Act Fast if a Child Shows Depression Symptoms.
Monday, 30 May 2022.
It has been estimated that one in three children and teenagers that have received support from the Mental Illness Awareness and Support Association (MIASA) is already in a critical state of depression with suicidal tendencies.
MIASA President, Anita Abu Bakar, said that this is due to parents not being aware of the problems faced by children or teenagers until they are already at a critical level.
She further clarified that a delay in seeking the needed mental health support causes difficulties during the depression recovery phase done at MIASA.
“This is because children and teenagers are already at a hopeless or trapped level of depression.”
She said this during a forum titled “Depression: Is it a trend?” held by Seven Skies International Islamic School on Sunday, where she was a panellist.
She was accompanied by two other panellists, a clinical psychologist from International Islamic University Malaysia, Puan Khairiah Abdul Razak, and the Head of the Islamic Department of Seven Skies International Islamic School, Ustaz Ahmad Kamaldeen.
Further explanation is given by stating that a mental illness like depression will most likely not occur if parents are more aware of the initial symptoms.
This can be done by asking a simple question to a child or a teenager that will allow them to enter into a conversation that can deal with the initial symptom of depression.
According to Anita, the initial symptoms that are easily recognized by parents are when children isolate themselves by refusing to attend school, lose interest in activities that they usually enjoy, lose focus in school, change in sleeping or eating habits, or have constant illness.
She said parents need to seek professional help if their children or teenagers face at least five of the initial symptoms in a span of two weeks.
A survey conducted by the National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) in 2019 has shown that 424,000 children are dealing with mental health issues.