More children and teenagers with depression

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More children and adolescents in hospital because of depression

More and more children and adolescents in Germany have to be treated in a clinic for depression. As a result, the number of inpatient treatment among 10 to 19 year olds in Hamburg has increased almost eightfold within twelve years. This was announced by the health insurance company DAK-Gesundheit.

Number increased eightfold In Germany, more and more children and adolescents have to be treated in a clinic for depression. Typical symptoms they experience include mood swings, lack of drive, lack of concentration, lack of self-confidence or psychosomatic problems such as sleep disorders. In Hamburg, the disease is so serious for more and more young people that outpatient treatment is no longer sufficient and they have to be treated in hospital in hospitals. The number of inpatient treatments in the Hanseatic city for 10 to 19 year olds rose almost eightfold within twelve years. This was announced by the health insurance company DAK-Gesundheit on Monday, referring to figures from the Federal Statistical Office for the years 2000 to 2012. Accordingly, the number of children and adolescents admitted to Hamburg's hospitals rose from 61 in 2000 to 474 in 2012.

Two thirds of those affected are girls and young women. This increase was significantly higher than the national average, where the numbers had increased almost six-fold in the same period from 2,145 to 12,567. The statistics also show that the proportion of inpatient treatment in Hamburg has risen in relation to the national average, from 1.8 percent in 2000 to 3.8 percent in 2012. In particular since 2009, this has been the case in both the Hanseatic city and the German average The number of cases treated increased significantly. In Hamburg as well as throughout Germany, girls are affected by this disease much more often than boys. About two thirds of the patients are girls and young women.

Pressure to perform and uncertainty about future prospects According to the “Hamburger Abendblatt”, the director of the Clinic for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University Hospital Eppendorf, Prof. Michael Schulte-Markwort, sees one of the reasons for the increase in the increase in fatigue depression due to a burnout. This situation arises from pressure to perform while increasing uncertainty about the future prospects. Even if more girls than boys are affected, the child psychiatrist suspects that the proportion of boys will increase in the future. In his opinion, it is primarily due to the increasing severity of the disease that more and more young people with depression have to go to the clinic.

Greater sensitivity among the population However, DAK-Gesundheit also sees the increasing numbers as a sign of a taboo that makes it easier for those affected to talk about the disease. The Hamburg DAK boss Regina Schulz said: "Today, it is no longer a blemish if someone falls ill with depression." In addition, signs of a depressive disorder would be recognized much sooner. Meanwhile, there is also a greater sensitivity among the population for mental illnesses. However, experts believe that depression in childhood and adolescence is still overlooked. The German Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy sees this similarly, which comes to the conclusion that most depressed children and adolescents are not treated at all or are treated on an outpatient basis. The society also estimates the increasing number of hospital stays in comparison to the frequency of the disease as rather low and considers it above all as an expression of improved diagnostics.

Depression is easy to treat today According to the “Hamburger Abendblatt”, child psychiatrist Schulte-Markwort also sees an improvement in this area: “We diagnose the severe form of depression earlier today.” In the past, the diagnosis of affected people was often only years later Adulthood. If children show symptoms of depression, no one should be afraid to see a specialist. Depression can be treated well today and the risk of the disease becoming chronic in principle decreases with early treatment. In addition, the earlier the therapy begins, the better the prognosis. "Depending on the severity, psychotherapy and medications, so-called antidepressants, are used for treatment," says Schulte-Markwort. According to the DAK, depression could usually be treated on an outpatient basis. In the case of serious signs such as the risk of suicide, inpatient treatment is necessary. (sb)

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Video: Signs Your Child is Depressed

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