Alfred Perera's blog

Surviving Coronavirus and the impact on working with Young People

After about four and half months of working as a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist I have relocated my home office at work, In the last few months we have had to set up home offices and work remotely during the viral pandemic. Although the Health Secretary in the UK stated last weeek that GPs should resort exclusively to video consultations, I disagree. 

COVID-19 and Youth Depression

In December 2019 the infection of SARS-Cov-2 , transmitted from bats and pangolins to man in Wuhan, China, was accounting for sickness. This illness had presented with fever and cough and then after 7-21 days with a severe illness affecting the lungs and breathing characterised by the cytokine storm, in which the body's response to inflammation causes a sudden, further decline in the patient's condition.

Designing a good clinical study of Depression

In practice less than half of young people affected by severe depression in the the UK get seen and most of these young people have to wait  few months for therapy. This not an acceptable situation.

Neuro-imaging cannot reveal a characteristic representation of the depressed brain for all young people with depression. Although the diagnosis of depression can be made clinically there are other factors at play within the individual like the presence of other physical or mental health problems and adverse or challenging social circumstances. 

Social Media: Part 1

It is now 2020. Happy New Year to you all!
In the last 25 years there has been remarkable advancement in telecommunications over the internet. Emailing and internet chat rooms have now joined with instant picture messaging and vlogs. You Tubers and celebrities and politicians have been able to harness the power of the internet to project their images, strengthen their message and enhance thier popularity. Through the internet some people can influence the world.

Child Maltreatment

Child Maltreatment by way of emotional abuse, neglect, physical and sexual abuse is common in the world. In the UK at least 10% of children have suffered one or more of these forms of maltreatment or abuse and in the USA five children die each day from abuse.


Brexit and Depression



There had to be an article on Brexit as the nation is going through it together. In my work over the last few years I have met a few young people who have been very upset by Brexit but the majority are more interested in their social media accounts, gaming and K-pop. The experience of depression sits in the context of the what is happening at home, in the school, in the (online) community and in society as a whole.

Should we prescribe training schedules for everyone?

In the next few weeks I will be making the transition to teaching young people Taekwondo, which I took up in 2011 at the age of 39 years. This morning I went on a one hour training session to consider how I would teach students correctly, everything I know. Maybe martial arts teachers should transfer their martial arts awesomeness to their students. I have had great teachers in the martial arts and I had been particularly inspired by Master Derek Sumner of UK and more recently by Master Jeong In-Choul of South Korea.


Relationships are very important.

In our work in treating young people with depression it is important to form a therapeutic relationship with them.

During the interview the young people tell us their story in which they often describe what had happened and what had one wrong in relationships especially if there has been trauma, abuse, betrayal, shame and bullying.

When anyone shares such details about their life, they are putting alot of trust in us. Trust between young people and the therapist, psychologist and doctor is vital.

England won the Cricket World Cup yesterday!

After a close game of cricket at Lord's the scores were tied at 241 after England just ran out of batsman chasing the target set by New Zealand. The tie was resolved by the Super Over in which each team had one over to score more runs. As it turned out both teams scored 15 runs and England were awarded the win on the basis of more boundaries scored in the super over.


Even if you don't understand ticket it was a hard fought game won by the smallest of margins. It was exciting and I hope it will inspire many children and young people to take up sport.