China News Service, Beijing, February 7th (Liu Huan) In recent years, adolescent depression groups have received widespread attention.

In June 2022, the "2022 National Depression Blue Book" jointly released by People's Daily Health Client and others showed that the prevalence of adolescent depression is 15%-20%.

Among the patients with depression, 50% are school students, and 41% of them have dropped out of school due to depression.

  Why is the incidence of depression showing a younger trend?

How to deal with adolescent depression?

"Every little thing hurts me"

  16-year-old Beibei is a sophomore in a key middle school in Guangxi.

In the classroom, when she passed by several classmates, the classmates laughed together. She felt overwhelmed by the laughter, thinking in her heart: Did I do something?

Why do they laugh when they see me?

  Such small things that happen every day, but piled up one by one in Beibei's heart.

She is always thinking, is she not doing well?

  "I'm afraid of going to school. Every little thing there will make me miserable." Beibei said, she often feels depressed for no reason. .

  In the eyes of her classmates, Beibei has a cheerful personality and is easy to get along with.

In the eyes of her family, she gets along well with her parents, sister, and younger brother, and her family conditions are also good.

  But since she was 14 years old, her depression has been chasing her, and Beibei gradually became silent, dazed, and unable to concentrate.

When she couldn't escape, she chose to self-mutilate, and even committed suicide several times.

  She turned to her parents for help, telling them she didn't want to go to school and couldn't get in.

"They can only say to me 'this is just an experience' and 'you can only go to school'. I don't think it's useful."

  It wasn't until the self-harm was discovered that Beibei's parents finally realized the seriousness of the problem and took her to see a psychiatrist for psychological counseling.

  Shen Chenyu, an attending physician at the Mental Health Department of Yuquan Hospital of Tsinghua University, told that depression has its biological basis, and patients are not just temporarily depressed.

  Under normal emotions, neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin in the brain play a positive stimulating role, but in patients with depression, these neurotransmitters all decrease to varying degrees, causing patients to be unable to feel normal happiness or excitement.

  "This is a kind of mental illness, and it cannot be recovered simply by self-regulation." Shen Chenyu said.

  He said that common factors that may cause depression in adolescents include study pressure, interpersonal relationships, family changes and genes, etc. These can be used as independent factors for the onset of depression, or they may work together.

Data map: The picture shows Jiangsu volunteers and children participating in simulated medical activities in 2022.

(Irrelevant to the picture and text) Photo by Bao Yijun

  "When children have emotional problems, the overall environment is not tolerant." Shen Chenyu mentioned that when children ask parents for help, the parents' feedback is often not very positive. Questions like 'Don't think too much', etc., but these words are like telling an asthmatic patient that you just take a big breath, it won't help them."

  He pointed out that when there is no positive feedback to seek help for a long time, children will lose the ability to express ideas.

Why Are Children Bizarrely Depressed?

  "Why are children bizarrely depressed?" This is a question on Zhihu with 18.48 million views. found that many netizens denied the word "bizarre" in their answers.

  Ms. Xie, a freelancer in Hangzhou, was also shocked when she heard that her son had been diagnosed with depression.

But when she thought about it carefully, the child's problems had already been foreshadowed.

  "He was a little autistic after he entered adolescence, and he also told me that he didn't know how to get along with others, and he rarely mentioned it later." Ms. Xie told that her son was an outgoing boy before, but his father always treated him. Strict requirements.

Later, they divorced, and the child entered a new family with his father.

  In November 2022, his son experienced persistent depression, insomnia, self-harm, etc., and even had auditory hallucinations.

Ms. Xie hurried back to the child, at this time he had to be admitted to the hospital for treatment.

  How can a child become like this?

She began to seek help on the Internet and found that many parents were facing the same problem as her.

  A mother once expressed her distress in a group of parents with teenage depression, saying: "I gave her a lot of advice, but she couldn't listen to it."

  The group of friends replied: "What you care about is how to solve the problem, of course she won't listen to it."

  Shen Chenyu said that many parents who come to the clinic for consultation are more concerned about how to solve the problem, and ignore the family, school and social factors of the disease.

"Parents are often very anxious and find it difficult to accept that their children will not be able to go to school, so they want our doctors to diagnose and treat as soon as possible."

  He believes that this kind of thinking is telling the child that this is his own cognitive problem.

In the face of adolescent emotional distress, if you rush to make a diagnosis, you will make the child further blame yourself.

"What we can do is help them recover emotionally, but the parents' appeal is to make a diagnosis, and after treatment, the child can go back to school. In fact, this is not fair to the child and the doctor."

Data map: The picture shows the "Polar Wonderful Night" event in Harbin Polar Park in 2022.

(Irrelevant to the picture and text) Photo by China News Agency reporter Sun Hanlun

"It turns out that I am the answer to the problem"

  Xie Liang, the attending physician of Deci Manfei Psychological Clinic, was most impressed by a girl in adolescence who behaved pervertedly and was very repulsive to her father, making it difficult to stay in the same room with him.

  During many conversations, Xie Liang discovered that her father had always been very domineering and difficult to communicate with when she was growing up.

Girls have many questions and thoughts as they grow up, but they can't get answers.

"Children in this age group will show their ideas of being independent from their parents, but they are left with little room for choice, and very little time for independent choice." Xie Liang said.

  He pointed out that many people have misunderstandings about depression in adolescence.

"This is a medical problem, and it is also a family problem. Because the behavior and emotions of teenagers will affect the family and cause negative thinking in the whole family. However, the family is the most important force for the recovery of this group, and the family should be the promoter of emotional recovery .”

  After many times of psychotherapy, the girl's emotions gradually recovered, and her parents also participated in the girl's treatment.

Xie Liang remembers that in the process of gradually understanding herself, the girl had a sudden inspiration one day and said to him: "Dr. Xie, I want to understand it. It turns out that I am the answer to the problem."

  He was gratified by the girl's changes and thoughts, "This sentence actually contains very important psychological and philosophical meanings, and she is really a very smart child."

  Surprisingly, the girl not only reconciled with her father, but also suggested that he come alone for psychological counseling.

"Because the child feels that his father has paid too much for the family, and hopes that his father will live for himself." Xie Liang told

  Xie Liang believes that during the treatment process, parents should not limit themselves to thinking about how to solve problems, but more importantly, provide children with a supportive environment and believe that children have the ability to explore and solve their own confusion.

  "Our philosophy is not only to pay attention to how children can get better when they are sick, but also to put children in their family system and social support system for treatment. Parents need to learn how to observe, express and make changes with the help of doctors. .” Xie Liang said.

Data map: The picture shows the "Polar Wonderful Night" event in Harbin Polar Park in 2022.

(Irrelevant to the picture and text) Photo by China News Agency reporter Sun Hanlun

  Ms. Xie recently took her child back to her side, and at the same time studied psychology in depth. She regards this experience as an opportunity to accompany her child's growth.

  The son gradually began to communicate with her and ask her for advice. Ms. Xie said to him: "You are your own. After you think about it, you will make a decision, and your mother will support you."

  "Mom, I think you're right." The son nodded.

(At the request of the interviewee, some names in the article are pseudonyms) (End)