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02/12/2017 | 02.12.17 Diario EL PAIS

A place for understanding and supporting our children

The British Hospital carried out workshops about teenager´s safety and self-esteem, using home as the principal reference.

In response to the concerns of some of its members, the British Hospital carried out three informative talks focused on the reinforcement of safety and self-esteem in children and teenagers, using home as the principal reference.

Doctors Teresita Sabat, paediatrician specialized in teenagers, Mercedes Pazos and Madelón Rodríguez, from the British Hospital´s Paediatric Psychiatry Department, undertook last month three workshops for children and teenager´s parents, under the motto “Home, our start point”, as a common denominator.

As well as in previous opportunities in which topics as alcohol and drugs were addressed, the specialists lead working dynamics in which parents could raise their doubts and questions.

Rodríguez drew the attention to the transition from childhood to adolescence, pointed out that it´s a process and that it´s elementary to “have confidence to walk the path”. She said that it´s about “thinking that while dealing with a teenager you´re in front of the same individual that you know from childhood but with the privileged chance to make variations in what you have been doing all your life regarding that person”.

In this context, she identified three pillars of the process. In the first place, “confidence in that the loving bases leave solid foundations; the first thing is to not wrecking, to trust in those convictions”. In the second place, “do not get on the race of the exigency that the world establishes to adults nowadays; allow ourselves to contemplate and to ponder about what we have been doing”. And at last, “don´t be afraid to say no, nor to say yes; there should be a balance, otherwise it can create tensions that might hinder the development of bonding”.

Pazos, meanwhile, pointed out that events such as this are useful to dispel myths about psychiatry in general and the role of the psychiatrists in particular, and to address fears about the consultation and the stigma of the diagnosis of disorders or pathologies.

In this context, she said that teenagers go through moments of sadness and withdrawal, which are “healthy and necessary” and don´t necessarily mean symptoms of depression, and recalled that for a situation to be considered a disorder it must cause “some clinically significant deterioration in some of the main areas of their life”.

In this way, the consultation with the psychiatrist may be of great use for detecting and intervening on time in situations of real or potential risk. She explained that in the British Hospital, as well as in a the general population, the amount of psychiatric consultations raised when the fears to psychiatrists, diagnosis, mental illness and the eventuality of a treatment with medication, were left behind.
This way, parents try to “understand what´s going on to help their children to grow up, decide to talk to someone, and obtain tools to deal with the challenge without confrontation or spirals of misunderstandings.