*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on Medical Daily.
As a direct result of the ever-growing coronavirus pandemic, an increasing amount of Americans are being encouraged to stay at home and self-isolate for the time being as a means to help prevent the spread of the virus. And while the measure itself is a great way to help flatten the curve, the isolation, and social distancing is now slowly taking a toll on the mental health of many, which may lead to feelings such as fear, worry and, of course, anxiety.
Of course, that stress can be felt by the children too. Unfortunately, most people don’t take this into account, despite the obvious signs that are showing.
“In times of stress and disrupted routines, it is normal for people of all ages to experience signs of distress. For young children, this may include increased clinginess, tearfulness, nightmares or temper tantrums. You may also see children returning to behaviors they had previously ‘outgrown,’ such as thumb-sucking or bed-wetting,” Dr. Tali Raviv, the associate director of the Center for Childhood Resilience at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, said.
For teens and older children, however, the stress can be seen in physiological changes such as reduced energy, appetite and a disrupted sleeping pattern. It can also result in headaches or stomachaches, or even thinking changes like distraction, forgetfulness and not being attentive or alert. Adolescents, on the other hand, might become withdrawn or more socially isolated, oftentimes worried about their health and their future.
Per Raviv, while all children are bound to show some signs of distress because of the pandemic situation, it’s also advised that parents who have kids with preexisting mental health conditions should monitor their child better, as well as take note of any increase in symptoms.
Thankfully, Raviv also said that the vast majority of today’s youth will be resilient in the face of severe and long-lasting trauma.