The third leading cause of death among young Brazilians between the ages of 15 and 24 is intentional self-harm, with 2,420 deaths in 2020, according to data from the Ministry of Health.
In the first place in this age group, there are attacks with 16,331 deaths, followed by transport accidents with 6,450 deaths.
To better understand what is behind these disturbing statistics, g1 spoke with Antônio Alvim Soares, a psychiatrist and coordinator of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Brazilian Psychiatric Association (ABP), who explained that the Ministry of Health’s sad classification could be a symptom of youth depression.
He also spoke then how depression appears in children and young people and provided guidance to parents.
Antônio Alvim Soares believes that depression varies with age.
“The first thing we need to pay attention to is that depression varies a lot with age. An 8- to 10-year-old, for example, does not clearly express the sadness he feels when he is a teenager, about 14 years old, and does not clearly express the sadness he is feeling.” he is already complaining and it is more obvious to notice the symptoms, ”he said.
- Behavior change
The psychiatrist said this is the first sign that officials should notice behavior change. A child who was happy and suddenly isolated himself, stays longer in the bedroom, indicates an alert.
“Losing pleasure, for example: he liked to play, eat ice cream, go out with friends or parents and now he doesn’t like it anymore, he wants to sleep, alone at home, he wants to be sad. Anxiety and sleep disturbances are the points that parents need to be careful about. ”
Soares warned of the importance of observation which children access on social media.
“Children or teenagers need to know what they post on the internet, what the tone of the subtitles is, if they are depressed, if they are looking for celebrities who have taken their own lives, all this already indicates that something may be wrong. the age was worse, but there was a significant increase in the pandemic, and this is now noticeable on their social networks, ”he explained.
See the main signs according to the expert:
- Behavior change
- excessive sleep
- Losing the pleasure of having fun
Psychiatrist Antônio Alvim talks about the signs of depression in children and adolescents. – Photo: Personal archive
Experts have advised the respondents Seek medical help as soon as you notice your child’s symptoms.
“It’s first and foremost about overcoming prejudices that don’t depress children and teenagers. They’re depressed and it’s not a ‘lack of care’, it’s a disease of ‘attracting attention.’
Finding a specialist in child psychiatry is not easy, neither in the public network nor in the private health network.
“There are few specialized professionals, but there is no other way to therapy and sometimes medication. The treatment can take between 1 and a half to two years,” Soares said.
The Ministry of Health has announced that people with specific mental health treatment and care needs can receive support from the Psychosocial Care Network (RAPS). fully and free of charge through the public health network.
In a statement, MS explained that the reception of these people and their families is “a basic care strategy to identify care needs, alleviate suffering and plan drug and therapeutic interventions, if necessary and on a case-by-case basis.” People in crisis can be assisted in any of the services of the Psychosocial Care Network, set up by a number of units with different objectives, in a comprehensive and free way, public health networks ”.
“The main services are provided in the country’s Psychosocial Care Centers (CAPS), where the user receives close family care with multi-professional support and therapeutic care according to the health status of each patient. And / or continuous care. In more complex situations,” said the agency.
The Psychosocial Care Network (RAPS) is made up of the following points:
- Psychosocial Care Centers (CAPS) – Units that provide open and community-based health services, consisting of a multidisciplinary team that works from an interdisciplinary perspective and primarily cares for people with intellectual suffering or disorder, including those with alcohol and other drug use needs. the territory of their area, whether in crisis situations or in psychosocial rehabilitation processes. They are substitutes for the asylum model, that is, those who have to live with patients (asylums).
- Multiple Mental Health Outpatient Clinics – Multiprofessional Mental Health Outpatient Clinics are services comprised of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, speech therapists, nurses, and other professionals working in the treatment of patients with mental disorders. These services need to provide integrated and multi-professional care through consultations.
See updated mental health advice from the Ministry of Health:
- never isolate
- See your doctor regularly
- Get the right therapeutic treatment
- Stay active physically and intellectually
- Practice physical activities
- Eat healthy food
- Strengthen family and friendships