Latest lockdown is having a "severe adverse effect on children and teenager's mental health" expert warns
We are nine months into this pandemic and these rolling lockdowns – and we are all exhausted at this stage.
And this third lockdown, according to a psychotherapist, is the worst one yet – especially for children and teenagers.
According to Dr Colman Noctor, a child and adolescent psychotherapist and assistant professor at UCD, this current lockdown and the negative impact associated with it has had a "phenomenal" effect on young people.
Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, Dr Noctor explains that the lack of interaction with friends, school, activities or sport is having an adverse effect on people's wellbeing, and that the "cyclical" nature of the three lockdowns has had an "accumulative effect" on young people.
"Everything that they would have in terms of mental wellbeing, the connections of their friends, routines, structure, a lot of that has been limited for them," he said.
"Out of Christmas, the issue was they had the expectation to back in school as normal, that was abruptly ruptured."
"There's a crankiness seeping in," he added, with the idea that "we're all in this together" slipping.
The psychotherapist explains that while the virus is obviously still circulating, we now need to really start worrying about the effects of the lockdowns, and the enormous impact these are having on children's wellbeing, development, mood, anxiety etc.
"This seems to be the worst one yet, from the point of my own clinical experience of working with young people over the last month it has been phenomenal how young people have been affected by this, and their families.
He added that the closure of schools has had the impact of "the whole system being fragmented", with life now really stressful for parents.
"I do believe the school closures are massive in the impact they've had on children and families, it's a different ball game when that's off," he stated.