Begin typing your search...
Kids of pandemic victims at a loss, confused: Experts
With COVID-19 claiming more than 23,000 lives in the State so far, many children who lost their parents to the pandemic virus are in a state of stress, anxiety, grief and worry. “They are at a loss and confused,” opine health experts adding the trauma from losing a parent could cast a shadow on the mental health of such children and they would need constant emotional support.
A nine-year-old kid who lost his father a few weeks ago in Ambattur is still not his earlier self. Since efforts by his mother didn’t yield the desired result, the boy’s relatives, worried his condition could lead to some traumatic disorder, are now getting him counselling support from a psychologist.
“Depression could strike as early as at the age of seven when the kid realises what is happening around. Even extended family members should behave responsibly to provide emotional support to the affected kid, besides providing the child with psychological counselling. If not attended, the child could face emotional health issues in future,” said Dr Chitra Aravind, psychologist.
“We should closely watch the child for at least three months, and see if the child is developing symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSP) like depression, stress, and anxiety, where they get flashback memories of their parents. If so, then they should be given counselling,” she added.
In nuclear families, children may not get emotional support from their relatives. The parent or guardian should observe the child as to see what is in their mind, how emotionally they are affected. Usually, it takes at least three to six months for kids to come out of the shock while those below seven may easily recover.
Dr Maikandan, a consultant psychiatrist said: “Anxiety part is very high than depression among children losing parents to COVID. They even think they might lose other loved ones or they will also die of the disease. Since confined to online classes with no social life, relatives have to step in to help the child overcome anxiety at an early stage.”