Thursday July 18, 2019

Depression, Anxiety Main Reasons Why Children Think About Suicide

The risk of suicide was determined in a personal interview

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

Parents, take note. Depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) are the main reasons why children think about suicide, warn researchers.

The study, published in the journal Archives of Suicide Research, reveals the factors that can trigger ideas of suicide in pre-adolescent age group.

“In boys it is previous depressive symptoms which determine subsequent suicidal ideation, while in girls it is a combination of anxiety symptoms, OCD and the family’s socioeconomic situation,” said Nuria Voltas from Rovira I Virgili University in Spain.

The researchers studied a group of 720 boys and 794 girls who studied in 13 schools in Reus. They were monitored during three developmental periods according to age groups of 10 years, 11 years and 13 years.

Depression, Anxiety, Children
Depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) are the main reasons why children think about suicide, warn researchers. Pixabay

At the beginning of the study, the students answered a series of psychological tests that were used to detect which of them presented emotional symptoms related to depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

From their responses, two groups were created: one group at risk of emotional problems and a control group.

Accpording to the researchers, the figures were quite stable. During the first period, 16 per cent of the students stated that they had thought about suicide, of whom 33 per cent stated the same one year later. In both the second and the third period, ideas of suicide were expressed by 18 per cent of the students surveyed.

The risk of suicide was determined in a personal interview and was present in 12.2 per cent of the children with an average age of 11 years old. Although there were no differences between the sexes, the severity of the suicidal behaviour was greater in boys.

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“Our results will enable us to have greater control over this particular aspect and take preventive measures in pre-adolescents, who are going through a period of considerable vulnerability,” she concluded. (IANS)

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Researchers: Video Games can Help Children Evaluate, Express and Manage Emotions

Emotional intelligence can be better explained when there are emotions involved from both sides

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Video games, Children, Emotions
Video games may improve the expression of emotions, but awareness and coping strategies can't be solely understood by games. PIxabay

While it’s commonly believed that video games are harmful for children, researchers have found that it can help them evaluate, express and manage emotions when used as part of an emotional intelligence training programme.

“Video games may improve the expression of emotions, but awareness and coping strategies can’t be solely understood by games. Emotional intelligence can be better explained when there are emotions involved from both sides,” Manish Jain, Consultant at BLK Super Speciality Hospital, Delhi, told IANS.

According to the study published in the Games for Health Journal, researchers from the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Italy developed an emotional intelligence training programme that integrated video games as experience-based learning tools.

The researchers created EmotivaMente, a video game, to enhance emotional intelligence among adolescents, perhaps the group that could benefit the most. They analysed 121 adolescents who participated in eight sessions.

Video games, Children, Emotions
While it’s commonly believed that video games are harmful for children, researchers have found that it can help them evaluate. Pixabay

“Games for health have been designed to address an increasing variety of issues. A relatively new health issue is emotional intelligence, which has implications for various health problems, including coping with stress,” said Tom Baranowski, Professor at the Baylor College of Medicine in the US.

The preliminary evaluation indicated that video games enhanced the students’ evaluation and expression of emotions.

But some experts believe outdoor activities should be given more importance to develop emotional intelligence, which includes awareness of emotions, managing emotions effectively and maintaining relationships, in children.

“In the modern day where interaction is increasingly becoming online and more time is spent indoors, the right way to build emotional intelligence is people-to-people interactions and connecting, spending quality time with peers and family, learning through experiences and feedback,” Samir Parikh, Consultant Psychiatrist and Director at Fortis Mental Health Programme in Delhi, told IANS.

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“Video games are not the most prudent way to enhance emotional skills. Young people should have a well-balanced life with adequate outdoor activities and investment of time and energy in building relationships by working on communication and person-to-person connect,” Parikh said.

Sagar Lavania, Head of Department, Psychiatry and Mental Health, Nayati Medicity, Mathura, believes “human and one-on-one interactions are ideal ways to increase emotional intelligence, especially among adolescents, and can never be substituted by alternative methods”.

“However, if newer techniques are coming up, it needs to be thoroughly researched and supervised, keeping in mind the vulnerability of teenagers,” he remarked. (IANS)