Doctors: Cyberbullying Leading To Risein Mental Health Issues Among Teens | Bengaluru News – Times of India

Bangalore – Pediatricians and adolescent health experts have noted an increase in mental health problems among adolescents due to increased exposure to the Internet and social media applications. With the tectonic changes in lifestyle induced by the pandemic, they are subject to different forms of bullying, sexual abuse, learning difficulties and anxieties, doctors say.
Sensitive communication is key to addressing most of these issues, doctors say. Technological awareness, knowledge about online trends, building a friendly bond, and control over language/expression styles at home should be promoted from when children are 9-11 years old so that malicious elements lurking in these online spaces they can keep themselves in check once they transition into adolescence.
Dr. Uma Rao, a specialist in adolescent health, said sexual harassment and bullying have skyrocketed since physical spaces were closed. “Children used to socialize in schools/parks, but now they spend time on WhatsApp, Facebook, etc.” A 10-year-old boy brought to Dr. Rao was being forced to show his private parts to a man posing as an acquaintance. “The boy went into depression and started getting bad grades,” she said. doctor shuba badami, a pediatrician, stressed that poor physical health, which became common during the pandemic, also helps bullies target peers in online spaces. According to doctors, most students in online classes have an electronic chat going on simultaneously where they could be abusing or bullying their classmates.
Dr. Geeta Patil said that a teenage patient of hers was bullied by his classmates for being obese on WhatsApp. “He felt useless when his classmates questioned his gender and abilities while making fun of his size. The boy attempted suicide by consuming his grandmother’s medication and was in ICU For several days. She is still recovering mentally,” she said.
Doctors emphasize the importance of healthy and friendly relationships between adults and children to prevent the latter from being harmed. They say that parents must be emotionally available to protect children from bullying/harassment, as well as to stop making children bullies. “Children only reflect their parents, relatives, teachers and other adults. If someone around you is abusive, you are likely to notice,” said Dr. Vimochana K, a pediatrician.
There is consensus among the pediatric community that sensitivity training and sex education should be provided in schools, and parents, teachers, support and cleaning staff, and security personnel should be mandatory participants.

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