Early Detection Key to Treatment in Youth

Posted on January 8, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR: EARLY detection of poor mental health among students and early treatment are important to prevent further complications and the higher risk of developing mental illnesses.

The Health Ministry's Mental Health Promotion Advisory Council member Datuk Dr Andrew Mohanraj Chandrasekaran said children and adolescents not only suffered from stress, anxiety and depression, but were also prone to severe mental illnesses, like schizophrenia.

"If undetected or left untreated, it can lead to difficulty in treating certain psychological conditions in adult life. It can also lead to poor self-esteem, jeopardise interpersonal relationships or lead to substance abuse.

"Intense temper tantrums, defiant behaviour, refusal to attend school and bed-wetting are tell-tale signs that a psychological assessment may be necessary.

Dr Andrew said if a student had mild stress, his or her condition may improve with the help of a school counsellor.

If there was no improvement, then he or she should be referred to a clinical psychologist.He said if the student's stress level was high and led to clinical depression, the counsellor may make an assessment and note important findings, such as poor sleep, irritability, poor appetite death wishes or suicidal thoughts in older children, intense temper tantrums, defiant behaviour, refusal to go to school and bed-wetting in younger children.

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Category(s):Child and/or Adolescent Issues, Child Development, Schizophrenia, Self-Esteem

Source material from Malaysian Digest