The containment has led to a surge in anxiety in children

Le confinement a fait bondir l’anxiété chez les enfants

Pediatricians have had to increase the doses of drugs to their young patients during the containment to soothe the distress of the families.

“The services for children were cut down and the parents have no respite. They are “cotton”, drops the pediatrician Jean-François Chicoine. We all look forward to coming back to the usual doses. We don’t want to knock them out until the vaccine arrives. There is an urgency to help these families.”

For nearly two months, the doctor of the CHU Sainte-Justine has been forced to inflate the doses of several children with a disorder of attention deficit with and without hyperactivity (ADD-H) or autism spectrum.

“Every day, parents ask us to increase the medication, argues the Dr Gilles Julien, a father of social pediatrics in Quebec. The children crowded out, some had suicidal thoughts.”

To the demands of desperate parents, primarily from disadvantaged backgrounds, it has rather focused on the remote services on the higher doses.

“In social pediatrics, it is very different. The children are already in big trouble. Containment has been a major stress added to toxic stress such as lack of access to food and violence.”


Dr. Julian believes that the compartmentalization has led to a surge in anxiety in children.

This is the case of Mathis, who suffers from ADHD and a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

The boy is 9 years old lives with his grandmother Joanne Bélec since birth, but sees his mother regularly. Towards the end of the month of march, Quebec has suspended the access rights of parents of children placed in foster families to limit the spread of the COVID-19.

“It was emotionally challenging, said Ms. Bélec. After two weeks, his condition deteriorated. He began to complain of stomach pains. He had difficulty walking.” At the beginning of April, the child ended up in the emergency room. After a series of tests, the diagnosis falls : anxiety.


Annick Vincent, physician-psychiatrist specialized in ADHD to the Clinical Focus to Quebec, points out that the effects of confinement vary depending on the children.

“For some, it has removed the stress of school. They have stopped the medication. But for others, the disruption of routines has been very difficult.”

Emile, 7 years old, who suffers from ADHD, is part of children who have been affected by these changes. The boy had to increase emergency medication.

“With the judgment of the school, it had no structure or routine, reports her mother, Catherine Raymond. At the beginning, he said he was happy, but I could see that it was not sincere. “Since the beginning of the confinement, the family of the West-the Island is tolerant of the behaviour” inappropriate “. In may, the situation deteriorated. “I was hit. It was the fight with her sister of 11 years. He was in distress,” says Ms. Raymond.

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