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ADOLESCENT DEPRESSION MYTH? OR FACT!

depression 1d

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
depression 1a

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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It’s Up To You To Flourish!

Often times, when people think about health, they may instinctively have the idea of physical health alone in mind such that if a person is not seriously ill, then, such a person may be termed healthy. However, this is actually not entirely true because health in itself is an encompassing word, comprising of all round wellness. This indicates that being healthy ideally means being at a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not just the absence of sickness. There should be a balance in all aspects of an individual’s functioning leading to a state of optimal human functioning in which one is thriving physically, mentally and socially. This is the state of flourishing. This also does not indicate the absence of difficult times, rather, it implies that in spite of the hard times, such individuals are resilient that is, having the ability to bounce back no matter the difficulty they encounter. Some other characteristics of individuals that are flourishing include:

  • They choose to dwell on positive emotions rather than dwelling on negative ones which in turn affects how they feel. This is why individuals that are flourishing often tend to feel positive because they choose to dwell on positive emotions. On the other hand, when people dwell on negative emotions, they tend to feel negative most of the time. It is also true that our thoughts become our feelings and our feelings become our actions. Wouldn’t you rather choose to dwell on positive emotions so that you can feel positive and act positively?
  • They have self-love because they have accepted themselves with their strengths as well as weaknesses and have chosen to love themselves regardless. It is important to note that people who love themselves are not perfect but rather, they have cultivated self-acceptance and the willingness to continue to improve on themselves as they grow in life.
  • They have Love for others and this is simply because they have love for themselves in the first place then they can extend that love and positive regard to others as well.
  • They have a healthy self-esteem not because they are flawless but because they appreciate themselves and understand their uniqueness. Therefore, they are assertive and confident in all they do.
  • They are open minded to the point of view of others as opposed to being closed minded and they are willing to learn from every experience. They are also willing to unlearn what is not helpful to them by replacing them with more productive ideas and more positive lifestyle.
  • They are content with themselves while being intentional about their visions, goals and objectives in life, they also have an understanding of what it means to enjoy every moment.
  • They engage in healthy relationships that are mutually benefiting and fulfilling. They also seek to add value to the lives of others and their relationships are more productive as well.
  • They are able to find happiness within themselves and spread it to others. They don’t rely on external factors to make them happy, rather, they find happiness in themselves, the kind of happiness that no one can take away from them. It is true happiness!
  • They are optimistic and hopeful about the future because they take out time to carefully plan their future and envision it, they become more hopeful and secure about the future. They are also able to figure out alternatives if or when their plans don’t turn out as expected.
  • They are grateful and express gratitude for everything, the popular saying that whatever you appreciate, appreciates is so apt because gratitude is so powerful that it enriches our lives.
  • They take positive steps to ensure optimal physical wellbeing, a positive lifestyle is typical for individuals that are flourishing as they ensure proper diet, regular exercises, adequate sleep and other necessary aspects of physical functioning.
  • They live a life of vitality all round such individuals are found to be energetic and strong as a result of the positive lifestyle that they have chosen to live by.

When we take these positive steps in our everyday lives, we begin to flourish as we grow in life no matter the gravity of life’s challenges, we can bounce back to flourishing at all times. I choose to flourish, what about you?

Kindly follow me on twitter @DrMorayojimoh for more interesting updates on #Flourishing

 

 

 


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Unlearning Helplessness

Have you tried so hard but it all seems not to work out?

Are you constantly in a bad or low mood?

Are you taken over by negative thoughts?

Do you feel like you are falling apart?

Do you feel like giving it all up?

Let’s take a moment to seriously ponder on these questions about ourselves or about people in our lives that are currently in one or more of this conditions and are looking to find a positive way out. We all definitely have different moments in life; sad ones, happy ones and of course, the memorable ones that are absolutely unforgettable which could be either good or bad as well.

As humans, we are constantly learning from every single experience that life brings our way. We learn from the achievements, from the failures, from the successes, from the promotions, from the disappointments, from the heart breaks, from the struggles, from the victories, from the tests/trials, from the opportunities taken or missed and generally from every encounter past, present or future. Each of these experiences imprints certain lessons in us.  

We can either learn to persevere and pull through in spite of the challenges or we can learn to become helpless and even unwilling to try anymore.

Learning helplessness occurs quite slowly and unknowingly until the individual is unable to achieve so much or overcome certain challenges encountered no matter how much they try. When people learn helplessness, they begin to feel hopeless and wallow in self-doubt, feelings of guilt, low mood, extreme sadness and the likes.  

Certainly, we may all feel a bit low at some point in our lives particularly in situations of bereavement, disappointments or some other related challenging situations. However, when an individual appears to persistently be immersed in low mood, sadness, negative thoughts, helplessness, hopelessness, feelings of worthlessness and guilt such that it interferes with normal functioning, then there is a need to seek professional help.

The best thing we can do for ourselves is to be aware of our emotional functioning as much as possible by being mindful and by carrying out a self-appraisal during and at the end of every day.

Depression creeps upon people when they are most unaware

Now, no matter how much helplessness you have learned over the years, it is time to unlearn them by being purposeful about how you interpret life’s lessons and how well you are able to take charge of your life.

Don’t give up on yourself, there is so much out there for you if only you give hope and yourself another chance and make the most of it and if you seem to fail again, give yourself yet another chance again and again!

For more information about mindfulness, kindly visit our website on www.mobilehealthconsult.org.

For more information about getting help for depression and to take advantage of our non-drug/non-invasive approach in the treatment of depressive disorders, kindly visit our website or send an email to mobilehealthsonsult2000@yahoo.co.uk to be scheduled for an appointment.

Remember to follow me on twitter @drmorayojimoh for more interesting updates on #UnlearningHelplessness.