HYDERABAD: With boards and other competitive exams around the corner, stress levels of students are soaring, as city doctors report cases of children as young as 10 years knocking on their doors for help.
Apart from the usual manifestations of stress that include gastroenterological problems like stomach ache, vomiting and diarrhoea, many children are facing problems with sleep and weight loss due to stress.
In most cases parents knowingly or unknowingly add to the child's stress by putting too many demands on them to perform well.
"The expectations that parents have need to be lowered. By constantly reminding their kids about the need to get high grades parents often drive them to sleeplessness, loss of appetite and other stress related problems," said Dr C Madhavi, paediatrician, Sanjeevani Children's Clinic, Gandhinagar.
According to doctors, the sudden change from a lenient education system, including no exams in some cases, to a more rigid one too is to be blamed. "A majority of cases are being reported in 14-16 year age bracket where kids have been suddenly pushed into a rigid academic schedule. The system of no exams till a particular class also makes things worse. Children should be accustomed to some amount of exam stress early on," added the doctor.
Psychiatrists too are reporting a spurt in the number of cases of severe stress and anxiety, with nearly 15-20 cases of severe stress and anxiety pouring in their clinics every month as against just 3-4 cases a month previously.
In one such case, a class 8 boy suffering from acute stomach ache went to several gastroenterologists. "He underwent all possible tests but gastroenterologists could not find anything wrong and he was referred to me. I found he experienced severe pain in the mornings but it subsided by afternoon when he was in school. By evening the pain reduced substantially . He did not go to school for two months and had to be given medicines along with relaxation techniques," said Dr Padma Palvai, consultant child and adolescence psychiatry, Rainbow Children's Hospital.
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