The pandemic process has been difficult for children, especially since schools have switched to online education. The pandemic process has been difficult for children, especially since schools have switched to online education. Stating that children’s contact with their friends has declined during the pandemic process, experts point out that this situation causes social isolation. Experts; Noting that children with underlying mental disorders are more affected during the pandemic, eating disorders and screen time increase, he advises parents to seek help from an expert.
On the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, October 1992 has been commemorated annually since October 10 as “World Mental Health Day” and aims to draw attention to the importance of mental health. This year’s theme was announced as “Mental Health in an Unequal World”. The World Health Organization has defined the theme of Global Mental Health 2021 as “Mental health care for all: let’s make it happen”.
Üsküdar University NP Etiler Medical Center Specialist in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Assist. Assoc. Dr Mine Elagöz Yüksel assessed the effects of the pandemic period on children’s mental health as part of World Mental Health Day.
Children experienced social isolation during the pandemic
Stating that the last year has been a difficult year for the children, Assist. Assoc. Dr Mine Elagöz Yüksel said: “They were particularly impressed that schools have switched to online education. First, they lost touch with their friends and stayed away from socializing in the school environment. They struggled to pay attention to distance education. This period caused social isolation for both the child and the family, and children were kept away not only from their friends but also from those close to them. However, if there was a loss, it also impacted the children. There were children who lost their loved ones and loved ones without saying goodbye. Despite the negativities, the children had time to share more with their families in this process. However, this situation has also led to an increase in conflicts for some families. noted.
Children with mental illness are more affected
Expressing that children are affected differently depending on their age, Yüksel said: “Parents with preschool children felt the effects of their children’s mental state more. In particular, children with underlying mental disorders were most affected during the pandemic period. For example, children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and special learning difficulties might not benefit as much from distance education as their peers. Online education problems have been encountered all over the world. Therefore, in this new period, we should not be afraid of being left behind. The child’s academic kazan It is very important to communicate with the teacher to know how his students are doing. he said.
Eating disorders and increased screen time
Emphasizing that children who have previously suffered from depression and anxiety disorders may have experienced an increase in their complaints due to social isolation, Yüksel said: “We have observed an increase in eating disorders in children. The eating and sleeping habits of children with emotional food needs have changed due to the stressful environment they find themselves in. Increased time spent in front of a screen. This situation has become a significant problem for children prone to internet addiction. With the start of face-to-face education, children moved away from loneliness and found an environment where they could socialize again. Altered sleep patterns have returned to normal as schools transition to face-to-face instruction. Used the sentences.
Parents whose children are affected should seek expert help
Child-adolescent psychiatrist help. Assoc. Dr. Mine Elagöz Yüksel, “The kids suddenly started going to full-time face-to-face training after long-term online training. It is not possible to say that every child easily adapts to this transition ‘and continued his words as follows:
“You can see that children with separation anxiety who stay at home for a long time don’t want to go to school, have abdominal pain and nausea during school. In addition, we can say that the adaptation period is longer in young children who could not go to school in the last period, they are more impulsive and have difficulty obeying the rules. This was most evident in children who started elementary school this year. Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or conduct disorder had more problems adjusting. If parents believe their children are affected by this process, they should immediately seek help from a child psychiatrist. We have seen a lot of delays in treatment during the pandemic period. Interrupting treatment can make problems chronic and make it harder to find solutions in the future. “
It’s not fair to ban technology completely
Recalling that the use of technology has increased during the pandemic, Yüksel said: “Technology should not be seen as bad as a whole. It may be necessary to guide, especially young children, to find and recommend suitable cartoons and games. It is not fair to ban it completely. Children can play these games with their friends. Children should be informed and protected about technology and the use of the Internet in general. Physical, sexual, emotional and violent games and practices should be avoided. They need to be taught what to watch out for, especially when talking to people they don’t know. noted.
Too many games lead to attention deficit
Stating that irritability, lack of empathy, lack of attention and refusal to study can be observed in children who play a lot, Yüksel said: in play, stays awake at night, has no activity other than playing and constantly playing games. If you are bored, it is necessary to think about the reasons why you play a lot of games. Wanting to forget bad events and not taking responsibility can lead to gambling addiction. Apart from that, it creates a sense of belonging for children who are prone to depression and feel lonely to find groups with problems. children like them. used the sentences.
The rules must be decided with the child
Stating that children with low self-confidence are more likely to be in front of the screen when they are very afraid of missing out, Yüksel concluded his remarks as follows:
“These kids can take whatever they see for real and believe there are positive things, but they don’t have them. It leads to unhappiness and anxiety. The concept of nomophobia has come back to the fore among people who have a great fear of “I can’t reach the smartphone” and “either the battery is running out or I forget it somewhere”. Just because the family buys the child a phone or tablet and allows it to be used does not mean that the child has no rules. Rules should be made together if the child is older. It is important to be careful before going to bed. Sleeping with him not only increases his exposure to blue light, but also makes him go to bed late because he can’t stop. “