I am Dr. Soumiya Mudgal, the consultant psychiatrist. Today we will be talking about issues of depression and anxiety in children. Depression and anxiety in children can be seen in children as early as at the age of 5-6. Some cases have been reported in toddlers also but usually what we see is depression and anxiety in children of 7-8 years. And largely in today's date among teenagers. Usually, the complaint with which they come up are that of pain, vague pains, poor performance at school, refusal to go to school, misbehavior at home. And these are the complaints with which the parents get their children but the fact is when we usually assess the children the reasons for such things as depression. Depression can be because of the reason that the child is having a poor adjustment at the school or they are having academic problems. There can also be some issues at home which the child is facing.
In severe cases and extreme cases, we can also have complaints of physical and mental abuse at school or in the home areas. So these things have to be evaluated and the child has to be evaluated. But off late we are also suffering a lot of problems suggesting parents that the children need treatment because of the taboo around it. People think that once they start medication, the child can become dependent but that is not the case. The child can be treated with behavioral therapy, cognitive behavioral therapies and in extreme cases, if needed, medications are to be given.
Why it should not be neglected is because if the child is not neglected, it can lead to poor development of the personality, recurrent complaints and academic failures. It can also lead to a child attempting to things like running away from home, suicidal attempts, or refusal to attend to the family duties of the house and people and at the school. So this can have a serious effect on his growth and advancement to further life. So I would advise all the parents and children those who have such a problem should always get their child evaluated and seek help if needed.