Neucrad Health India News Desk June 30, 2019
A few days ago, when we wrote an article about child depression little did we realise that a piece of tragic evidence would succeed it within a month. In a heart-breaking incident, a fourteen-year-old Class X student of GD Birla Centre of Education in Kolkata lost her life by committing suicide at the school’s washroom. Kirittika Paul slashed her wrist and wrapped her head in plastic in a bid to die. She was long suffering from depression; however, her close aids failed to notice her agony and counsel her at the right time. The first two pages of her three-page suicide note, written in lucid English without a single scratch proves that she had planned her death. She had even mentioned in the letter that she had not slept properly for many nights, and since standard 1, she was dealing with mental agony. It is high time that we Indian parents start taking child depression seriously and accompany our kids to counsellors whenever we notice signs and symptoms of mental anguish among them.
What do experts say about the rise in depression among children?
According to experts, Indian parents, in spite of being one of the most dedicated guardians in the world, often shut their eyes and ignore mental depression in their children. Sometimes, they may have to pay a hefty price for this negligence. Krittika was a very brilliant student who topped in the class X examination and was also preparing for the pre-Regional Mathematical Olympiad from Class VIII. She had a keen desire to study at Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) after her grade XII and had even taken admission at a coaching institute at Baranagar in Kolkata suburb for the preparation. However, she slipped into depression at a very young age, and her peers and close family aids could not help her battle it. Though she had clearly mentioned that no one is responsible for her demise, many unanswered questions are surrounding her death. According to the latest studies by the World health organisation (WHO), one out of every four school-going teens in the age group thirteen to fifteen years suffer from mental depression in India. If some actions are not taken drastically, then it can lead to a catastrophic effect shortly.
Signs and Symptoms of Teenage Depression
Detailed below are some of the common signs and symptoms of depression noticed in teenagers.
- Showing irritation and anger for small things
- Feeling of sadness or hopelessness for a long time
- Withdrawal from the social circle
- Increased sensitivity
- Changes in appetite and sleep routine (it can either too less or too much of both the characters)
- Difficulty in concentrating in classwork, throwing tantrums when unable to do everyday tasks
- Complaining of physical discomfort like stomach ache or headache which fails to go away with medication
- Talking about death or suicide
It is not necessary that depressed children will manifest all these symptoms. Sometimes, kids may act normally when they are in a social setting, and at the same time, show a complete loss of interest when they are in the house.
How should parents deal with depression in kids?
The first and foremost thing is that parents should spend much time with their kids. They should take part in engaging conversations so that it becomes easy for them to know the children’s state of mind. While talking to them, guardians should in no way neglect their utmost desires. They should also refrain from comparing their capabilities with other siblings or friends. It can generate a sense of incompatibility or worthlessness in them. On the contrary, parents should encourage kids in taking up hobbies and extracurricular activities so that they get a chance of intermingling with other children and spend their time and energy in positive thoughts. Finally, the motto should be that kids should remain happy in whatever they do. At any point, negative feelings should never occupy their minds.