Date
12 December 2017
The number of children and teens diagnosed with depression is on the increase in Hong Kong. Photo: zeewallpaper.com
The number of children and teens diagnosed with depression is on the increase in Hong Kong. Photo: zeewallpaper.com

Depression cases among children up a third

The Hospital Authority says reported cases of depression among children and teens rose by a third last year to 400, the Hong Kong Economic Times reported Monday.

According to the authority, about 300 patients aged under 17 received treatment for depression in the 2011-2012 year, rising by a third in the following 12 months.

The number of teenagers and children seeking psychiatric services from authority facilities in the last three years has risen 28 percent from 20,897 to 26,765.

The authority cited the case of one 12-year-old boy who was diagnosed with depression after he tried to commit suicide by jumping off a building. 

The boy had lost appetite, developed insomnia and struggled to concentrate as he grappled with high expectations from his parents and himself about academic results. His condition did not improve after his diagnosis and his parents accused him of wasting their money on therapies. 

Tang Chun-pan, senior medical officer  in the child psychiatric unit at Kwai Chung Hospital, said the most common misconceptions are that medication is the only solution to depression, and that avoiding the problem will help, the report said.

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