s the uniqueness of your family that makes it special. You should cherish your family even with all the imperfections that forms part of it. The obvious truth is that there really is no perfect family no matter how perfect they may seem to the outside people. Every family  has their own challenges as well as strengths. Here’s a tip;

 Take time out to appreciate the positive sides of your family while refusing to mull over the negative aspects of your family. family 1

“When trouble comes, it’s your family that supports you.” – Guy Lafleur

 As humans,we have a  strong need to love and be loved and the family is usually the first platform where love is expressed such as in caring for and sharing with one another. The bond that ties your family together is not just blood, but more of the shared joy, love, memories and respect for each other. It’s the reason why you love your brother, sister or others in your family regardless of how much you have fought with them in the past or their weaknesses.

“A man travels the world over in search of what he needs, and returns home to find it.” –  George Moore

 We have a responsibility to our family to keep it strong and knitted together in love. Doing this requires a daily effort on our part to invest in our family with our time, gifts and other resources.

Family ties are precious threads, no matter where we roam,

 They draw us close to those we love, and pull our hearts toward home.

“Love begins at home and its not how much we do, but how much love we put into that action”.- Mother Teresa

Welcome to the month of February, the season of love.loveEvery day this month… (and of course other months), make a conscious effort to put a smile on a family member’s face!

Love starts with you.