Inputs in Sunday Times – Rise in distraught teens seeking help


Rise in distraught teens seeking help



The debate is still raging on whether the act captured in a video that surfaced on Friday — showing a swimming coach at a city club hitting two girls with a neck cord — showed the ugly underbelly of the grind the sportspersons allegedly go through in search of glory.

However, what shocked many was the stand taken by the parents when they refused to press charges against the coach and backed his methods.

For the city-based psychiatrists, it’s not a new phenomenon. But in absence of a support system, it can take dangerous proportions, they said. The corporal punishment of any kind can leave deep scars on the person’s psyche that can manifest immediately or after a long time.

Dr Hansal Bhachech, a city-based psychiatrist, said that earlier they used to get cases of the children that have to cope with the study pressure but now the cocurricular activities have also taken a new dimension. “In an earlier case, a successful state-level tennis player went for both physical and psychological treatment as he had severely damaged his ankle. The reason was the reported pressure from the parents and coach due to which he had developed performance anxiety and was not able to concentrate,” he said.

In another instance, a skating enthusiast went into a shell after the constant grind of getting at skating rink at 5am daily and undergo rigorous regime with the parents’ consent. She eventually abandoned her love, said Dr Bhachech.

The mistreatment of a child hampers psychological development, said Dr Ajay Chauhan, superintendent of Government Hospital for Mental Health.

“The children undergoing abuse have control issues, seem to be more angry compared to other children, difficulty in showing genuine care or affection and underdeveloped conscience. Pressure to perform should not be associated with the burden of expectations,” he said. Binal Patel, city coordinator for 1098 Childline, said that even when the parents are not willing to press charges, a third person can file a complaint under Section 75 of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 pertaining to Punishment for Cruelty to Child.

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