Are we really alright?
A recent meta-analysis suggests that mental health did not significantly worsen over the pandemic. Is there really evidence to suggest that is the case?
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Cover image from Slate with credit provided to iStock.
The mental health of adolescents and children have been one of the biggest worries over the pandemic, with many parents concerned that social isolation and a move towards being online nearly 24/7 may induce greater levels of depression and anxiety. This also comes with the fact that a mental health crisis among everyone would ensue in the months following widespread lockdowns.
Children, and really all people, thrive on having some form of meaningful socialization, so it’s hard to assume that widespread, global lockdowns and closures of schools and businesses did not have some effect on the public. The inability to go to school or work, and even forced vaccine mandates have anecdotally caused serious mental anguish.
I can even recall remarks from college students who were LGBT not wanting to go home due to their family not agreeing with their lifestyles, or even of children and other family members having to be forced into a home with abusive spouses or parents, likely causing tension and more domestic issues as reported last year by The New York Times based on data collected by the CDC. It’s also true that many signs of learning disabilities are caught at school by teachers, which means that many children may go undiagnosed when not in the presence of actual teachers. In fact, closure of many in-person programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and the inability to access doctors for new mental health diagnoses meant that many people may have had to suffer silently with their own maladies, and may have been worse off because of the lack of personal interactions.
Really, the list can go on forever, and so for a meta-analysis to come out suggesting that harm to the mental welfare of everyone probably did not occur would really raise some skepticism.
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