The “National Mental Health Report” points out that the screening rate for depression symptoms in adolescents is as high as 24.6%; a study by the National Health Commission shows that the incidence of mental disorders in children and adolescents has reached 17.5%; the “2022 National Depression Blue Book” shows that depression patients under the age of 18 account for 30% of the total number of patients; 50% of depression patients are students. In suicide cases, over 50% are due to depression, and 10% of those with depression will ultimately choose suicide.
The incidence of depression tends to occur at a younger age. It is particularly important to identify children’s depressive emotions, and how can parents help their children?
Yang Yi, a postdoctoral fellow in clinical psychology at Harvard Medical School, clinical psychologist, and author of “My Child is Depressed, but I Thought He Was Just Unhappy,” shared her advice on preventing and treating adolescent depression in a live broadcast on Xin Kai Xin and Duo Zhi Wang.
How to lay a solid foundation for your child’s physical and mental health and lay the foundation for a sunny, positive, happy, and successful life in the future?
Yang Yi pointed out that prevention of depression can mainly start from six aspects: interpersonal relationships, emotions, cognitive behavior, self-worth, and physical health, among which interpersonal relationships are the most emphasized.
Does your child have a strong relationship network?
“Whether it’s depression or other illnesses, if you want to recover, having a good interpersonal relationship atmosphere is very important. Patients need to feel that they are cared for and supported by others. They are not alone, which is a very important stimulant for anyone facing difficulties. To build such a solid interpersonal relationship network for children, parents are the most important in the network.” Yang Yi said.
Some children may not have very good social skills, feel lonely and inferior in school, and may feel unpopular, have average grades, no friends, and are not outstanding. In school, he is prone to a lack of security.
However, if the family atmosphere is particularly good, and the child can feel the full love and care of his parents, he will be very happy to go home. After returning home, he is at ease and relaxed. Home is his harbor. Such children will have a more steadfast inner self than children with tense family relationships, and the probability of developing depression or other impulsive behaviors after setbacks will be much smaller.
On the one hand, parents need to guide their children to improve their social skills, but on the other hand, why can’t parents become a stable part of their children’s interpersonal relationship network?
“We cannot control others. We cannot help our children make friends or meet particularly good teachers. But we can make ourselves a particularly strong and warm part of our children’s interpersonal relationships, and be the part that can help our children. So I emphasize that parents should establish a good enough relationship with their children, not perfect, but good enough.”