Mental Health Among Adolescents Has Gotten Worse Due To The COVID-19 Pandemic

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Kylie Milligan

Due to the outbreak of coronavirus, mental health among adolescents has gone down tremendously. New analysis has shown that depression and anxiety has doubled in youths due to the major stress the pandemic has brought. Additionally, a majority of those questioned at Bethel High School have reported that their mental health has declined as well.  

According to CNN, 1 in 4 adolescents are experiencing increased depression symptoms while 1 in 5 youths are experiencing increased anxiety symptoms. Additionally, more than 1 in 3 high school students stated they have felt an increase of persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness, which is a 40% increase from 2009 studies.”A lot of kids came to me and said ‘I couldn’t thrive’, ‘I struggle with my grades virtually, because i’m used to seeing teachers in person,’” said Diamond Gee, a spanish teacher at Bethel High School. This is most likely due to the increase of major stressors due to COVID-19. A survey given to students at Bethel High shows that 15/16 students have been affected by stressors strictly related to the pandemic, with the highest fear being getting the illness. When asked how her mental health has been over the spread of COVID-19, Azharya Taylor, a senior, said “I would say it’s declined quite a bit. Over time, I started to realize how much I really depended on interacting with others in person. Even with texting or calling my friends, it never felt the same. After a while, it just felt like I was spiraling downward, but felt like I couldn’t reach out to anyone either.” Although there has been a positive effect of being back in person, there still may be some with present fears of contracting the virus through the crowded halls of the school.

If you relate to any of these feelings, know that you are not alone. If you are struggling with depression or anxiety, talk to a trusted friend or loved one, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255. You are loved and cared for, even if you may feel otherwise.