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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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Building a Loving Relationship

Sarah has always wondered what it will be like to have a close relationship with her parents.

She feels something may be wrong with her family. 

Each time she sees or hears her friends talk freely with their parents and hang out with them,

she wishes so much for such a relationship.


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As children grow older and become more exposed to their environments, they start to see things differently and compare what goes on in their homes to that of others.

As a parent, you are the architect of your home, think about this for a while, what kind of children do you want to raise? Could it be children that can talk freely with you, open up to you, share their fears and trust you? or those that will be too scared to come close to you and want to hide everything from you?

Well, it all starts with the strength of your relationship with your child right from childhood and onwards. A loving parent to child relationship cannot be overemphasized because many problems in our homes and society as of today emanates from dysfunctional parent to child relationship.toddler_and_parent_smiling_with_book_02

No doubt, parenting can be really tough but a sure way to make it an enjoyable one is to strengthen your bond with your child. You will be better able to handle the challenges of parenting when you have a close relationship with your child.

Here are 10 practical tips to build a strong relationship with your child;

Tip #1 Know your child: you have to be able to study your child and understand most of his/her verbal and non-verbal communication. This does not happen in a day so take your time to study your child’s physical and emotional responses.

Tip #2 Be a good model: most of the attitude your child displays were gotten from you. Don’t tell them to do things the right way when you do them the wrong way. If you want them to be truthful, you have to avoid telling lies as well.

Tip #3 Be open to them: try as much as possible to be open to them so that they’ll take after you and be open to you in turn. Tell them about your childhood struggles and be there to help them through theirs also.

Tip #4 Tell them you love them: hearing the words “I Love You” should not be alien to your children. You might say they know very well that you love them but you have to let them hear it constantly.

Tip #5 Show them you love them: you need to try as much as possible to show your children that you truly love them by your actions.

Tip #6Touch them: Hugs and kisses should not be reserved for babies alone, you need to display your affection for your children physically by touching them when you talk with them and give regular hugs and kisses as well.

Tip #7 Talk with them: Please don’t always talk at them, they need you to talk with them more. Start building this skill right from before they start talking and when they eventually start talking, engage them in conversations. This will help them build good interpersonal relationship skills.

Tip #8 Allow them trust you: endeavor to provide appropriate answers to them right from when they start asking questions, this way, they’ll trust you to give them the right information instead of seeking such from outsiders.

Tip #9 Don’t be too old school: always try to get into your child’s world once in a while. Know what is in vogue in your child’s age category, for instance you can sit with them to watch their favourite cartoon or TV show and talk about it together. You should also play with them. You may just have your best conversations while playing with them.

Tip #10 Give them the best: the best is not necessarily expensive, if you are a busy parent, your time may be worth more than the latest gadgets and toys, so try to take out time for your child on a regular basis.

By practicing these tips, you’ll succeed in raising assertive children with very healthy self-esteem. What’s more, they’ll be forever grateful!

Portrait of Happy Family In Park

Kindly follow @DrMorayoJimoh for more interesting updates on Child Development.

 


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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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School Readiness: Getting Started

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At what age do you think your child should really start schooling?  Less than 2 years, 3-4 years or perhaps 5 years?

Well, some parents in our busy world today take their children as young as three months or even less to some form of schools especially crèches, while others may decide to wait until about age 2/3 years before enrolling their little ones in school.

To decide on what is best for a child at a certain age, it is advisable to understand the child’s developmental needs and see if the choice will help the child or do otherwise.

Sadly, many parents who enroll their children into schools at an early age will have limited opportunity to bond with their children. The parent to child bonding is a necessary aspect of a child’s emotional development. They are also not able to monitor the child’s progress as he/she attains age expected developmental milestones. Such children may eventually learn to sit, crawl, walk and talk in school in the absence of the parent. These schools usually have other children to be attended to as well. Therefore your child may not get adequate attention and care.

Parents are the ones that can truly give proper care and attention to their children especially at such a tender age.

You need to closely study and monitor your child;

  • Discover what he/she enjoys eating or drinking
  • Study his/her toileting pattern
  • Be familiar with his/her sleep-wake pattern
  • Monitor his/her language and motor development

If parents are fully involved in their child’s overall development, then such a child is being prepared for school.

Here are some important skills preschoolers can learn from home:

  • Basic Social Skills: build up your child’s social skills by modelling and practicing with him/her how to relate well with other kids. Watch how your child relates with his/her peers. Encourage good behaviours with praises and other forms of motivation and discourage bad behaviours as well.

 

  • Virtues: Home is the first place a child learns virtues. After all, “Charity begins at home”, Preschoolers can learn to be polite, to share and to forgive, by watching their parents. When parents instill virtues in their child, it would be easier for such a child to relate with other children when they start schooling.

 

  • Independence: A child should have some level of independence before starting school, the child should be able to engage in certain activities with little or no assistance such as eating, drinking and choose what toys to play with without depending on the parents.

 

  • Communication: Your child should be able to indicate through signs and short sentences what he wants, or at least one word. It makes it easier for such a child to cope in a school where there are other children to attend to.

 

  • Potty-training: It is advisable that a child should be potty trained before starting school. That way, the child will go through the potty training stage with the help of loving parents rather than impatient nannies.

 

It is important that your child is ready before starting school so as to avoid social and emotional difficulties while in school. With the above tips in place, you can be sure that they are ready to make friends and learn academic subjects with little or no difficulty.

Stay updated with tips on child development @DrMorayoJimoh.

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Also Download our NEWLY PUBLISHED CHILD DEVELOPMENT E-BOOKS 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”.

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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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Presence or Presents? You decide!

 Tayo, an only child baby-sitted by Granny, wakes up to prepare for school, only to find mum and dad have left for work as usual.  Granny explains: Mum has to be at the Bank and Dad has to be at the construction site. He tries to stay awake to catch a glimpse of his parents before dozing off at night, but his eyes are too full of sleep. Looking forward to every weekend, he hopes Dad can take him to the cinema, only to find out from Mum that Dad had to travel on an official trip again. Mum is usually busy attending social functions at weekends, never having time for him. To make up for this, his mum and dad buy him the latest toys and gadgets to make him happy.

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“Your children need your presence more than your presents”
– Jesse Jackson

One love language children understand is Quality time. Oh yes, they love the gifts and may go the extra mile to earn one every now and then but most importantly, children desire and need the love and presence of their parents. They want their parents to help them out and supervise their homework. They want to chat about what happened in school with their mum. They want Dad to take them out to the park. They want so much more than the gifts. I can hear someone think “They always want, can they ever stop wanting?” The truth is parenting is the greatest investment. You can invest in stocks, real estate, land etc, but investing in your children yields the greatest returns in life.

It is becoming more difficult to juggle work and family but quite possible when priorities are set. Sadly, many parents have “lost” their children in a bid to earn more and stay competitive. Children who are not under adult supervision and lack parent figures often associate with the wrong people and make misguided decisions.

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Here are 10 tips on spending quality time and enhancing your relationship with your kids

  • Make yourself emotionally accessible and available for your child.
  • Supervise their homework as often as possible.
  • Set aside a time each week for a special outing with your kids.
  • Help them with their school projects.
  • Saturday mornings are excellent times to play games or engage in sports/exercise with your family.
  • Regularly attend Parents- Teacher’s Association (PTA) meetings.
  • Visit your child’s school during open or visiting days.
  • Ensure you have regular contact with your child’s class teacher.
  • Discuss with your child about his/her interests and aspirations.
  • Endeavor to check through your child’s note book to monitor his/her academic progress.
  • As often as you can, teach your children moral lessons as you have learned yourself while growing up.

Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege,

 than the raising of the next generation
– C. Everett Koop

To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today!

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In your hands lie the power to shape the outcome of your child. Choose to be a “presence-parent rather than a “presents-parent”.  Give your attention and time to your children and you will reap the rewards soon enough!

Join the conversation and get interesting tips on parenting by following @DrMorayoJimoh #parenting. You will be glad you did. Share this with someone.


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7 ways to make her feel special…

Mother’s day is here again and we would like to give you tips on making your mum special not just TODAY but EVERYDAY.

Enjoy!

Mothers day

A Mother’s Love
There are times when only a Mother’s love
Can understand our tears,
Can soothe our disappoints
And calm all of our fears.
There are times when only a Mother’s love
Can share the joy we feel
When something we’ve dreamed about
Quite suddenly is real.
There are times when only a Mother’s faith
Can help us on life’s way
And inspire in us the confidence
We need from day to day.
For a Mother’s heart and a Mother’s faith
And a Mother’s steadfast love
Were fashioned by the Angels
And sent from God above.
Author Unknown

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Happy Mother’s day!

From Mobile Health Consult!