Almost half of young Romanians had suicidal thoughts at least once. The warning of a doctor from Arad

A doctor from Arada talks about mental health, which is a fundamental component of individual health and “well-being”. It also presents an alarming statistic about young people.

Depression is more and more common among young people PHOTO archive Adevărul

Mental health describing not only the absence of illness, but also the ability of an individual to successfully integrate into family, social and professional life.

Unlike physical conditions, identification and early intervention in neuropsychiatric disorders is more difficult due to factors such as the subjective nature of allegations and the fear of stigma. Mental disorders are one of the leading causes of disease burden and years of healthy life lost, affecting quality of life.” says Dr. Cecilia Irimie, who is also the director of DSP Arad.

According to it, mental health is a vital thing and affects our lives in many ways: “It allows us to function and thrive as individuals, family members and community members. It helps us cope with stress and adapt to change. It allows us to build healthy relationships and connect with other people. It supports us in the learning process and helps us to work productively”.

Major depressive disorder is one of the most common psychiatric disorders of childhood and adolescence, but because of the variation in symptoms regarding diagnostic criteria, this disorder is often unrecognized and untreated.

Major depressive disorder in children and adolescents is often underdiagnosed, with only 50% of adolescents being diagnosed before reaching adulthood. It is a common, chronic, recurrent and debilitating condition that leads to impairment of educational, professional and social functioning. One third of teenagers who see their family doctor have an emotional disorder, and 14% are diagnosed with depression.

More and more alarming statistics

Globally, one in seven 10-19 year olds experience a mental disorder, accounting for 13% of the global burden of disease in this age group.

Depression, anxiety and behavioral disorders are among the leading causes of illness and disability among adolescents.

Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among 15-29 year olds.

Depression affects approximately 2.5% of children and 8.3% of adolescents in the WHO European Region. Also, 30% of adolescents are estimated to have subclinical symptoms of depression.

A 2021 UNICEF report shows that almost one in five European boys aged 15 to 19 suffer from mental disorders, followed by more than 16% of girls of the same age. Nine million teenagers in Europe (aged 10-19) live with mental disorders, with anxiety and depression accounting for more than half of all cases.

In Romania, according to a UNICEF report, almost 33% of Romanian teenagers between the ages of 11 and 15 reported a sad mood more than once in a week, compared to 13% on average in the 45 countries included in a World Health Organization study. In a study carried out in Romania in 2020, with 10,114 teenagers from all the counties of the country (average age 17), 48.9% of young people had suicidal thoughts at least once, 27.1% were sad all the time and could not get rid of sadness, 21.5% had periods when they felt depressed in the last six months. In another comparative study, it was emphasized that the suicide rate in Romania among adolescents under 15 is higher than the European average”. states the doctor from Arada.

She says that a campaign has been launched that aims to increase the level of information and make teenagers, but also their relatives, aware of the issue of mental health and the catastrophic effects of depression.

The slogan of the campaign is: “Don't let depression control your life! Your mental health matters!”.