Thursday January 23, 2020

40% Parents Struggle to see Depression Signs in Kids: Study

Most parents also believe schools should play a role in identifying potential depression, with seven in 10 supporting depression screening starting in middle school, the study said

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In boys it is previous depressive symptoms which determine subsequent suicidal ideation. Pixabay

Telling the difference between a teen’s normal ups and downs or something bigger is among the top challenges parents face while identifying depression among the youth, says a new study.

Forty per cent of parents struggle to differentiate between normal mood swings and signs of depression, while 30 per cent are tricked as their child hides his/her feelings well, according to a new national poll in the US.

The C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health at the University of Michigan, is based on responses from 819 parents with at least one child in middle school, junior high, or high school.

“In many families, the preteen and teen years bring dramatic changes both in youth behaviour and in the dynamic between parents and children,” said poll co-director Sarah Clark.

“These transitions can make it particularly challenging to get a read on children’s emotional state and whether there is possible depression,” Clark added.

According to the researchers, some parents might be overestimating their ability to recognise depression in the mood and behaviour of their own child.

An overconfident parent may fail to pick up on the subtle signals that something is amiss.

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Depression is among the leading causes of disability in the U.S. and is being closely monitored by health authorities amid rising suicides nationwide. Pixabay

The poll also suggests that the topic of depression is all too familiar for middle and high school students.

One in four parents say their child knows a peer or classmate with depression, and one in 10 say their child knows a peer or classmate who has died by suicide.

This level of familiarity with depression and suicide is consistent with recent statistics showing a dramatic increase in suicide among US youth over the past decade.

Rising rates of suicide highlight the importance of recognising depression in youth.

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Compared to the ratings of their own ability, parents polled were also less confident that their preteens or teens would recognise depression in themselves.

“Parents should stay vigilant on spotting any signs of potential depression in kids, which may vary from sadness and isolation to anger, irritability and acting out,” said Clark.

Most parents also believe schools should play a role in identifying potential depression, with seven in 10 supporting depression screening starting in middle school, the study said. (IANS)

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Here’s how Cyberbullying Leads to Depression Among Youngsters

Online bullying more horrifying, leads to depression in youths

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Online bullying depression
Cyberbullying amplifyies symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder in young people. Pixabay

As researchers have found that cyberbullying amplifyies symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder in young people, health experts here also stressed that in some cases it can be far more horrifying than physical bullying.

According to the experts, cyberbullying is when a child, teen or youngster becomes a target of actions by others — using computers, cellphones or other devices — that are intended to embarrass, humiliate, torment, threaten or harass.

It can start as early as age eight or nine, but the majority of cyberbullying cases take place in the teenage years, up to age 17.

The new study, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, addressed both the prevalence and factors related to cyberbullying in adolescent inpatients.

Online bullying depression
From setting beauty standards and norms to trolling every act has a significant effect on the psyche of internet users, especially on youth and children, it leads to stress and depression. Pixabay

“Even against a backdrop of emotional challenges in the kids we studied, we noted cyberbullying had an adverse impact. It’s real and should be assessed,” said study co-author Philip D. Harvey, Professor at University of Miami in the US.

According to the researchers, children with a history of being abused were found to be more likely to be cyberbullied.

The study of 50 adolescent psychiatric inpatients aged 13 to 17 examined the prevalence of cyberbullying and related it to social media usage, current levels of symptoms and histories of adverse early life experience.

Conducted from September 2016 to April 2017, the research team asked participants to complete two childhood trauma questionnaires and a cyberbullying questionnaire.

Twenty per cent of participants reported that they had been cyberbullied within the last two months before their admission.

According to the researchers, half of the participants were bullied by text messages and half on Facebook.

Transmitted pictures or videos, Instagram, instant messages and chat rooms were other cyberbullying vehicles, the study said.

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Children with a history of being abused suffer from depression. Pixabay

Those who were bullied had significantly higher severity of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anger, and fantasy dissociation than those who were not bullied.

According to findings, participants who reported being cyberbullied also reported significantly higher levels of lifetime emotional abuse on the study’s Childhood Trauma Questionnaire than those who were not bullied.

The internet not only covers the huge part of our lives nowadays, rather it actually dominates today’s generations’ lives, according to the expert.

“From setting beauty standards and norms to trolling every act has a significant effect on the psyche of internet users, especially on youth and children, it leads to stress and depression as well,” Mrinmay Kumar Das, Senior Consultant, Department of Behavioural Sciences, Jaypee Hospital in Noida, told IANS.

Also Read- Full Vaccination of Children Reduces the Risk of Hospitalisation: Study

To reduce the risk of falling in this trap, Das suggested: “Keep an eye on the people you interact with online, keep your personal information or private details safe. Also keep in mind that your children who apparently act normal may also be dealing with cyber bullying.”

“Hence keep communicating with your children, rather than scolding them and forcefully limiting their internet use, support them to come out of this depressing phase, encourage them to indulge in other activities like games, music, etc,” Das added. (IANS)