Will PTSD Become More Prevalent In Children After COVID-19?
Children are becoming more prone to developing serious mental health conditions following COVID, especially post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The Childhood Trust has recently come out with a statement informing that disadvantaged children are especially vulnerable to mental health conditions after the pandemic. Some contributing factors include anxiety relating to the health of loved ones and detrimental effects from social isolation and hunger.
Therefore, children are in a position where they cannot access online therapy or make the healthcare appointments necessary to deal with the effects of PTSD.
The Sands Treatment Center offers treatment programs for PTSD in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Let’s explore the effect COVID-19 has had on children’s mental health.
Symptoms of PTSD
The Childhood Trust informed BBC News that many children are suffering from horrible nightmares relating to the effects of the pandemic, which is a common side effect of PTSD.
Children have been greatly affected by news of global death rates, which has led to them developing anxieties relating to the potential death of their parents and friends. With news about the increasing mortality rates being broadcasted around the world, children have internalized the sense of impending doom and have been displaying symptoms of PTSD.
A clinical psychologist from the University of Bath has made it clear that the effects of the pandemic are far-reaching and involve people developing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
Social isolation has made it difficult to interact with friends, and the lack of regular education has also played an important factor in feeling a sense of loss and deprivation. Separation from loved ones, absence of freedom to move around, and monotony are some of the key factors that can have drastic consequences on children’s mental health and well-being.
Those already predisposed to mental health conditions are unable to receive the help and support they need. The Childhood Trust states that 83% of children receiving mental health care have suffered from the detrimental effects of the coronavirus.
Effects of the Coronavirus Leading to PTSD
Social isolation due to coronavirus has become the new norm.
This has led to an increasing number of child abuse and sexual exploitation cases, which has led to the development of PTSD in many children.
COVID-19 has seen a 21% rise in alcohol sales during the lockdown period, and many children have been stuck at home with irresponsible parents drinking hazardously and causing problems at home. Children and young individuals have seen a decline in their mental health after dealing with and caring for family members suffering from alcohol dependency and substance abuse.
Due to the closure of schools, children are no longer exposed to trained professionals who can spot signs of abuse. As a result, there has been a surge in mental health conditions.
The crisis will affect the younger generation well into the future, meaning the effects of coronavirus are far-reaching and long-lasting. Medical professionals warn that these problems will not vanish easily, and their impact on children can be irreversible if the correct steps are not taken today.
Once you develop a serious illness, it is often impossible to overcome it entirely. Like with grief, you don’t get over someone’s passing but learn to live with it, which is why PTSD is especially deadly.
Children are struggling with learning efficient coping strategies, and there are no medical professionals to guide them through the process due to the strict rules of the pandemic.
What to do About PTSD in Children
Parents are encouraged to provide a nurturing environment at home and shield their children from any negative news, which can be toxic to fragile minds. There is a sense of impending doom projected throughout the world, and it is the parents’ responsibility to help their children learn to think positively and have an optimistic outlook.
Parents are also advised to allow their children to access online therapy to learn to develop coping strategies for any difficult symptoms of PTSD that have become prevalent. Children should also be encouraged to talk about their issues, and parents must listen, reassure, and engage in enjoyable activities.
There is no definite conclusion that symptoms of PTSD will last for a long time or if children will begin to recover after COVID restrictions start to ease up.
Children must have regular routines to bring back a sense of normalcy during these difficult times.
For treatment for PTSD in Fort Lauderdale, Florida you can reach out to The Sands Treatment Center.Learn More
Anxiety, Depression, and Drinking in the Age of COVID
Ever since the declaration of the COVID pandemic back in early 2020, we have all been affected in a variety of ways.
People have lost their jobs, small businesses have shut down, tourism has taken a massive hit worldwide, and many have seen a decline in their mental health.
As a crutch to deal with personal issues, people have started resorting to drinking to help alleviate their symptoms but have developed bad drinking habits and even dependency on substances as a coping mechanism.
Let us look at how COVID has negatively impacted the populace at large.
Anxiety and Depression Rates Due to COVID Have Peaked
It takes a mental toll not being able to see members of your family and became apparent pretty soon following the implementation of strict lockdowns in various countries worldwide.
Due to serious medical conditions, family members admitted to hospitals have passed away alone because of the strict rules against visits.
Such measures have also invited in open hostility from various groups that have emerged, such as those who refuse to be vaccinated and wear masks, arguing that governments have embraced authoritarianism by controlling civil liberties and making existence difficult for everyone.
Unable to engage in meaningful social interactions, many have noticed an increase in their symptoms of anxiety and depression.
COVID 19 has created a state of mass confusion and panic around the globe, and people have lost faith in the government, blamed science for its limitations, and succumbed to ill feelings about the prolonged house arrest.
The uncertainty due to COVID is the major reason people have suffered so much.
Rising infection rates and mortality rates are constantly being broadcasted on the news, and people are left bracing for what might come next.
We are still unsure how long it will last, the long-term consequences of such a dramatic change in our lifestyles, and we have internalized a sense of incoming catastrophe that can quickly spiral into overwhelming panic and despair.
These reasons contribute to the emergence of mental health issues like anxiety and depression and have aggravated these preexisting issues in others who have even resorted to taking their lives.
Regardless of how you feel about the situation, we cannot deny that it has been a complete mess, and people have become alienated from one another.
Alcohol Has Become a Major Crutch
Drinking has become a means to cope with personal issues.
In states of intoxication, our nervous system slows down. We become temporarily disconnected from reality and therefore free of the constant stress that’s become the new normal in the last couple of years.
Instead of facing our issues head-on or joining alcohol treatment programs, many have succumbed to the dependency on alcohol to drink away their worries and fears.
Being constantly under the influence has damaged personal relationships and contributed to feelings of anger and other irresponsible tendencies such as self-sabotage and self-destructive behaviors.
Alcohol addiction has made it easy for people to find a way to drown their sorrows using a quick fix without developing the necessary coping mechanisms to deal with their issues.
Many have developed an alcohol addiction, while others have backslid and reverted to their old and destructive habits.
Since people develop a tolerance to substances, they require more and more to achieve the same effect.
This creates a vicious cycle of constantly chasing the next high and has also resulted in serious conditions such as insomnia, tremors, and alcohol withdrawals.
Anxiety Disorders and Depression
Depression is thought to be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, which is why there are a host of medications available for treatment, such as SSRIs, SNRIs, and TCAs.
While effective, to accelerate the healing process, people must resume their daily lives to regain a sense of normalcy. This has been stripped away by COVID, increasing depressive symptoms such as isolation, suicidal ideation, sleep disturbances, and loss of interest in daily life activities.
People suffering from social anxiety disorders have retreated into their shells and suffered from a lack of human interaction. They have fallen into vicious patterns of self-blame, loneliness, and despair.
Drinking, again, helps people deal with such issues. Still, the consequences of using alcohol as a crutch have only provided a temporary solution and had other dangerous side effects like dependency.
COVID 19 has created mass confusion and panic and affected people’s lives negatively to the point where they’ve developed anxiety and depression, or in the case of preexisting conditions, aggravated their condition immensely.
The Sands Treatment Center has a variety of alcohol treatment programs and should be supported in their attempts to help those in need.
We must strive to be kind to others and offer support wherever possible because it is hard to know who’s going through what problems in their lives.Learn More