The coronavirus restrictions have helped in the prevention of millions of new infections worldwide. Without the lockdown policies, the global death toll and the number of cases would have been much higher. However, at the same time, they have also caused multiple problems for nearly all people affected. New research now shows coronavirus restrictions are also responsible for high depression levels in young adults.
Since the beginning of the health crisis, the groups which are at the highest risk of developing a severe form of coronavirus infection and associated complications were also said to be experiencing the mental impact of the pandemic.
For instance, older adults are among the people who have more chances of coronavirus complications. The reports on behavior trends during the pandemic showed that they are more likely to follow restrictions for this very reason. Even now, they are taking preventive measures much more strictly than younger adults.
On the other hand, multiple studies showed that young adults play a big role in spreading the virus, especially now. During the summer, adults between the ages of eighteen and thirty-four were said to be violating coronavirus protocols by going to ‘coronavirus parties’.
Now, they are also experiencing pandemic fatigue, which is why they are no longer taking steps for the prevention of virus spread even more now. Overall, it seems like young adults are the least affected by the consequences of the pandemic as they have been engaging in activities even against recommendations from health experts and repeated warnings.
However, the reality is much different. More recent surveys and reports on the behavior patterns highlight a massive increase in depression levels in young adults.
According to health experts, not only are younger people experiencing the highest mental toll of the pandemic but are more likely to have suicidal thoughts and act on them now than ever before. So, why is it that young adults are facing the most problems even though they are said to break protocols most often?
There are a number of factors contributing to the rise of mental disorders and suicide ideation specifically among adults between the ages of eighteen and twenty-four, the primary one being loneliness. In comparison with older adults, younger people are much more likely to be lonely.
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This is because many of them live far from home either for school or for work. Even though some have decided to live with their families again, many cannot do the same because of a number of reasons including not having good familial relationships.
Hence, most younger people relied on meeting friends, neighbors, coworkers, and classmates for socializing and talking. Social distancing policies and work from home have now also made it impossible for regular meet-ups.
Secondly, unlike older adults, those under twenty-five do not have partners or children, which is why loneliness is more common in them, which then leads to mental diseases and suicide ideation.
In order to avoid this from happening, experts suggest seeking help right after developing signs of depression so that it does not reach the stage of suicidal thoughts in the first place.
Also, along with professional help, talking with a trusted person even on social media or on the phone can also help. In the upcoming holiday season, make sure to stay connected with friends for your own mental health and check up on friends who are living alone. Always remember the pandemic and its negative effects can only be controlled with collective effort.