This issue was highlighted after a 25-year-old girl, who was in Mumbai for her education. Mithila D’Souza (25) (name changed) was brought up in Singapore. She had to shoulder her younger sisters’ responsibility since the age of 9. As her parents were busy, Mithila had to play the role of their mother. The tender age at which she was supposed to play went off in taking care of her sisters. When Mithila’s mother came home, she gave priority to her sisters due to which she was depressed. She is currently in Mumbai to pursue her higher education. But she was still depressed.
Speaking about this, psychologist Dr Nutan Lohia said, “When the second child is born. Parents should be aware about certain things regarding their first child. Parents should love their children equally and should be friends with their children. “
Dr Lohia informed that Mithila is currently taking treatment and will take some time to recover. “5 days ago, she had come to me for the treatment. When I spoke to her, I learned that her mother left went for work and she had to bear the responsibility of her siblings. This affected her studies. There was no use after telling her mother about this. She felt that her parents do not love her. Due to which she was depressed. She is currently undergoing psychological therapy and has been given medication, “said Dr Lohia.
Dr Priyanka Mahajan, a psychiatrist at Masina Hospital said, “Often, due to the arrival of a new child in the family, the older child is given less attention. This can create misunderstandings and insecurity in the mind of the older one. Therefore, parents should be aware.
Below are some tips from Dr Mahajan:
- Father should take care that there is no discrimination against the older child
- Do not always give responsibility of younger child to the older
- Pay attention to older child along with the younger one
- Talk to the older one like a friend
- Don’t differentiate between a boy and a girl
Dr Sagar Karia, consultant psychiatrist at Sion Hospital and LTMG Medical College said, “After parents’ demise, the responsibility of the siblings come son the older child. In order to educate the sibling the child has to quit studies and take up a job. This can cause depression. Every day, we see 2 to 3 such patients who come to seek treatment. These patients are counselled and given medications.”