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Anxiety, depression rampant in children during second wave

Chennai, June 17(BPNS)

Child Psychologists are of the opinion that Children under 13 years of age are in the grip of anxiety following the extended closure of schools and without meeting classmates and friends following the Covid -19 pandemic.

Dr Vidya Ramaswamy, a Child Psychologist at a Private hospital in Chennai while speaking to BPNS said,” Children are the most vulnerable as far as mental health is concerned. This is their growing age- both mental and physical growth and one complements the other. While online classes are taking place, Children are missing the touch factor, their group games and group meetings and hence most of the children are getting into anxiety levels”.

While the the first wave of the pandemic did not affect children much, during the second wave children in sizeable numbers were affected by the disease. More than this the children are also worried whether their parents would contract the disease and whether they will lose them to the  pandemic .This has increased the anxiety levels of children, Psychologists said.

Anushka Muruganandan, a 7th standard student of a prestigious school in Madurai while speaking to BPNS said, “It’s been ages since I’ve seen my classmates nor participated in a touch and go game. No family get-togethers, no outdoor games, no movies, no eateries, and no vacation. It’s shut down and I am anxious on whether my mother and father will catch the disease and what I will do. I am getting more and more secluded and wants to have the normal life which we used to back.”

Dr Rajith Das, a practicing child clinical psychologist in Chennai said that what was told by Anushka is the typical mental attitude of children in that age group. He said, “What she said is true for a vast majority of children, they are missing their growing age and this is having an impact on their social behavior. Children will turn more and more irritable and more and more anxiety pangs will grip them”

Psychologists in unison are of the opinion that children that parents must be more communicable to the children and a time table should be set up so that they are involved in activities, both curricular and extra curricular. The psychologists also said that the children must not be provided with tabs and mobile phones for long time and that they be asked to draw pictures, play  game of chess, write poetry, read good books and to engage themselves in activities.

Dr Muthulakshmy, a pediatric psychologist at Chennai while speaking to BPNS said, “If you engage children through the day most of the issues are gone. They need total parental support and then they need engagement. If they are engaged properly, they will become happier and they should be given tasks which they could meet up within a day and this is another way of engaging the children. Mild exercises for at least 15 minutes is a must for the all-around development of a child.”