However, many cases are not known at all, and finding a free psychiatrist or psychologist has been a superhuman task for several years.
“In recent years, the number of girls who come for self-harm and emotionally unstable personality traits has increased significantly,” Tomáš Havelka, head of the child psychiatry department at the Havlíčkobrod hospital and chairman of the Coordinating Committee of the Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, told Práv. Most of the girls also leave with a diagnosis of ADHD.
In reality, the numbers of people who self-harm but are not hospitalized as a result will be many times higher
“We are also observing a massive increase in the issue of emotional instability and self-harm among girls aged 13 to 16,” confirmed outpatient child psychiatrist Vladimíra Bečvářová. “Some have ADHD. In my opinion, however, the increased number of these girls does not explain it,” he says.
Psychiatrists for children are not enough, the state has fallen asleep
That this is a widespread problem is also confirmed at the Brno University of Applied Sciences, where they also register high numbers of teenage girls who have suicidal thoughts and problems with emotion regulation. “At the same time, their emotional instability is associated with impulsive behavior and impaired attention,” added Pavel Theiner, head of the local psychiatric clinic.
The inexorable trend began to be seen ten years ago. From 2013 to 2019, the number of hospitalized self-harming children increased by roughly half. But this is only the tip of the iceberg, the most serious cases known. About 3,000 children are hospitalized each year due to intentional self-harm.
They also deal with their gender insecurities more than before
“In reality, the numbers of people who self-harm but are not hospitalized as a result will be many times higher. Not every person who self-harms is caught in the health or social care system,” explained Laura Juríková, a researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health.
Less contact, more uncertainty
According to doctors, the fundamental turning point occurred with the outbreak of the pandemic, where Havelka sees leapfrog growth. “Clinical experience so far shows that one of the main causes is the loss of everyday routine and the limitation of social contacts during pandemics,” he believes.
Jiří Hudeček, head of the Psychiatric Clinic of the FN Plzeň, shares a similar opinion: “Patients often imitate the behavior of their peers or demonstrated behavior on social networks. Parents often don’t have time to pay attention to their children and discuss their concerns with them as much as before.”
|Where to look for help|
|Safety line for children and students (non-stop, free): 116 111|
|Children’s crisis center (24/7): 777 715 215 or 241 484 149.|
|In a crisis situation: line 112.|
Thus, children look for answers on the Internet and communicate less in person. At the same time, according to Hudeček, they perceive negative media reports and the insecurities they observe in their parents, and then take them on themselves. Disrupted schooling for a long time, limited contact with friends due to covid and less interest in sports also play a role. “They also deal with their gender insecurities more than before,” added the mayor.
What can, on the contrary, help moderate these tendencies are interpersonal relationships, a stable family environment, greater self-confidence of children, respect for the environment and the ability to manage negative emotions and stressful situations.
There is a shortage of child psychiatrists
However, psychologists or outpatient psychiatrists are hard to find in the long term. The interest is great and their capacity is limited. In addition, the number of outpatient child psychiatrists is constantly decreasing. By 2021, there were 130 of them, of which the most (27) are in Prague, the least in Zlín (5). Sometimes pediatricians will help in the beginning if parents and children are willing to cooperate.
“It is ideal if we know the child and know that he had, for example, symptoms of a disease in the anamnesis that required active regular monitoring by a psychiatrist, for example ADHD, or there were problems in terms of family history, for example parents are getting divorced or the child has problems at school… ,” explained Hana Cabrnochová, vice president of the Association of General Practitioners for Children and Adolescents.
Sometimes children also have psychosomatic problems, such as abdominal pain. “It also depends on how the parents react and if they even know about it, if the communication between the child and the family is not working,” she added.
In some cases, they will recommend family therapy, other times psychological examinations or other supportive therapies. However, even pediatricians observe that this is a problem that is getting worse.
It causes hyperactivity
ADHD is a congenital neurodevelopmental disorder that causes attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder. It affects up to six percent of children.
ADHD – a neurodevelopmental disorder that does not only affect children
Leave a Reply