Canadian children grow up fast and some are able to manage it better than others, says psychologist Sara Dimerman.

Canadian children grow up fast and some are able to manage it better than others, says psychologist Sara Dimerman.
Photo Credit: CBC

Anxiety, the common mental illness among children

The Public Health Agency of Canada says the most common mental illness among children is anxiety. There has been a big push in Canada to reduce the stigma around mental illness, so it could be that more people are reporting anxiety or seeking treatment.

Internet exposes children to horrors

But changing lifestyles could account for any increase in anxiety among children, says psychologist and author Sara Dimerman. “With kids being on the internet at such a very young age, they are bombarded with messages and information and images second by second, real-time news events and often very catastrophic. So I think that’s one of the reasons that children are becoming more anxious.”


Children also experience fire drills and other emergency training which, while necessary, may frighten them, says Dimerman. She adds, they are growing up at a rapid rate and living certain experiences earlier than they did in the past.

Psychologist Sara Dimerman says play or art therapy can help children suffering anxiety.
Psychologist Sara Dimerman says play or art therapy can help children suffering anxiety. © Eli Amon

‘We live a very frenetic lifestyle’

Lifestyles have changed dramatically in Canada. Often both parents work, feeling rushed and stressed themselves. They may rush children from school to organized activities.

“There’s not a lot of down time where people can just relax,” says Dimerman. “And even with the internet, again, I think, we’re so used to flicking from one screen to another, multi-tasking, that we live a very frenetic lifestyle that can actually mimic anxiety to some extent.”

Art or play therapy can help

Anxious children can be seen by a psychologist who can tell assess them. They can take part in art or play therapy to help ease their symptoms, she says. There are community activities like yoga for children which may help. But in cases where anxiety is extreme or debilitating, children should see a psychiatrist who may prescribe anti-anxiety medications.

“It’s not (a solution) that parents crush to as their first option,” says Dimerman. “But it’s something to consider.”

Categories: Health, Society
Tags: , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet Netiquette guidelines.

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1.’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3.’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish or in one of the two official languages, English or French. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


2 comments on “Anxiety, the common mental illness among children
  1. Neurotic depression is a feeling of sadness & regrets to real identity issues in a depressed individual. It is connected with an absence of certainty, confidence & with failure to express depressed feelings. Learn how to deal with neurotic depression?

  2. Avatar Peter Ashcroft says:

    The current 24/7 attitude to life seems to exclude relaxation.