Nearly half of teens face new or worsening mental health issues because of lockdown
Devastating, but yet not surprising.
According to a new US poll, nearly half of parents reported their teenagers faced new or worsening mental health conditions since the pandemic began.
The survey, which included 977 parents with children ages 13 to 18, analyzed teen mental health conditions like anxiety, depression and aggressive behaviour during the pandemic.
The national poll, which was conducted by Ipsos for C.S. Mott Children's Hospital at the University of Michigan Medical School, looked at how parents were helping teens cope and whether they believed their strategies were successful. In the US, like here, the restrictions to control the spread of Covid-19 have kept teens at home "at the age they were primed to seek independence from their families," said poll co-director Dr. Gary Freed, a professor of paediatrics at the University of Michigan.
The pandemic restrictions have no doubt disrupted all our lives, but there is no denying that when it comes to who bore the brunt of the upheaval and the social distancing, children and teens are topping the list.
"The pandemic has severely disrupted their lives," Dr Freed said, pointing to the cancellation of school activities and the inability to hang out with friends due to social distancing.
As a result, Dr Freed said, many teens are feeling "frustrated, anxious and disconnected."
In fact, as many as three in four parents surveyed said Covid-19 had negatively impacted their teens' ability to socialize with their friends nearly every day.
Another significant find from the poll was that the parents of teen girls reported higher levels of depression and anxiety in their children than the parents of teen boys -- 31 percent of teen girls experienced depression compared to 18 percent of teen boys, while 36 percent of teen girls faced anxiety versus 19 percent of teen boys.