Mental health and early disability | Middle east

Babies in trouble are aging faster than their peers

Cairo: Dr. Hani Ramzi Awad

It is known that traumatic events in childhood can cause poor mental health for the child, leaving very bad effects on the psychological and physical levels that may accompany him until adulthood and sometimes for the rest of his life. Of course, there are thousands of studies that dealt with the relationship between unhappy childhood and mental disorders later, as well as its main role in many chronic diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The most recent of these studies indicated the relationship between mental illnesses in childhood and early disability, and the appearance of a person with an appearance greater than his real age.

Children’s psychological troubles
The study conducted by scientists from Duke University in North Carolina, USA, showed that the features of adults who suffered from psychological troubles in their childhood appear to be greater than their peers of the same age, and they attributed this to the organic diseases that most of them afflict as a result of bad psychological state and constant anxiety such as high Early blood pressure that leads to an increased risk of stroke or heart attacks, and most of them do not accept, and for the most part, to exercise, in addition to their suffering from various eating disorders, whether they eat binge or refrain from eating completely, as well as health complications That happen to them as a result of their failure to take treatment for their bad psychological state
The researchers had conducted two separate studies to reach this conclusion. And in the first study, which was published in the electronic version of the Journal of the American Psychiatric Association, JAMA Psychiatry in mid-February of this year, in which they tracked the medical records of a thousand New Zealanders who were born in 1972 and 1973 from birth until they reached the age of 45 years. (mid-age). And it turns out that those who suffered from anxiety, depression or various fears in childhood and adolescence years had a decline in mental and cognitive abilities, as the nerve connections for feeling decreased more than their healthy peers, and there were always comments on their appearance that it appeared to be older than their age, and these signs were ( Whether organic diseases or appearance) after scientists have established other factors that would affect public health such as smoking, obesity, a history of other organic diseases, or any drugs that have side effects that affect the nervous system.

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Early aging
In the second study conducted by the same research team and published in the Medical Journal of the American Association JAMA Network Open, they analyzed the medical records of New Zealand society in general from different hospitals (2 and a half million residents between the ages of ten to sixty years) in the time period from 1988. And until 2018.
The result was the same as they reached in the first study, which is that there is a strong link between suffering from mental illnesses in the early period of a person’s life and later developing early signs of aging on the organic, nervous and psychological levels.
The researchers explained that treating mental illnesses in childhood and adolescence is considered a form of investment in the general health of society later, and that psychological harm to the child goes beyond the temporary effect and negatively affects all areas of his life later, even those that seem unrelated to the psychological factor, such as his material and economic condition. People who suffer from psychological troubles are unable to innovate in their work or work seriously, as well as do not develop themselves in a way that makes them wanted in the labor market, which puts them in a vicious circle of frustration and lack of achievement. In addition, most of them become addicted to drugs or narcotic pills and alcohol, which leads to their inability to work regularly.

– bad habits
Scientists pointed out that poor health habits associated with mental illness are the cause of early impotence, for example the association of depression with binge eating, especially carbohydrates, which leads to obesity, which in turn makes the appearance appear greater than peers, as well as its organic risks such as increased cholesterol, And hardening of the arteries, as well as smoking and the bad role it plays in losing the youthfulness of the skin and making it appear older.
In addition, the sleep rate changed for a smaller number of hours and the resulting physical exhaustion, which leads to poor memory and lack of concentration. Also, poor mental state leads to a weakening of the body’s immunity in general, and exposes it to various infections, which reduces the life span of different body cells.
The study advised that a medical examination should be signed on the children from a psychological point of view and what is similar to (psychiatric screening) to find out which children are most vulnerable to mental illness or who are already suffering from psychological troubles, but fear or lack of awareness prevents them from disclosing them, especially children who are exposed. For attacks from family members or peers, whether these are physical or sexual attacks and encouraging them to speak, as well as children who are most vulnerable to bullying because of their appearance (body shape, skin color, or a clear congenital defect), and treating them psychologically, as early treatment is the guarantee of a healthy psychological life Later as adults, its influence extends to the whole society.

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– Consultant pediatrician

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