Depression in late teens linked to high school drop out

UNTV News   •   December 11, 2017   •   9210

FILE PHOTO: Reuters/Mike Blake

(Reuters Health) – Older teens struggling with depression are more than twice as likely to drop out of high school as peers without that mental illness or those who recovered from a bout of depression earlier in life, Canadian researchers say.

Understanding that current or recent depression raises dropout risk may encourage schools to put a higher priority on mental health services, the study team writes in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

“This is the first study of its kind to look at depression symptoms in the year before dropout,” lead author Dr. Veronique Dupere, associate professor at the school of psycho-education at the University of Montreal, told Reuters Health by phone.

“The role of depression in deciding to drop out was underestimated in previous studies because the timing was not properly considered. Depression is not stable. It tends to come and go,” she said.

For the new analysis, researchers asked 6,773 students in 12 disadvantaged high schools with high dropout rates in and around Montreal to complete a screening questionnaire at the beginning of the school year. The brief assessment, conducted from 2012 to 2015, measured students’ risk for dropout, and also asked for their sociodemographic information and their family’s employment, education and structure.

During a second round of interviews one year later, a subset of students were asked to participate in face-to-face meetings with a graduate student who assessed their mental health.

Students who dropped out of school in the year following their initial screening were also assessed for their mental health. Researchers compared these students to a similar group, also in the program, who didn’t drop out.

Almost a quarter of the 183 adolescents who dropped out of school had clinically significant depression in the few months before quitting, researchers found.

Dupere said rates of conduct disorders and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were higher among the dropouts and the matched at-risk peers than among the average students. But ADHD was not a factor significantly distinguishing dropouts and matched at-risk students, although conduct disorder might be.

In 2015, an estimated three million adolescents aged 12 to 17 in the U.S. had experienced at least one major depressive episode in the past year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. For many individuals, major depression can end up limiting their ability to carry out major life activities.

“School dropout portends other bad outcomes, like the inability to gain employment, involvement in substance abuse and problems with the juvenile justice system,” said Dr. Laura Mufson of Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, who wasn’t involved in the study.

More than one in eight young people ages 16 to 24 are neither working nor in school, according to the Social Science Research Council’s Measure of America project. That estimate is based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2013 American Community Survey.

“I’m excited about the study because we need data like this,” Dr. Tamar Mendelson of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, told Reuters Health by phone.

“I think the problem of school dropout is really critical,” said Mendelson, who wasn’t involved in the new study. “Depression and other mental health issues can sometimes fall through the cracks. Administrators may not understand all the issues and the best course to take. Data like this is helpful in highlighting the risks associated between depression and school dropout.”

One limitation of the study is that a lot of teenagers have anxiety along with depression, Mufson noted.

“The researchers looked at ADHD and conduct disorders. They left out anxiety and it’s highly linked to school dropout,” she said in a phone interview.

Dupere emphasized that no cause-and-effect conclusions can be drawn from her research. “I believe studies like the one we did should be replicated in other places, as well, to see if the results are the same.”

SOURCE: bit.ly/2yOMkk4 Journal of Adolescent Health, online November 28, 2017.

Are suicidal thoughts contagious?

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 5, 2019

Image by Лечение Наркомании from Pixabay

There is a touch of lightness in the air as sun rays peek through the trees. Each step has a sound which carries a sense of peacefulness. There is calm.

But suddenly, all the lights go out. Nothing remains, not even darkness.

Without any warning, a person can experience an episode of depression without any triggering factor. This is according to psychiatrist Ranier Umali.

Dr. Umali said a person with depression can continue feeling good for months. However, he reiterates that depression is an episodic sickness which patients should be reminded of.

“Minsan, two months na okay na feeling niya ano, biglang darating iyan. Kahit walang trigger iyan. Kapag biglang dumating iyan at hindi alam ng pasyente na iyan ay talagang episode, madedepress ulit iyon, (Sometimes, [a patient] will be okay for two months, but [depression] will suddenly come, even without a trigger. If it comes and the patient is unaware of the episode, he will revert back to being depressed),” he said.

Umali said suicide is the end result of the sickness but depression is not contagious.

“Di siya nakakahawa, because ang suicide is not a sickness it is not infectious. It is a manifestation of a disease process. That is the outcome, (It is not contagious, because suicide is not a sickness),” he said.

However, he clarified that suicide thoughts shared on social media can affect another person.

“Shared thoughts, nadadala ka. Parang mob rule iyon. Nakakaapekto, iba iyong nakakahawa, nakakaapekto [iyon] nakaka-influence iyong thought process, (Shared thoughts can influence you. It is like a mob rule. It is different from being contagious. The thought process can be influential),” he said.

In an episode of UNTV’s morning show Good Morning Kuya, Umali further explained some misconceptions about depression and offered tips to help a person suffering from the disorder.

There are six causes of suicide:

  • Heroism
  • Honor
  • Culture
  • Protest
  • Psychosis
  • Depression

Umali explained that psychosis and depression are the two negative causes of suicide. He also said that the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that 1/3 of the population of a country is depressed.

Depression is not an ordinary kind of sadness

Umali said a person with depression is experiencing severe sadness and anhedonia, which is the inability to feel pleasure.

He explained that this is due to a hormonal imbalance in the brain. Low serotonin levels and low oxygen levels in the brain are some of the factors which puts a person in a depressive mood.

Symptoms of depression

  • lassitude
  • vegetative functioning
  • lack of sleep
  • oversleep
  • lack of appetite
  • overeating
  • social isolation

Stop giving advises

Relatives and friends of a person suffering from depression are advised not to carelessly give advice to their loved ones with depression. Umali said not to take away control from the patient.

“Stop giving advice because your advice is your solution and not his solution,” he added.

Exercise but not to the point of exhaustion

It is better for a depressed person to try and get out of bed and do exercises, according to Umali. These include outdoor activities, however, he cautions against pushing oneself to exhaustion.

Avoid eating foods with caffeine

Umali listed down the foods a depressed person should avoid, which include drugs, alcohol, soft-drinks, tea, chocolate, and coffee.

“The last person to know whether he or she is depressed is the person himself,” Umali said. “Kaya kayong mga relatives kapag nakita niyo na iyon kayo na ang gumawa ng aksyon para sa kaniya. (So relatives, if you see [the symptoms] take action for his sake)—AAC

Suicidal thoughts: Nakakahawa ba? | Usapang Pangkalusugan

Suicidal thoughts, nakakahawa ba?Alamin kung paano malalabanan ang depresyon o matinding kalungkutan at ang mga paraan para mapapanatili ang kalusugang pang-kaisipan.

Posted by Good Morning Kuya on Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Depressed? Call 989-USAP

Marje Pelayo   •   May 3, 2019

Image by John Hain from Pixabay

MANILA, Philippines – The National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) has tasked counselors to man a hotline for cases of depression and other mental health problems in the country.

The agency on Thursday (May 2) launched the NCMH Crisis Hotline numbers, 0917-899-USAP and 989-USAP for Filipinos needing mental health crisis intervention and counseling services.

NCMH chief, Allan Troy Baquir said, “The hotline aims to reach out to those who do not have the immediate means to seek advice and serves as an avenue to offer hope and care for those who have mental health issues.”

Hotline counsellors have been assigned to attend to calls on depression, psychiatric emergencies, suicidal thoughts, grief and loss, relationship issues, sexual abuse, and domestic violence among other issues.

Those who are assessed with high risk will be immediately provided with intervention, Baquir said.

The World Health Organization reports that around 800,000 people die annually due to suicide. – Marje Pelayo

Social media overuse can cause depression, research says

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 25, 2019

Photo by mentatdgt from Pexels

Based on the Millenium Cohort Study of Economic and Social Research Council in United Kingdom, depression in female teenagers is caused by social media overuse.

From 11,000 girls aged 14 from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who participated in the study, 40 percent of the teens who are using social media showed signs of depression.

A concerned mother, Aling Babes, cut off their wifi connection at home to limit her children’s social media use.

She is also monitoring their use of communication gadgets and even knows the passwords to her children’s accounts.

Due to the restrictions, her daughter Sunshine uses most of her time studying and doing chores instead of spending time on her phone.

“Binibigyan natin sila ng oras kung hanggang kalian lang sila social media, alam ko tsaka aware ako,” she said (We schedule their social media time. I know and I am also aware),” Babes said.

Sunshine admits she uses social media to follow her favorite singers.

Kasi po may GC [group chat] po iyoong idol ko po, tapos doon po kami nag-uusap-usap po,” she said. (My idol has a group chat and we all talk there.)

Psychologist Dra. Camille Garcia said it is important for parents to guide their children especially during teenage years where personality development begins to progress.

Aside from depression, social media overuse can also cause a decrease in the self-esteem of children.

Cyber-bullying and manipulation can also happen in social media.

“Masyado na tayong naging lenient na akala natin ang pagtutuon ng pansin ng ating mga anak sa mga social media account at the same time magkaroon sila ng access sa kanilang mga accounts. Bilang isang magulang, you should know the dapat there should be a limit (We are becoming lenient in monitoring our children and their social media account, at the same time, having access in their social media accounts. As a parent you should know there should be a limit),” she said.

Teenagers should only use social media for a maximum of one hour, Garcia added. — Aileen Cerrudo with reports from Rosalie Coz

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