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Pay more attention to your children to prevent depression- Consultant Psychiatrist

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A Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Oluwatoyin Fasesan, has urged parents to be more dedicated to the welfare and wellbeing of their children and wards to avoid depression, especially in teenagers.

Fasesan, who works with the Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Ilisan, in Ogun, gave the advice in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos.

She spoke on the sidelines of the monthly medical outreach organised by the Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Surulere, Lagos.

According to her, depression is a common mental disorder, saying that research, globally, had shown that more than 300 million people of all ages suffered from depression.

She said that depression was the leading cause of disability worldwide, and a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease.

‘’The World Health Organisation (WHO) predicted that by 2020, depression will become the second leading cause of disease worldwide,” the expert said.

She said most youths, especially teenagers suffered depression due to lack of attention from parents to their feelings.

“Some students go into depression when most parents are more concerned with their grades, as having low grades lead them to self hopelessness and low self-esteem.

“Parents tend to be more interested in children’s grades than achieving mutual feelings, signals by the students through silent communication.

“We need to listen to our children more and know how they are coping,” she advised.

Fasesan said that parents should take time to regulate the use of internet to prevent their children from coming in contact with cyber bullies and addiction of internet due to depression.

“Close monitoring is advised in the use of internet by youths to reduce the rate of self-mutilation due to emotional feelings and use of drugs and access to the internet.

“I wish parents would pay more attention to their children.

“Some of these children are craving for their parents to be part of their lives and give them more attention, especially when they are young.

“Throwing money at children creates more harm than good,” she said.

Fasesan said that more women were affected by depression than men, adding women are more affected by 20 to 25 per cent life time, while seven to 12 per cent men are affected.

The expert said suicide was the second leading cause of death in people within 20 and 35 years of age, while depression was the major factor around 15 per cent of such deaths.

She called on the three tiers of government to encourage more psychiatric therapy by employing psychiatrists into the health facilities.

Fasesan said that the psychiatric sector was suffering from brain drain of specialists as most of them had gone to countries where their services to handle the issue of mental health were required.

“The governments should be ready to employ those ones that are trained; saying with good remuneration, people will stay back in the country and render their services.

“I advocate that school curriculum should include mental health for pupils from the primary level to learn how to take care of their mental health and get informed decision about mental health,” she said.

The consultant psychiatrist urged governments to decriminalise substance use indiscriminately to save those who were addicted by sending them to rehabilitation centres for mental healthcare.

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