AIC campus interviewed Dr. Kalhari Pitigala, a Counselling Psychologist specializing with children and adolescents who focused on the most sought after topics of child psychology. On her first interview, her topic was on “childhood anxiety” a condition so easily overlooked by many caregivers at present.
In discussion, Dr. Kalhari, pointed out that anxiety is constantly worrying about something and having a fear or agitation within, where one does not know how to express on certain occasions. When it is prevalent in kids, it is usually displayed in ways where they may be reluctant to go to school and display changes in moods, specifically feeling angry, annoyed or at times distant from family and friends. Certain types of anxiety, such as separation anxiety, can show up at a young age in children, even in preschool kids.
Dr. Kalhari added that phobias, social anxiety, and generalized anxiety are some of the forms of anxiety children experience. Furthermore, experiencing traumatic events can also lead to child anxiety. Stage anxiety is also a common type experienced where they struggle to perform on stage. Social anxiety is an extreme fear of being judged by others in social situations, and is especially present when parents keep comparing their children to others. Children don’t know how to process these complexities of emotions usually, and so they suppress them, leading to it surfacing in other forms which are harmful.
Discussing the ways of approaching this problem, Dr. Kalhari noted that it is always important to let them know that there is always a way out of any problem. An extra dose of love is something that is very important, and parents should let them know how accepted they are. Breathing techniques and yoga are also good ways of dealing with anxiety while parents can help the children to relax without overloading them with studies. Parents should identify children’s unique characteristics, and let them work according to a timetable so that they will be exposed to a variety of activities. Parents should also look for their personality traits.
Touching upon the subject of medication for anxiety disorders, Dr. Kalhari said that in worse case scenarios there are medications that can be prescribed for children with anxiety. If the child has severe anxiety, various anti-anxiety medications will be prescribed based on the severity of the child’s
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