Teen Anxiety During Co-vid Recovery
Teenagers have always had a lot to deal with. Schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and peer pressure can all increase teen anxiety. The pandemic has plunged many teens further into the depths of despair. A recent report found teen depression and anxiety are on the rise. This makes it extra important for parents to keep a close watch on mental health.
Teen Anxiety During the Pandemic
Almost everyone has struggled with mental health during the pandemic. While parents are worrying about paying the bills and protecting their families, kids are struggling with a plethora of their own troubles.
A national poll from C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital found that 46 percent of parents reported noticing signs of teen depression since the beginning of the pandemic. Pandemic restrictions resulted in the cancellation of important social activities and teen milestones. Kids have missed once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to play sports or participate in other group activities. All this during a time when teens are dealing with hormonal shifts and taking on new levels of adult responsibility.
The grief from these losses can trigger episodes of teen depression. Not only did many kids experience disappointments no one prepared them for, but they also endured months of isolation. Virtual learning during lockdown was hard on even the most introverted of teenagers.
Experts predict that nearly 32 percent of adolescents will meet the criteria for a teen anxiety disorder by the time they reach the age of 18.
Teen Self Esteem and Co-vid Recovery
Vaccinations have played a major role in co-vid recovery, allowing most of America to begin the reopening process. Despite how far we’ve come, we still have a long way to go. It’s natural for many teens to feel frightened during this time. As parents, what can we do to help?
The best thing we can do as parents is listen. Have regular family meetings to check on how everyone is feeling. Empathize with your kids and let them know you recognize how unfair this situation is.
Be as flexible as possible when it comes to screen time. Although limiting time on the phone or computer is a common practice, small allowances will give kids more opportunities to socially connect.
If you’re noticing ongoing struggles with teen self esteem or depression, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. I offer online mentoring services to help teens and parents develop coping strategies for this pandemic. For more information, please reach out today.