EAST LANCING, MICHIGAN (WLNS) – As COVID-19 levels continue to decline, health experts are hoping for a pandemic. However, these last two years have been difficult, especially for children. One mental health expert said the last few years may have caused another concern.
“We are definitely seeing an increase in mental health problems, not only anxiety but also depression,” said Dr. Zakiya Alawi, a child psychiatrist.
Dr. Alavi is also from the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University. She said that as children become accustomed to the classroom environment, some show temporary developmental problems such as signs of anxiety, while others show signs of longer-term mood disorders.
“We definitely see a surge in both. You know, regular adaptation problems that arise after a long absence from school, but then we see some very specific mood disorders and anxiety disorders, ”she said.
She said two years of limited community meetings and closed clinics may not have allowed some mental health problems to be identified earlier, leading to more serious problems such as major depression, anxiety and difficulty concentrating.
She added that some patients got better during the pandemic. She said children who were sick and supported at home had better symptoms, which she attributed to simpler procedures. Dr. Alavi, by contrast, explained that new patients suffer from more severe symptoms.
However, both groups saw an increase in symptoms when they returned to more social networks. She explained that if feelings of anxiety or irritability persist after a while, it could be a sign of a long-term problem.
But how can parents help? She said it is important to resume routine, open communication and shared time. But the first step is to help yourself and others as people rebuild their own everyday patterns.
“It’s very important, you know, kids will do it as well or badly as their parents, so support your parents,” she said.
Dr Allawi said it could be as easy as turning to your network of friends and family or even professional help.