It is hard to disagree that all parents and many other adults are trying to protect children and teenagers and make sure that nothing may hurt their lives. However, an extended number of external factors cannot be eliminated, and their influence on adolescents and their mental health is hard to overestimate. The coronavirus pandemic that began in March 2020 has had a tremendous impact on all people in the world, and children are no exception. According to Dastagir, depression rates among adolescents have significantly increased since the beginning of the quarantine (“The Pandemic Is Taking a Toll”).
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Even before COVID-19, the statistics were appalling, and these numbers prove the seriousness of the problem threatening the lives of children and young people. In 2017, approximately 16.9% of American adolescents were diagnosed with clinical depression, and about six thousand teenagers committed suicide (“Data and Statistics on Children’s Mental Health”). The purpose of this paper is to explore the influence of coronavirus on these tragic numbers.
Isolation measures make it rather challenging for teenagers to remain positive. Generally, young people need to communicate, socialize, and get support and care from their friends and other people in order to maintain their mental health. However, because of COVID-19, adolescents were made to stay at their homes for months, be isolated from their friends and sometimes even families, and forget about visiting social places where they could rest from studying or other problems.
Moreover, the ongoing uncertainty, grief, fear, and stress created by the coronavirus pandemic and measures made teenagers have an extremely tough time and reduced their unstable abilities to cope emotionally. Unfortunately, not all adolescents can call their home a safe place, and forced and prolonged confinement causes depression and suicidal thoughts (Kamenetz). According to Marques de Miranda et al., approximately 48% of male and female teenagers were diagnosed with depression in 2020. Since the year is not over yet, this number is likely to increase. Therefore, this period is definitely a tough and scary time for representatives of the younger generation.
COVID-19 has created a great opportunity for various researches related to people’s emotional states. Recently, there was a study conducted in order to find out whether young people notice any severe changes in their mental health (Dastagir, “The Pandemic Is Taking a Toll”). According to the researcher, “75% of respondents 18-24 reported at least one adverse mental or behavioral health symptom, and serious suicidal ideation among this group was 25%” (Dastagir, “The Pandemic Is Taking a Toll,” para. 16). Because of significant changes in all spheres of life, including work, studies, extra social activities, and other areas, adolescents have difficulty imagining their future. Many teenagers have no energy to remain positive and cannot believe that they will be able to go to real school or college and then find a job since now their parents lose theirs.
To draw a conclusion, one may say that COVID-19 has significantly impacted the rates of depression and suicidal behavior among teenagers, and this effect is likely to continue for an extended period of time. Though there are only a few articles and researches related to the statistics for 2020, it is already possible to suggest that the rates of attempted suicides and diagnosed depression disorders are more twice as high as they were in 2019 (Dastagir, “More Young People Are Dying by Suicide”). Therefore, now it is more important than ever to take care of teenagers and young people and make sure they are successfully going through this challenging time.
Dastagir, Alia E. “More Young People Are Dying by Suicide, And Experts Aren’t Sure Why.” USA Today, 2020. Web.
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“Data and Statistics on Children’s Mental Health.” Centers for Disease and Control Prevention, 2020. Web.
Kamenetz, Anya. “The Pandemic has Researchers Worried About Teen Suicide.” NPR, 2020. Web.
Marques de Miranda, Debora, et al. “How Is COVID-19 Pandemic Impacting Mental Health of Children and Adolescents?” International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, vol. 51, 2020.