“You’re too young to be stressed,” a quote that you’ve probably heard over a million times, though it is definitely not true. Anxiety rates in high school students have skyrocketed over the past few years and according to the CDC, 1 in 3 students reported experiencing “persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness” in 2019, which is a 40% increase since 2009.
Isolation from the outside world due to the Covid-19 Pandemic doesn’t help at all. Over the past year, stress has been horribly affecting adults and adolescents alike. The Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a study and they determined that during the pandemic, 4 in 10 adults have reported symptoms of anxiety and depressive episodes. WebMD, a mental health and wellbeing website, went and polled 977 parents. 46% reported that their child has shown signs of “new or worsening mental health conditions” since the beginning of the pandemic. Out of the 46%, most of the adults were actually parents of teenage girls. Compared to boys, the rate of anxiety had a ratio of 36% to 19% and depression was 31% to 18%.
The University of Michigan conducted a “C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll” analyzing sleeping patterns, family withdrawal and aggressive behavior. With both boys and girls, all three categories have taken a turn for the worse. With sleeping patterns, the ratio was 24% for girls vs. 21% for boys, with family withdrawal it was 14% to 13% and with behavioral issues it was 8% vs. 9%.
So in other words, quarantine has made mental health deteriorate greatly. Judging by the ever increasing rates, it will take a while for society to recover from the isolation and stress that the pandemic has caused. But it is important to try and interact with others and talk to someone if you do feel like you need the help.