Over the past few years, the understanding and perception towards mental health issues have matured to the extent of it being recognised as clinical disorders that needs medical intervention..
However, contrary to what most people may believe, mental illness is not just an adult concern and even children tend to undergo the suffering starting from anxiety, stress, peer pressure and much more.
The parents and citizens we spoke to often see the implications of these tendencies which makes them worried about the mental well-being of their child.
Sadhna Purohit, a home maker says that lifestyle and peer pressure sometimes gets to a child. “There is too much happening around, be it is sports, education or extra-curricular activities and coping with everything isn’t a cake walk.
Being competitive is good, though, it is important for both the parents and children to understand that this will be at the cost of something or the other. “I tell my children to do all they want unless they are physically and mentally drained.
“Many parents enroll their kids to several classes and in the bargain he can’t excel in any of them. I have heard them saying that since the child doesn’t have any direction, going to multiple classes will help. But I disagree!
A child knows what interests him and forcing them is not an option,” adds Purohit.
“Parents need to understand that increased pressure without any leisure time is not healthy for a child in the long run,” says a Teacher at a city-based school.
“Moreover, an unsafe environment also adds to the horror. Kids who are expressive, vent out or takes a stand against bullying, racism or mental torture in school are able to handle the situations well in comparison to those who are quiet, observant and vigilant.
“The best thing to do is to talk to the kid about every little detail that happened in the school, playground, tuition or any other place.
Sometimes an event affects a kid so strongly that the image of it stays with him even when he is a grown up.
Also, hitting or scolding a child is often not the solution. It does more bad than good,” she adds.
Dr. Niket Kasar a city based Psychiatrist feels that because of the changing scenario in education, parenting and family structures, there has been a drastic increase in the number of children with mental disorders.
Both parents in most of the families today are working and it is difficult for them to take enough time off for the care of their kids in early childhood, adolescence and pre-teen stages.
Spending quality time with the kid is difficult for working parents and there is little or no emotional support for the child during his teenage.
They are deprived of emotional support which mainly causes emotional turmoil in children. Secondly, at the age of around two and a half, parents tend to send their child to play school, which in my opinion is incorrect.
Most of the time they are outside the home and in an indifferent environment.
There are also multiple problems with single parents, all of which leads to symptoms like irritability, agitation, staying aloof, not speaking at public places or at home, isolated activities etc..
It also additionally depends on family structure, the environment at school and home, cultural influences, marital harmony/ status of the parents, peer pressure etc..
We have also found that often it is not the child’s problem.
It is the reflection of the problems the parents have like depression, personality issues, marital relationship, lack of communication between parents or with the child or other faulty parenting styles etc.
We often reach out to the parents in such cases as mostly the pathology lies in the parents.
Many a times parents are authoritative, demanding, or vent their anger on their children. These are the things parents should look toward to- having a healthy environment is of utmost priority.
Bullying and abuse at school has a significant effect on the child’s psychology. This hurts their self esteem and when they are deprived of emotional and social support from their family, parents or school,their mental well-being is affected.
Having a strong emotional bond is often the solution to reduce children psychological and mental health problems.
Parents who sense such symptoms should find out the cause. They should speak to the kid and spend time with them. They should explore the child’s mind by telling them stories, showing them images or movies and try to know what is going on in the mind of the kid.
If not treated, this can lead to the childhood onset of depression, childhood onset -anxiety disorder, both of which are very common these days.
Separation anxiety, fear of losing parents when they spend a lot of time without the parents leads to issues like biting nails, sucking their thumb, pulling of hair, feeling of rejection etc..
They start spending most of the time then on the virtual world by getting addicted to mobiles, screens and at time even eating non-edible things (pica disorder),” adds Dr. Kasar. Some parents find their teenagers developing eating disorders similar to binge eating disorder, exercise addiction, and other types of disorders leading to them having to find a residential treatment program in order to get better.
#All views expressed are those of the individual respondent’s and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.
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