Will PTSD Become More Prevalent In Children After COVID-19?
Children are becoming more prone to developing serious mental health conditions following COVID, especially post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The Childhood Trust has recently come out with a statement informing that disadvantaged children are especially vulnerable to mental health conditions after the pandemic. Some contributing factors include anxiety relating to the health of loved ones and detrimental effects from social isolation and hunger.
Therefore, children are in a position where they cannot access online therapy or make the healthcare appointments necessary to deal with the effects of PTSD.
The Sands Treatment Center offers treatment programs for PTSD in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Let’s explore the effect COVID-19 has had on children’s mental health.
Symptoms of PTSD
The Childhood Trust informed BBC News that many children are suffering from horrible nightmares relating to the effects of the pandemic, which is a common side effect of PTSD.
Children have been greatly affected by news of global death rates, which has led to them developing anxieties relating to the potential death of their parents and friends. With news about the increasing mortality rates being broadcasted around the world, children have internalized the sense of impending doom and have been displaying symptoms of PTSD.
A clinical psychologist from the University of Bath has made it clear that the effects of the pandemic are far-reaching and involve people developing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
Social isolation has made it difficult to interact with friends, and the lack of regular education has also played an important factor in feeling a sense of loss and deprivation. Separation from loved ones, absence of freedom to move around, and monotony are some of the key factors that can have drastic consequences on children’s mental health and well-being.
Those already predisposed to mental health conditions are unable to receive the help and support they need. The Childhood Trust states that 83% of children receiving mental health care have suffered from the detrimental effects of the coronavirus.
Effects of the Coronavirus Leading to PTSD
Social isolation due to coronavirus has become the new norm.
This has led to an increasing number of child abuse and sexual exploitation cases, which has led to the development of PTSD in many children.
COVID-19 has seen a 21% rise in alcohol sales during the lockdown period, and many children have been stuck at home with irresponsible parents drinking hazardously and causing problems at home. Children and young individuals have seen a decline in their mental health after dealing with and caring for family members suffering from alcohol dependency and substance abuse.
Due to the closure of schools, children are no longer exposed to trained professionals who can spot signs of abuse. As a result, there has been a surge in mental health conditions.
The crisis will affect the younger generation well into the future, meaning the effects of coronavirus are far-reaching and long-lasting. Medical professionals warn that these problems will not vanish easily, and their impact on children can be irreversible if the correct steps are not taken today.
Once you develop a serious illness, it is often impossible to overcome it entirely. Like with grief, you don’t get over someone’s passing but learn to live with it, which is why PTSD is especially deadly.
Children are struggling with learning efficient coping strategies, and there are no medical professionals to guide them through the process due to the strict rules of the pandemic.
What to do About PTSD in Children
Parents are encouraged to provide a nurturing environment at home and shield their children from any negative news, which can be toxic to fragile minds. There is a sense of impending doom projected throughout the world, and it is the parents’ responsibility to help their children learn to think positively and have an optimistic outlook.
Parents are also advised to allow their children to access online therapy to learn to develop coping strategies for any difficult symptoms of PTSD that have become prevalent. Children should also be encouraged to talk about their issues, and parents must listen, reassure, and engage in enjoyable activities.
There is no definite conclusion that symptoms of PTSD will last for a long time or if children will begin to recover after COVID restrictions start to ease up.
Children must have regular routines to bring back a sense of normalcy during these difficult times.
For treatment for PTSD in Fort Lauderdale, Florida you can reach out to The Sands Treatment Center.