About 5.8 million children have anxiety problems: Psychologists
Depression is a common mental disorder seen across all age groups, including children and adolescents. Many children have fears and worries, and may feel sad and hopeless from time to time.Author : Sukhmani Kaur
Anxiety may present as fear or worry, but can also make children irritable and angry. Anxiety symptoms can also include trouble in sleeping, as well as physical symptoms like fatigue, headaches, or stomach aches. Children’s mental health has been the biggest casualty during the lockdown, say child therapists and psychologists.
Home therapist Aparna Saxena, says, "A lot of my work is focused on early childhood development and childhood disabilities; the health of young people, particularly in school populations, and improving the quality of care for people with mental health problems."
It's important to first acknowledge that the mental health of children is profoundly affected by the environments they inhabit. For younger children, the primary environment is the home, but as they grow older, schools also play a very important role, says the therapist.
And both of these environments have been utterly disrupted by the pandemic. Some suggestions which can help children to fight against loneliness, stress, and anxiety are: Be role models, demonstrate deep breathing, and establish a daily routine.
Raman Aggarwal, a psychologist says, "Children with pre-existing psychiatric disorders such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, depression, mood disorders, and behaviour disorders could be adversely impacted during this stressful situation.
It is important to encourage and adopt healthy behaviour to maintain the overall well-being of families. The well-being of caregivers or parents can directly impact the mental health of the children.
Exercising regularly, practicing yoga or meditation, eating healthy foods, taking adequate and proper sleeping properly, and avoiding alcohol or drugs is key to maintaining mental health.
It is also crucial that parents provide enough support to their children and help them to process the information about happenings at ground level because these interventions could help minimize their anxiety or fear".
Prakash Kaur, grandparent says, "This pandemic has taught us how to stay connected with your roots , family, and home. I advise all the children that they cut down screen time from their video games, social media, and other platforms and substitute that with storytelling from parents, helping mothers with household chores, playing with pets, and talking and laughing with elders.
All these practices can eliminate the child's dependency only on Screens."