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Depression in children is detrimental

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By Usman Oladimeji

Untreated depression in children may negatively affect vital organs.

Dr. Paul Agboola, a Nigerian consultant Psychiatrist practitioner, has stressed the detrimental effect of long-lasting depression, particularly in children, noting that it can lead to organ damage. He claims that long-term untreated depression in children may negatively affect the development and health of vital organs, including the brain, heart, kidney, liver, lungs, and blood vessels. Depression in children may persist through to adulthood if it is not addressed while it is still in the early stages.

Depression is one of the most prevalent forms of Mental Health disorders, and it often coexists with anxiety. In general, depression is deleterious to people’s health and has been correlated with higher suicide attempts. Thus, it is much more crucial to pay extra attention to a depressed victim in order to prevent an unprecedented scenario. Dr. Agboola, who is also a Provost and Medical Director of the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital in Aro, Abeokuta, Ogun State, urged parents of depressed children to seek professional help.

21 percent of Nigerians between age of 15 – 24 often feel depressed.

At the same time, depression may cause kidney failure as it lowers the hormone that should serve the kidney. Child abuse, a family history of mental problems, environmental variables, traumatic side effects, war, and the murder of parents are all possible causes of depression in youngsters, as stated by the doctor. Some of the symptoms of depression in children include a sudden loss of interest in school, bed wetting, decreased eating, weight loss, and a lack of interest in routine activities.

According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), depression may occur as a result of abuse, school violence, the loss of a close relative, or family difficulties such as Domestic Violence or family disintegration. Twenty-one percent of Nigerian youth between the ages of 15 and 24 say they often feel depressed, have little interest in doing things, or are worried, nervous, or anxious, according to data from a survey conducted by UNICEF and Gallup and released in 2021 in advance of World Children’s Day, marked annually on November 20th.

Long-term depression may adversely affect one’s mental health.

The Mental Health professional further said that depression has far-reaching consequences for one’s health as well as that the difficulties associated with depression in children are substantial. Kidney and heart function may be negatively impacted, and the effects can accumulate over time. Suicide is not the sole symptom of depression among children, long-term untreated depression may have a negative effect on one’s Mental Health by decreasing the production of the hormones necessary for normal brain function.

Childhood depression, however, may go undetected because they lack the linguistic maturity of adults and hence are unable to convey their mental condition using words adequately. It’s not easy to see the subtle indicators of sadness in youngsters, but Mental Health professionals are equipped to recognize them. Psychiatrists, pediatricians, psychologists, social workers, nutritionists, and speech therapists are just a few of the practitioners that may help alleviate children’s depression using a variety of depression treatment strategies.

Those who suffer from depression are at increased risk of self-harm.

Depression is fairly frequent among older children and teens but often goes unchecked. Many children feel down or down at times, it’s a normal part of growing up. Yet these feelings may be troubling when felt deeply over extended periods of time, particularly if they influence a child’s social, familial and educational life. It’s crucial to recognize that children and adolescents who suffer from depression are at increased risk of self-harm and suicide. But nonetheless, this is avoidable when necessary aid is provided.

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