Depression is not just a bad phase, but a serious mental disorder that needs to be treated like any other ailments. Due to the social stigma attached to mental illnesses, there has been a general lack of awareness and understanding about them. Researchers and health experts are making great efforts to help us learn more about depression and how it affects the way we think and act. A recent study, conducted by researchers from the University Medical Center Groninge in Netherlands, particularly focuses on childhood depression.
According to it, children who suffer from depression or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in have a higher risk of developing addictions later in life. “We know that ADHD in childhood increases the risk for later substance-related disorders, but until now, no systematic evaluation of other childhood psychiatric disorders had been conducted,” said Annabeth Groenman from University Medical Center Groningen, the Netherlands.
The researchers studies data from previous studies and discovered a link between various psychiatric disorders among children and the risk of developing addictions. The study analysed data from 37 previous studies containing a total of 762,187 individuals, of whom 22,029 had ADHD, 434 had disruptive behaviour disorders (such as ODD or CD), 1,433 had anxiety disorder and 2,451 had depression.
The findings suggest that childhood psychiatric disorders such as ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder and depression increase the risk of developing addiction later in life. “Our findings show that not only ADHD increased the risk of addictions, but that other childhood psychiatric disorders also increased the risk. This indicates the importance of early detection of mental health problems in a wider group,” Groenman added.
Some of the most common early symptoms of depression in kids include irritability or anger, continuous feelings of sadness, frequent vocal outbursts, social withdrawal, changes in appetite and sleeplessness or excessive sleep. These signs are subtle and may often be missed or confused with bad mood. Therefore, you need to be extra careful when dealing with kids.
Dealing with depression is equally important and diet and lifestyle changes can play an important role. Health experts agree that certain nutrients can not only boost your mood but they can also help increase your energy levels, improve mental focus and even fight inflammation in the brain. Foods like complex carbohydrates from whole grains and vegetables, good fats from avocados and nuts and antioxidants from berries can help fight depression. Also know that a Vitamin D deficiency is often linked with mood swings and depression and so, it is important to load up on Vitamin D rich foods like eggs, mushrooms and soy along with limited sun exposure.