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Not kids, parents need counselling

Saturday, 10 November 2012 - 6:08am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
With two “normal-behaving” teenage students having committed suicides within 24 hours of each other, city psychiatrists say it’s high time society considered mental illness as a disease.

With two “normal-behaving” teenage students having committed suicides within 24 hours of each other, city psychiatrists say it’s high time society considered mental illness as a disease. Medical experts feel that more than children, it’s often their parents who need professional counselling.

Senior psychiatrist Sanjay Kumavat stresses on the need for parents to communicate with children as friends, instead of talking them down. “Parents must help children tackle problems that the young ones face,” said Dr Kumavat, adding that in today’s age, children have no sense of gratification. “They lack patience and want everything urgently.”

Senior psychiatrist Harish Shetty feels resilience levels across age groups have been decreasing. “The stress factor in parents is passed on to children,” says Dr Shetty who counsels up to 10 teenagers a day who come with problems of academic pressure, relationship troubles and alcoholism.

As for academic pressure, parents often let children pursue their passion, albeit reluctantly, feel experts.  Doctors say technology – cyber-bullying and exposure to inappropriate content – does impact children, and parents and teachers need to engage children with better things.

Dr Fabian Almeida, a child psychiatrist who conducts seminars for teachers and parents, said, “We have to engage children in healthy hobbies like sports, book-reading instead of Facebook-reading, gyms, scrabble, chess... Many parents are unaware that depression in children is a reality; they say kids can’t suffer from depression.”


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