Health

Teen Mental Health During the Pandemic

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The coronavirus pandemic has altered our lives in numerous ways. Lockdowns, social distancing, and quarantines have negatively affected the mental health of teenagers all over the world. If your teen is struggling with mental health issues, you should look at this article about finding a therapist for them. 

COVID-19 and Mental health

The pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives in one way or another. There are many ways that the virus has impacted our mental health. First, a lot of us have a fear of getting sick. The coronavirus is a debilitating illness that can be fatal. There is some reason to be fearful of contracting the virus. 

However, fear can be a symptom associated with anxiety. This is especially true if the fear is causing problems with your normal life and wellbeing. Fear can negatively impact sleep, appetite, mood, and productivity. Furthermore, many people have to deal with the illness or death of a loved one. Sudden death has struck communities all over the world. The grief that comes from losing a loved one to the virus unexpectedly can impact a person’s wellbeing and negatively affect mental health.

Social distancing has become an everyday turn throughout the last year. Staying at home and isolating can be bad for mental health. Humans are social animals, and it is important that we stay that way even if it is socially distanced social interaction. Social distancing and quarantines can separate us from our support system, loved ones, and community. This can be depressing and lead to a feeling of hopelessness.

The pandemic has also caused many people an inability to work and people around the world have been furloughed and laid-off. This can cause financial stress and uncertainty about the future. Going through your life savings in order to eat and provide for your family can be a huge factor in stress, anxiety, depression, and hopelessness.

Teenager Mental Health

Studies show that the coronavirus has negatively affected the overall mental health of teenagers to an alarming degree.  Teenagers may be learning virtually or unable to socialize or see their friends. In addition, social activities may have been impacted which can cause a feeling of loss or grief.

Under normal circumstances, teenagers go through a lot of changes that affect them physically, emotionally, and mentally. There are changes in the social aspects of their lives as they gain more independence and responsibility. These changes and the sudden impact of the pandemic have caused increased stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues in teenagers. 

Recognize Mental Health Issues 

There are some things that you can be on the lookout for to recognize if your teenager is suffering from mental health issues. Every situation is unique, but there are still common signs that may indicate that your teenager is struggling.

Teenagers who are suffering from a decline in their mental health often have a shift in their personality or behave in ways that are uncharacteristic. This may even present itself as mood swings including anger, irritability, and aggressiveness. 

In addition, a teenager who suffers from mental health issues may have changes in appetite. They may lose or gain a significant amount of weight in a short period of time. They may skip meals or hide food. 

A teenager’s performance may also suffer. They may have poor academic achievement compared with previously. This is especially true if it is in multiple classes and for longer than 1 grading period. They may have problems with memory, focus, and organization. These are signs associated with several mental illnesses including anxiety and depression. 

One major sign to be on the lookout for is related to depression. Depressed teenagers often lose interest in things that they used to enjoy. This may mean that they suddenly stop reading, interacting socially, playing sports or game, or doing other activities that they used to love to do.

Teenagers suffering from mental illness will also often have low motivation and energy levels. They may show signs associated to fatigue. In addition, they could sleep too much or too little. They may also stop brushing their teeth, changing their clothes, cleaning their room, or showering. 

If your teen is feeling sad, hopeless, shameful, or guilty, especially if these feelings are prolonged, then it is a good idea to address the issues that they are struggling with. 

How to Help Your Teen

There are several things that you can do to help you and your teenager during the pandemic that can help improve the overall wellbeing and mental health. First, we are bombarded with negative news related to the COVID-19 pandemic all the time. It may be a good idea to limit the amount of negative news that you and your teen consume. 

Try to promote exercise in your teen. Exercise is great for mental health and can reduce stress and assist with emotion management. This may mean that you take a walk, dance, learn yoga, or do a simple workout in the home. 

It is also important to have structure. Before the pandemic, there was probably a routine that was generally followed. The pandemic has caused changes, but that does not mean that you cannot create a new schedule or routine that your family can follow. This type of structure can help to reduce stress by providing a sense of normalcy. 

It is also good to make sure that your teenager is getting enough sleep. Sleep is very important for mental health and teenagers need a lot. Setting a time for lights out and ensuring that they are not on their electric devices can go a long way towards quality, restful sleep. 

Many of us, including teenagers, are feeling isolated after being affected by the pandemic for so long. It is important to connect to others even if it is through technology. Set up times to speak with friends and family on social media and video calls. 

It is also crucial that there is time set aside for play and entertainment. Take the time to watch a movie, play a board game, or do something else that you and your teenager can enjoy together. 

Nutrition also has an affect on mental health. Make sure that you provide your teenager with healthy choices. Find things that they enjoy that also provide them with good nutrition. It is also good to have structure and set aside times when they should eat lunch and dinner. 

You can also encourage your teenager to try out meditation. Just taking the time out of the day to focus on breathing and thoughts can be very beneficial to overall wellbeing and improve mental health. 

It is also a good idea to open up dialogue about the pandemic and the changes that have occurred because of the virus. You can share facts about the pandemic and the country’s response while also reassuring them that they are safe. Try to encourage them to talk to you about their thoughts, feelings, and emotions during the ordeal.

It is also a good idea to make sure that you still allow them to be a teenager. This means that you need to encourage independence and responsibility. While they are still children, teenagers want freedom, and it is important that they have a reasonable amount. 

Conclusion

Everybody has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Teenagers, like the rest of us, have had their lives altered and their overall mental health may be impacted. It is important to talk to your teenager about the pandemic and be on the lookout for signs and symptoms associated with mental health issues. Try to promote a healthy lifestyle for your teenager. In addition, if they are suffering from mental health problems, it can be beneficial to seek out the help of mental health professional. 

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