In March 2020, the world as we knew it changed dramatically due to the COVID19 pandemic. The crisis has impacted almost everyone in a wide range of different ways, including mental health, which is an area where it has had some of the biggest impacts. Teenagers and young people in particular have had a hard time with mental health as a result of the crisis, despite being some of the lowest risk groups for the novel coronavirus.
Throughout the pandemic, the stay-at-home orders and lockdowns have hit teenagers and young people hard, with many missing out on key developmental experiences during this time of their lives, such as spending time with friends at school, going to prom, or getting the full experience at college. While the majority of teenagers have been understanding and helpful, knowing just how important it has been to stay at home and keep everybody safe, it’s still impacted them in a lot of different ways.
Here’s why more teenagers and young people are turning to therapy after the pandemic, and how it can benefit them.
Why Do Teenagers and Young People Need Therapy After COVID19?
Teens and young people are a group that has been hit hard by the pandemic. For most of them, it has been a year of their life that they will never get back. And while many teens should have been doing normal things like hanging out with friends, going to school and college, and going to prom, many have been isolated at home instead. This has had a big impact on many individuals and caused mental health problems to increase for many.
COVID19 Impact on Young People’s Mental Health:
Teens and young adults are at a crucial point in their development. COVID19 has caused a massive disruption to this, which has undoubtedly had an impact on their mental health and wellbeing. This has impacted individuals in a wide range of different ways with some feeling anxious about going out and resuming normal life due to the impact of the pandemic on their loves ones, with others feeling depressed and hopeless as a result of the situation that they have found themselves in.
Often, it’s a much deeper problem than simply not being able to have the normal teenage experiences that they have missed out on. Around the world today, more than half of people have reported that their mental health has seen a negative impact since the pandemic started, with teenagers and young people making up a large percentage of these people. A clinical mental health counseling provider can help teenagers and young people make sense of the events of the past eighteen months, recover from feelings of anxiety and depression that have arisen as a result, and learn healthier coping mechanisms to improve their lives going forward.
Social and General Anxiety Problems as a Result of COVID19:
Teenagers and young adults during COVID19 were abruptly interrupted during a transformational time in their lives where they were beginning to improve their adult social skills and prepare for adult life in the future. With many teens and young people spending more time indoors as a result of COVID19, it’s no surprise that this has led to social anxiety problems. And it’s not just teens that have been affected. People of all ages have said that staying at home and working from home every day without the option to interact with other people on a regular basis has left them feeling more socially anxious than usual.
In addition to the social anxiety that can develop as a result of spending more time at home, many teens and young adults are also reporting general anxiety problems that have developed mainly as a result of the situation. For teens and young people who were already dealing with anxiety before the pandemic hit, the situation has only worsened this problem with constant news about infection rates and deaths that we cannot get away from. Teens in particular might feel especially helpless to do anything about the pandemic, and this can lead to lots of anxiety issues, especially when coupled with the fact that they have spent a year unable to go to school or take part in regular activities and milestones for their age group.
Dealing With COVID-Related Trauma:
The pandemic has caused a lot of collective trauma for people around the world. For some teens and young people, the pandemic might have led to more traumatic experiences than others. For example, loved ones getting very sick or even passing away from the coronavirus or the family being seriously financially impacted by the pandemic can have a devastating impact on teenagers and young people. Dealing with situations like this can be hugely traumatic and upsetting for anybody but might often have a more long-lasting effect on teenagers who are going through a crucial developmental stage in their lives. Whether traumatic experiences have happened to the teen or young person directly, or to somebody that they are or were close to, a therapist can help them process these experiences and feelings and provide the support that they need to recover from the experience.
Dealing With Missed Opportunities:
A therapist can help teens and young people process the fact that they have missed out on various opportunities as a result of the pandemic. For example, staying at home has made it harder for some teens to get the grades that they were expected to get in school while others might have missed out on working or work experience throughout the summer breaks. Others might have postponed going to college so that they can wait until the pandemic is over or have missed out on getting the full college experience in their first year due to studying mostly online and campuses closing. These missed opportunities can have a massive impact on individuals who have been looking forward to doing these things for many years.
Adjusting to Life Post-Pandemic:
In a relatively short period of time, teens and young adults have often had their worlds turned upside down. This can have a huge impact on their mental health and might be hindering how well some teens and young people are able to adjust to life post-pandemic.
In therapy, young adults and teenagers have the chance to talk about how they are feeling, discuss their biggest worries, fears, and concerns and get the support that they need in an environment where they know that they will be understood and not judged.
Online Therapy – Why It’s Ideal for Young People During COVID19:
Many young people who have been impacted by the COVID19 pandemic are turning to online therapy as their preferred method of getting the help and support that they need to deal with their experiences. There are many reasons for this, including the fact that it is simply easier to get online therapy right now due to most therapists working remotely as a result of the pandemic. In addition, teens and young people are used to spending a lot of their time online and accessing the internet to get most of the services and products that they need. Because of this, it makes sense that many teens and young adults prefer the idea of getting counseling over a video call or a web chat app rather than visiting a therapist’s office in person. Some other main benefits of online counseling and therapy for young people include:
· Easier to Find a Suitable Therapist:
Online and remote therapy makes it easier for young people to find a therapist that they click with and is a good fit for them. They are no longer limited to their immediate area since most insurance companies will cover the majority of state providers that are available.
· More Convenient:
With school, college, and other commitments to uphold, many teens and young people might find it difficult to set aside the time to go to regular therapy appointments in person. In addition to this, teens who don’t have their own transport might rely on others to take them, which isn’t always convenient for everybody. Online therapy allows teens to get therapy from the comfort of their own room, which can be much more convenient for them and the whole family.
· Less Overwhelming:
Teens and young people are from a generation that grew up communicating via text and on smartphones, which can make it easier for them to consider online therapy since this is what they are used to. Going to therapy can be a very overwhelming step to take for many young people, so keeping it familiar and in a format that they understand and use most days of the week usually makes it easier for them to adjust and to open up to the therapist during sessions.
The COVID19 pandemic has impacted us all in some way or another. The mental health impact of the crisis is quite prevalent in teens and young people, who have missed out on many opportunities, had their worlds changed quite dramatically, and even suffered traumatic experiences as a result.