While teenagers were found to be less affected by Covid-19, the pandemic that has affected their mental health is another story. Children and teenagers admission in hospitals with Covid-19 is less than two percent.
Mental Health Crisis Stricken Teens In The US Before Pandemic
A recent study found that more than 80,000 youngsters have reported increased anxiety and depression, which has been shown to have doubled compared to the cases before pandemic. Adolescents with pre-existing mental health have appeared to be more affected by the pandemic.
In the time of march to October 2020, 24 percent rise in emergency visits because of mental health problems were observed among children of age 5 to 11, and 31 percent rise among children of age 12 to 17.
Suicide attempt related emergencies were found to have increased by 50 percent especially among the girls aged between 12 to 17. Almost 140,000 children in the United States lost their parents, relatives or someone close to them because of the pandemic.
Youngsters report that most families which lost people close to them to covid were found to be torn apart, and children were caught in between.
As lockdown lifted children and youngsters get to meet their friends and get back to normal activities, just when things seem to improve, another wave hits pushing back the conditions to lockdown.
Sudden change in conditions and lack of consistency has affected the children and youngsters with varying emotions pushing them to anxiety and depression. Youngsters who were found to have eating disorders, spending a lot of time on social media, have increased depression, anxiety or mood related issues.
Before pandemic youngsters could play sports, hang out and take their minds off of things about their family condition or struggle. Pandemic has turned the situation, young people missed the opportunity to connect, and not able to do their regular extra-curricular activities, and they were turned towards use of social media to connect with people.
Adolescents and teens who have healthy relationships with their parents, interest themselves with family works, exercise and proper sleep have shown to have reduced anxiety, stress and depression. Whereas, children who spends more time on social media, video games and discrimination had negative effects and pushed them to severe mental issues.
Early adolescence is an age where teens experience physical, emotional, and social changes but pandemic has affected them at an important stage of their life.
Most studies showed an increase in mental issues among students and youngsters, around 2020, as schools were closed across the country and outside activities were cut short because of lock down.
As schools reopened, educators and mental health professionals observed that most students were mentally affected.
Even though Covid-19 has less effect on children and adults, there is another case where they suffer from long covid, and few children were said to develop minor symptoms of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) and its causes is still unclear.
MIS-C is a type of disease that occurs after Covid-19 and it is most commonly found among children. Parents need to find a way to keep their children safe both physically and mentally. Medication is not the only way to deal with mental health problems, though it is effective, it is not recommended.
Parents should listen to their children’s problems and understand their feelings, give advice to the challenges or problems they are facing and figure out a way to make them feel comfortable and less anxious. They should work on what makes them feel better and spend less time on social media which is found to be the major cause of mental health problems.