Depression in kids – reaching a crisis point
Depression in a word that we would not expect to hear when talking about matters pertaining to kids. Childhood is meant to be filled with fun and happy memories. However the reality today is far from the expectation. Kids are not having that
giggly laughter filled childhood that we’ve seen in movies. They have their own challenges to deal with as well. This is where the research conducted by University of Liverpool, has its importance. It revealed that one in four girls are
depressed by the tender age of 14. In the case of boys, the statistics is slightly hopeful. One in ten boys are depressed by 14 years of age. Read more about mental health here
The research was a joint effort of the University of Liverpool and the University College London. It analyzed data of about 10,000 kids born between the years of 2000-2001. Parents were asked to provide information about the mental health of
their kids. This data was collected at the ages of 3, 5, 7, 11 and 14. At the age of 14, the kids were asked to talk of their own mental health.
Money matters – A link to depression
The research revealed that the family income was a key factor in cases of depression. Children who came from families that were financially better off were less depressive. This helped the researchers conclude that in general, 14-year-olds who
were from well to do families were less likely to have greater depressive symptoms when compared to their peers from poorer homes.
Teen girls suffer from depression more than boys
The research was able to clearly differentiate the fact that, teen girls by the time they reach 14 years, were more depressive than boys in the same age group. The percentage of emotional problems of the children that were reported by their
parents were about 7% by the age of 7. However, by the time they reached age 11, this rose to 12%. In the case of boys, boorish behavior was seen to decrease from infancy to about the age of 5. But, by the time these boys hit 14 years,
accounts of misbehavior peaked!
Another import takeaway from this research was that when the children voiced problems of their own mental health, their problems were different from what their parents had assessed. This shows the importance of getting first hand information from
children rather than giving more importance to the parent’s input about a child’s mental health. This is of course is only applicable in the case of older children as younger kids may not give a proper description of how they are feeling.
However children’s input however small they are, can help give a different view to their mental health.
Early adolescence- a factor for decreasing mental health in girls
Adolescence could be a factor for why the statistics of girls suffering from depression is on the rise. Early puberty brings with it a lot of physical issues like, body hair, change in physiology and even other skin problems like dandruff
and acne. This makes them more self conscious. A previously chatty, happy and outgoing kid may change from that to being reserved.
Anna Feuchtwang, Chief Executive of the National Children’s Bureau in the UK has said that these statistics reveal that a crisis point has been reached. And strict measures need to be taken to help bring back the light into the lives of the kids
in the future.
Other research finding regarding depression in children
Music therapy to treat depression in kids
Research conducted by the University of Bournemouth have revealed that music is the way to effectively treat depression in kids and even young adults. Using music to treat depression is called as music therapy. Music when used in
conjunction with other conventional methods to treat depression was found to be very helpful. Youngsters above 13 years who received music therapy showed better communicative and interactive skills when compared to those who received treatment
Maternal depression could pave way for child’s social and behavioral problems
Those kids who were exposed to circumstances of maternal depression in the first few years of life showed greater probability of exhibiting signs of emotional and social problems. Such children exhibited a lack of empathy towards others. Or
in other words they were not moved and remained unfazed at the sight of others suffering or when they came in contact with anyone having a hard time.
Another light to this research is that, more synchronous mother-child interactions and less intrusive mothers showed greater mentalizing-related processing. This is where depressed mothers have a negative impact on their kids. This is because
depressed mothers are repeatedly found to show less synchronous and more intrusive synergy with their children. Read more about post partum depression here
Exercise more for better mental health
We’ve all heard that exercise and a bit of sunshine is good for our body. Research has a wonderful finding to back up this fact. Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology have claimed that being active and working up a
sweat is simply the answer to treat depression in children. Exercise get’s the endorphins up and running in our body. Endorphins are responsible for the ‘feel-good’ we get after a good round of exercise. Though there could be exhaustion it is a
‘happy exhaustion’. If you are thinking how to add more oomph to your kid’s life, get them hooked on to a sport of their choice. They may tell you they are not good at it. Assure them that it will be a good experience. Reducing screen time is not
enough as a solution to treat depression. More outdoor play is the answer to better mental health!A little bit of dirt never killed anyone.
Food allergies and impact on anxiety on children
This research was conducted among families of low income in Columbia. It was found that food allergies greatly increased anxiety in children. Statistics reveal that among the children with a food allergy about 57 percent have revealed that they
have symptoms of anxiety, when compared to the 48 percent of children who had no food allergy. It was found that roughly 48 percent of the children had symptoms of depression with or without a food allergy.
In families will less income, it is difficult to shop, cook and even manage the daily family meals when there is a kid with an allergy in the picture. There needs to be interventions in schools and health centers to create awareness in such
families. These could be in the form of financial help, advice and emotional support.
Depression in kids – reaching a crisis point