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August 27, 2018 10:45 am
This week on Family Policy Matters, NC Family President John L. Rustin speaks with Dr. Jane Anderson, a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. They discuss the increasing number of adolescents diagnosed with depression, and how parents can help.
Depression truly is time increase, especially among adolescent.
This is family policy matters with NC family Pres. John Rustin thanks for joining us this week for family policy matters.
Depression is an increasingly common mental diagnosis in America today are perhaps more concerning is that a growing number of adolescents, particularly young women are being clinically diagnosed as suffering from some major form of Russian today were joined by Dr. Jane Anderson, a clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Anderson recently retired as a practicing pediatrician after 33 years.
She's a board member of medical servants, international the national physician center and the American College of pediatricians Dr. Anderson walking the family policy matters.
It's great to have you with us on the show. Dr. Anderson adolescent depression is certainly not new, but the growing extent to which we see it in American society today is in a general sense. So what do you attribute the increase of depression were singing among adolescents and teens in our country. Well, maybe we would get more effectively. I think that's clearly been proven not to be that depression truly is on the increase, especially among adolescent ally that have to do with our culture and society.
It probably not the only cause that I think a lot of the lifestyles that are prevalent today. A lot of use of social media used to live computer time screen time decreased sleep, decreased outdoor activity as well as really the lack of meaning a lot of the teams don't have meaning for their lives.
They don't know what they're here for now.
I think that all plays a role in many other sections bear a biochemical influence if nutrition plays a huge role. There's a relationship between processed foods and an increased risk of depression so I can get a lot of what I we typically call our normal society in America writes well we know the risk factors for teen depression include physical, emotional, psychological, and environmental factors in your practice and in your experience, do these factors affect young men and young women differently, and if so in what ways I think they're very politically incorrect, I apologize that women are and were created to be in relationship and they look for a lot and they are often therefore become sexually active at they're looking for love and relationships and windows relationship, it can lead to depression. I think I'll not all that increase shift for women is related to their how they were designed to be in relationship and the heartbreak of broken relationship height is probably also related to hormonal influence, and I don't think we understand all the impact of hormones on our body, but there are estrogen sectors Dr. receptors in the brain.
And again, what will they have just beginning to learn that different areas of the brain, do grow differently and function differently in women and maybe this estrogen you know influence also has a role in increased risk of depression for young women. I think there there are many factors that lead to young women being at slightly greater increased risk than the young man saw some possible warning signs. Dr. Anderson of childhood depression. The parent should be on the lookout for well this will sound overwhelming to people and I don't want it to be because it will sound like one, since it will be all normal teenagers to do that.
They go they feel sad at times they feel helpless at times they might be here to board moody at times. That's all normal teenage here.
So what we're looking for is more a pattern that this is per day for pervasive feelings of sadness and guilt or hopelessness think that's often manifest in behaviors that the parents can notice like changes inside teenagers sleep or sleeping too much and not sleeping at all, or change the type, they're not eating or they're eating too much or if they start isolating themselves and think that they used to find so interesting in the work, you know, out there in society participating in sports or drama or no clubs after school if they start withdrawing from activities and don't find things pleasurable that they use to me that's one of the biggest warning signs and then no changes in school performance and absences from school and then of course the things that are really no blatant drug use, alcohol use, or if they say they're thinking of you hurting themselves parent should never, ever, ever ignore a statement that says I'm now planning to hurt myself. I'm considering it that it that is never to be ignored and there's no doubt that the environment in the home can be a significant factor in the likelihood that a young person may experience childhood depression. What role does the relationship of, for example, between a child's parents in the home have with respect to the potential for a child to experience depression that in question, and it's really a pivotal question because there are many different ways parents relationship with the with each other and offer the parent relationship with the child can impact that child's emotional and mental well-being. So the risk factors led to the risk factors. First would be that parent who has experienced their own depression places their child at an increased risk for depression.
So if the parent knows they have had depression are there suffering with themselves one please get help and to then be more alert for signs in the teenager. It doesn't mean that teenagers do definitely go to be depressed. It does place an increased risk.
So parents should be aware and paying attention to that. Secondly, there is a whole new area of research and maybe this theft on your programs and the path call the adverse childhood event which shows that children who experience adverse or negative affects during their childhood will have long-term poor medical well-being as well as emotional and physical and mental well-being in the future, and so I childhood physical abuse or sexual abuse or parental divorce is included and other forms of neglect will have increased risk for depression as a teenager and later in life, so we'd like to encourage all parents to make sure they are maintaining a good healthy relationship between themselves and then the parent-child bond is crucial. One of the first study that was done I think that the first anybody with one of the largest studies as Dunn started in 1994 called the national longitudinal daddy and adolescent health.
That's often referred to now is the at health study. They followed over 40,000 adolescents through their high school years very carefully and are still following them as adults. Decades later when the first think they found that the teenagers to navigate their teenage years with the most healthy behaviors and participating in many laughs participating all in any high-risk behaviors. Teenagers who navigated their teenagers most successfully with those teens who work well connected and bonded to their parents. So one of the best things we can be having parents do is start as young as two and three. Make sure you are connecting with your kids and you can do that in so many different ways. Family meals are a crucial part of staying connected. The more meals families eat together with their children less likely the child is have depression less likely child is to participate in other high-risk behaviors during their teen years and they do better academically. As a bonus filled chores actually have been shown to be parent might be pleased to hear that all the things I like to emphasize volunteering families who volunteer together bond together also teaching their children and their teenagers. Your life meaning.
Here you are serving another human being in whatever way your volunteering. It is a great way to promote the parent-child bond as well as help the team know that they have a meaning in their life listening to policy matters of resource from to listen to our radio show online resources that will be a voice of persuasion in your community. Go to our website and see family.org what Dr. Anderson should parents dutifully do suspect that their child may be suffering from depression and at what point do you believe that professional intervention may be appropriate and/or necessary OLII would say at the first suspicion earlier sooner rather than later. Any point that a parent is even concerned or questioning my child be depressed first thing you could do it if you feel comfortable.
Talk to your child. Talk to your teenager set aside a special time take them out on a date and say I'm concerned about you. These are the things I've noticed in mind, interpreting things, what's going on and just have time to talk to them. If the parent doesn't feel they can do that next step is always to seek help and it could, you know I'm I'm biased. I'm a pediatrician, were you know trying to sort of help people navigate the system and access resources so on.
Talk to your pediatrician. Call your pediatrician make an appointment. Most pediatricians would be glad to see you with or without your teenager if you wanted to come in for consultation without your teen and just talk know if you feel comfortable. Bring your teenage with you so I would say seek help. There are also national phone line that you can call their design for four teenagers that the parents can call for you know increased on information so I would say always sooner rather than later.
Seek help and our dreams and from your experience, do you use on adolescents and teens who suffer from depression in their younger years potentially carry the depression into their adult years. Or is this something that they can have success over any of it is this is is depression, of an ongoing concern that they need to be aware of is you believe there's a cure like freight had depression during adolescence. Places that clean at increased risk for having a recurrence.
Later on in life, but the earlier if treated. We know it's better and we can actually change patterns of thinking. So one of the ideas that people have about how people become depressed is that they it's the negative way of talking back to themselves and and what they feedback to themselves.
I'm worthless I'm you know I meeting with my life.
Doesn't have anything no good to offered anybody and if you can change that cycle of feedback that they're providing themselves early in life and one of the ways people, the psychiatrist talk about a psychologist, cognitive behavioral therapy, but if you can change how people talk to themselves then is a skill that they can carry with them the rest of their lives and so that if they see something happening that had a bad experience something traumatic. It happened in their life. They got a skill that they can fall back on.
So they are at risk for you know depression later on what we want to teach them skills early on, that will help them through those bad times know the truth very passionate about is you discussed about preventative methods to avoid adolescent depression the first place, and a lot of it has to do with an environment in the home that really fosters positive development and shields.
Children from many of those risk factors that we discussed working our listeners go to learn more about the risks the Psalms and also the preventions for adolescent depression have several papers and information, and you have a blog and they're available at www.deathforchildren.org. One way to access them, and that you'll find their best to the paper and decreasing the risk of teen depression and we lift things like decreasing screen time and social media time and increasing healthy nutrition and encouraging exercise and outdoor activities in good sleep and by the way keeping a gratitude journal, so the Bible tells us in everything give thanks, it's committed by people who keep a gratitude journal actually have mental health and encouraging volunteering and encouraging sexual habits.
Kids are sexually active, likely to become depressed, both male and female, though American College of pediatricians and then I'm sheet had lots of other organizations that have good information on the family family life today. They have great information and then if people need to know the national suicide prevention lifeline that is one 800-2735 Dr. Jane Anderson. I want to thank you so much for being with us on policy matters and for your are just great working great advice on this very important subject, and we look for the opportunity to have young children in the future. You've been listening to family policy matters a production of NZ only to listen to our radio show online, and for more valuable resources and information about issues important to families in North Carolina go to our website and see family.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook