“You don’t have to take your child to a psychologist because he’s sad”

Having anxiety (something natural) has nothing to do with having a panic attack. Depression is not sadness. Well-being is not synonymous with mental health. Antidepressants are not sedatives. Children may suffer from depression. And psychotropic drugs do not delay the growth and development of minors.

Here are some of the keys that the doctor Nuria Nunez, specializes in psychiatry, suggests in his book, “Children get depressed too” (Sphere of Books), a guide designed for fathers and mothers so that they know how to early detect serious disorders in their sons and daughters, such as depression, anxietyautism or hyperactivity and inattention (ADHD).

After more than ten years of research, diagnosis and treatment mental and behavioral disorders in children and adolescents, Nunez admits there are still many myths. “We live in an era of mental health. But in fact, we live in an era of prosperity. Serious psychological and psychiatric disorders continue to be hidden. We fear serious mental illness and drugs are demonized.” “, he condemns.

The doctor answers questions from EL PERIÓDICO from his office in Zaragoza.

An 8-year-old boy is sad about the death of his grandfather. At school, his mother is recommended to take him to a psychologist. What do you think?

It’s bad, we need to normalize emotions. Grief is loss, whether it be the death of a loved one or a romantic breakup, such as a parent’s divorce. This loss is associated with emotion, sadness. We need to get through this normally and accept that we can be sad and that our child can too. Sometimes we want to avoid our child’s suffering because it makes us uncomfortable. We must tolerate our child’s discomfort (as well as our own) and validate it. Humans are resilient by nature and are willing to face adversity. If grandpa dies, we will have to accompany him, support him and give him time.

We know that 60% of childhood depression goes undetected and 70% is not treated correctly.

We recommend consulting with a psychologist or psychiatrist if we see changes in our child or behavior that are different from other boys and girls and that persist over time.

Yes, when you are much more anxious than others or much sadder. Or that it is especially touching. Each stage and each child is individual. But we know fathers and mothers well. If a child does something differently from others, this does not mean that the situation needs to be pathologized, but it does mean that it is put into context or needs to be on guard. When in doubt, ask. The first appointment does not mean the start of treatment. The other day I had a consultation with parents who told me that their teenage daughter was addicted to a cell phone. I wrote them out and said they were doing great. She was doing great as a teenager and they were doing great as parents. I sent them home.

Anxiety is natural, but it has nothing to do with anxiety or a panic attack.

An anxiety attack is when your head thinks there is serious danger and you have physiological reactions because your brain thinks you are in danger: a feeling of death and that strange things will happen. You are hyperventilating, your heart is pounding, your arms are going numb. Many young people say that they have a panic attack before an exam, but this is not true. It’s one thing to have a lump in your throat in a situation where it’s normal to be nervous, but another to have an attack.

Can children and adolescents suffer from them?

Yes, sure. What no one can have is five panic attacks in one morning, as I sometimes hear from young people. The body can’t stand it. A panic attack literally leaves you feeling empty.

Why do they arise?

A panic attack can come out of nowhere without necessarily having an underlying disorder. When it appears, it’s interesting to understand why. At your first consultation, you may consider psychotherapy or accompany it with medication, which may be useful if you have generalized anxiety disorder.

Medicines, both boys and girls, scare us. And even more psychotropic drugs.

Psychiatry is associated with movies, and when it comes to psychotropic drugs, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest comes to mind. There are many more myths and legends. These medications will not make you drowsy or addictive. There is nothing wrong with taking them at an early age. This will not slow down your growth and development.

Let’s talk about childhood depression. Is this common?

There are studies that indicate a prevalence of 0.5% among schoolchildren, but I believe that there is a problem of underdiagnosis. We know that 60% of childhood depression goes undetected and 70% is not treated correctly. Depression is not sadness. Depression affects a child’s physical well-being, learning and mood. You also don’t have to have any experience or a major handicap to develop it.

So what could be its origin?

As always, it is multifactorial. Genetic inheritance, personality traits, physical health problems, hyper-demand, poorly tolerated failures… You will have to explore everything.

Is it possible to get out of childhood depression? What about anxiety?

It depends on how well it was resolved. Science says that if you have a depressive episode, it can happen again. But children and teenagers are very plastic. If you do therapy, the family gets involved. If the triggers are found and worked through, I always tell fathers and mothers that their child will become stronger and better able to cope with problems that arise in the future.

Similar news

How difficult it is not to pass on your fears to your children.

Sometimes we send parents to therapy and tell them that until they get well, their children won’t be healthy. If you, the adult, perceive the world as a hostile place, your child will observe it and learn from it. There are mothers who tell me that they suffer from similar situations and do not say anything to their children so as not to pass on their fears to them. And I answer: “Yes, but they are very smart and realize it. They absorb everything.”

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button