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CASE SERIES

Psychological Morbidity in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Children and Adolescents in Sri Lanka: A Case Series

Authors:

P. K. D. H. J. L. De Silva Rajaratne ,

Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, Colombo, LK
About P. K. D. H. J. L.
Senior Registrar in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
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D. M. A. Dahanayake

University of Colombo, LK
About D. M. A.
Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry and Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist, Faculty of Medicine
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Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic is the most serious public health crisis of recent times. It relentlessly progressed with no signs of easing. Many suffered due to economic losses, anxieties about contracting the illness, uncertainty of outcomes, social isolation, helplessness, loneliness, loss of loved ones and livelihoods. Children and adolescents are considered as one of the most vulnerable groups to suffer from the consequences of the pandemic. The elaboration and study of the direct and indirect effects of this catastrophe on mental health is an urgent need.

 

Although there has been renewed interest on the sub-acute and chronic neuropsychiatric sequelae of the infection, studies on psychiatric morbidity among COVID-19 survivors in the pediatric population are scarce. The effects on children and adolescents warrants special study as the impact on the still developing brain may be devastating.

 

We describe seven cases of new onset psychiatric illness, occurring both in the immediate aftermath of COVID-19 infection in the child/adolescent or in their loved ones, as well as in the context of the psychosocial difficulties faced by them due to the pandemic. These highlight the different mental health presentations among children and adolescents experiencing the effects of the pandemic on their lives. The changes in the social milieu due to the pandemic has added to the pre-existing issues such as poverty and social injustice, delivering a dual-blow on already disadvantaged sections in low and lower-middle income countries such as Sri Lanka.
How to Cite: De Silva Rajaratne, P.K.D.H.J.L. and Dahanayake, D.M.A., 2022. Psychological Morbidity in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Children and Adolescents in Sri Lanka: A Case Series. Sri Lanka Journal of Medicine, 31(2), pp.74–78. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljm.v31i2.337
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Published on 31 Dec 2022.
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