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Saturday, Aug 17, 2019

PGIMER’s child psychiatry ward set to get expansion

The decision comes after considering the rise in cases of children suffering from mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety and intellectual disabilities.

punjab Updated: Sep 21, 2018 15:32 IST
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Hindusatn Times, Chandigarh
The  child psychiatry ward at PGIMER has five beds at present.
The child psychiatry ward at PGIMER has five beds at present. (HT File)
         

Considering the rise in cases of children suffering from mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety and intellectual disabilities pouring in, the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) has decided to expand its child psychiatry ward from five to nine beds.

Dr Sandeep Grover, professor, psychiatry department, PGIMER, said, “There was no psychiatry ward for children four years ago. But when DM (doctorate in medical sub-speciality) in child psychiatry was introduced, a 5-bedded ward was also set up for children the same year.”

"With time, the in-patient strength started increasing and we had a waiting list. Hence, a decision to expand the number of beds was taken,” Dr Grover said, adding that by next week, the ward will be made functional with additional four beds.

The department is dealing with children and adolescents up to the age of 18 years. However, majority of patients are in the bracket of 10-15 years and some are as young as four-five years.

“At the psychiatry out-patient department (OPD), eight to 10 new children are examined daily. Most of them suffer from intellectual disability, followed by ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder), depression, anxiety and conduct disorder,” Dr Grover said.

When asked about the reasons, he said, “Depression and anxiety are common among children. The reason could be anything from educational pressure, pressure to perform and family distress. These days, family structure is changing and expectation from a child is too high.”

“Apart from this, love affairs and broken relationships are other reasons faced by adolescents that lead them into depression. Teenagers these days are feeling depressed because somebody did not like their post on Facebook. How people are reacting, or not, to one’s social media posts can trigger stress nowadays,” Dr Grover added.

The doctor said many a time parents are unable to detect the symptoms in time. “They try to trivialise, see a paediatrician or faith healer, and contact a psychiatrist as a last resort. This is an unfortunate part.”

Talking about the red flags that parents should be looking for, he said, “They should see if there is a sudden change in behaviour or if the child stops interacting with others. Loss of appetite and sleep, irritation on petty issues, sudden outbreak of emotions are few such signs.”

 

First Published: Sep 21, 2018 15:30 IST

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