Valley psychiatrist encourages talking to anxious teens about COVID vaccine

May 26, 2021, 4:35 AM
(Facebook photo/Arizona Department of Health Services)...
(Facebook photo/Arizona Department of Health Services)
(Facebook photo/Arizona Department of Health Services)

PHOENIX – Trusted sources and doctors alike have comforted parents who are uneasy about their child receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

But what about teens who are anxious about getting the vaccine?

Dr. Srinivas Dannaram, a psychiatrist with Banner Behavioral Health Hospital in Scottsdale, encourages parents to have an open conversation with their child about receiving the vaccine.

“Ask them what they know about the vaccine first, and based on their understanding and level of knowledge, pitch on that,” Dannaram told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday.

He also suggested parents do their homework prior to sitting down to chat with their child about the vaccine.

The more prepared you are to answer their questions, the more they are likely to be comfortable with the idea of vaccination.

Dannaram suggested that parents rely on trusted sources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Food and Drug Administration for information about the vaccine.

If parents are asked a question they don’t know the answer to, the parent and their child can then find the answer together.

Anxiety in teens isn’t anything new, but with many questioning the vaccine, it’s likely to impact the youth who are no stranger to worrying.

According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly 1 in 3 of all adolescents ages 13 to 18 will experience an anxiety disorder.

These numbers have been rising steadily as between 2007 and 2012, anxiety disorders in children and teens went up 20%.

Dannaram believes the pandemic will only make those numbers worse.

“They lost some venues that they can vent out some anxieties and that added to stress,” he said.

On top of that, teenagers’ lives changed overnight.

The lack of socialization could very likely hinder many teens’ next developmental process as many have gotten used to isolation.

If you believe your child is struggling with their mental health, Dannaram encourages parents to sit down and have an open and understanding discussion with their child about how to help them combat their anxieties.

Arizona News

(Pixabay Photo)...

Here are employers who are hiring in metro Phoenix

With businesses opening to full capacity and looking to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, employers in metro Phoenix and Arizona are looking to hire. Here's the list of employers looking for workers.
13 hours ago
(Twitter Photo/@TempePolice)...
Associated Press

Body of 18-year-old man recovered from Tempe Town Lake

Firefighters have recovered the dead body of an 18-year-old man who apparently drowned after jumping into Tempe Town Lake early Tuesday morning.
13 hours ago
(AP Photo)...

Poll finds over half oppose Ducey’s ban on mask mandates in Arizona schools

A poll of Arizonans showed more than half oppose Gov. Doug Ducey's ban on mask mandates in schools and withholding funds from districts that have mask requirements.
13 hours ago
(Bell Bank Park Rendering)...
Kevin Stone

Bell Bank gets naming rights to massive Mesa sports complex

The massive sports and entertainment complex opening next year in southeast Mesa will be known as Bell Bank Park under a 10-year naming rights deal announced Tuesday.
13 hours ago
(Twitter Photo/Phoenix Fire Department)...
Ali Vetnar

Phoenix mountain rescues decrease during pilot program to close trails in extreme heat

A city of Phoenix pilot program to close popular hiking trails during some of the hottest summer days has resulted in fewer mountain rescues for first responders, according to new data.
13 hours ago
Aloys Ntirushwamaboko (Photo via Phoenix Police Department)...

Silver Alert canceled after body identified as missing 103-year-old Phoenix man

A Silver Alert for a 103-year-old Phoenix man who had been missing for nearly a month was canceled Tuesday after formal identification of his body, authorities said.
13 hours ago
Valley psychiatrist encourages talking to anxious teens about COVID vaccine