MIND GAMES

SIMMI WARAICH 49, Psy­chi­a­trist, Chandi­garh

India Today - - COVER STORY -

Dr. Waraich has no­ticed a sud­den rise in the num­ber of young­sters that are now ap­proach­ing her for anx­i­ety, stress, de­pres­sion and sub­stance abuse.

Grief of the Young Pre-teens and teenagers want to see her for school-re­lated prob­lems such as bul­ly­ing, exam anx­i­ety, de­pres­sion and even sui­ci­dal ten­den­cies. “Many chil­dren set high tar­gets for them­selves and lack the flex­i­bil­ity to con­sider al­ter­na­tives in case their tar­get is not achieved. Many come with ex­tremely low self es­teem and con­fu­sion about their ca­reers,” she says. Notic­ing that a ma­jor­ity of pa­tients in the 18 to 25 age group reach out for ex­pert psy­chi­atric help ow­ing to ad­just­ment dis­or­ders, re­la­tion­ship prob­lems, be­sides sub­stance abuse, the doc­tor adds, “Cannabis, al­co­hol and heroin ad­dic­tion are turn­ing out to be a ma­jor prob­lem among peo­ple in this age group. It is para­mount that par­ents get them to see psy­chi­a­trists as soon as pos­si­ble,” she says. Who is to be Blamed? In her opin­ion, a big rea­son for younger peo­ple con­tract­ing psy­chi­atric ill­ness is the fact that many par­ents are un­able to give enough time to their chil­dren and the nu­clear fam­ily struc­ture means that chil­dren are left to fend for them­selves. War­raich adds, “Sin­gle chil­dren who of­ten have most of their wishes ful­filled, but not given ad­e­quate time, are lead­ing to a gen­er­a­tion where many crash when they have to face prob­lems alone." Con­tact sim­[email protected]­hoo.co.in

1

Balance aca­demics and phys­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties. One hour of com­pul­sory walk­ing and two-three hours of in­ter­net-free time is a must.

2

Prac­tis­ing mind­ful­ness is para­mount. It is im­por­tant that young­sters are ac­quainted with the need to iden­tify their strengths and weak­nesses.

3

In­stead of just point­ing out their mis­takes, fo­cus­ing on pos­i­tive as­pects of chil­dren goes a long way in boost­ing their con­fi­dence. Pos­i­tive crit­i­cism is im­por­tant, but so is con­sis­tent en­cour­age­ment.

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