Impact of COVID-19 on Child and Adolescent Mental Health
- Letters to the Editor
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Dear Mr. Editor:
More than one year has elapsed since Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was declared as a pandemic and, it currently challenges the whole world(1). The virus SARS-CoV-2, etiological agent of COVID-19(2), has made that more than 150 million people have been infected and around 3.5 million have died. Apart from the foregoing, some silent enemies arise which have affected mental health during the whole pandemic period where girls, boys and adolescents have experienced high vulnerability. This letter to the Editor wants to states as a topic of discussion the main impacts of COVID-19 on mental health in childhood and adolescence. Both childhood and adolescence are considered as main stages for people´s development. The modulation caused by the various endogenous/exogenous agents, during such stages causes neurobiological modifications, which may remain and manifest during adulthood, as a tendency toward certain conducts. Various research papers report that girls, boys and adolescents have been affected by the pandemic, which has caused impacts on all dimensions affecting development of these age groups(3-5) (Figure 1). The COVID-19 pandemic has caused disturbances in family dynamics, substances abuse, such as alcohol and other drugs, eating disorders, disturbances in teaching-learning processes, labor uncertainty and personal distancing, among other consequences, all around the world(3-5). Personal distancing is necessary to prevent contagions, and it has made as a side effect that young people cannot from proper relationships of physical meetings with their peers and close relatives. These instances are quite necessary for consolidating our personal identity, self-esteem and for socializing(3, 4). All this causes permanent stress conditions(6) that are very harmful for health (Figure 1). Finally, it is important to consider that once the pandemic is over, a problem of pandemic post-traumatic stress will arise in the aforementioned age groups. This will require an integral approach made by(2) health/education professionals aimed to help girls, boys and teenagers to overcome psychological consequences of COVID-19. Such impacts are not fully visible to date.
- Jebril N. World Health Organization Declared a Pandemic Public Health Menace: A Systematic Review of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 COVID-19. Int J Psychosoc Rehabil. 2020; 24(9): 2784-2795. http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3566298
- Cortés ME, Alfaro Silva AA. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): The need for a multidimensional approach. Gac Med Bol. 2021; 43(1): 107-108. https://doi.org/10.47993/gmb.v43i1.35
- Palacio-Ortiz JD, Londoño-Herrera JP, Nanclares-Márquez A, Robledo-Rengifo P, Quintero-Cadavid CP. Psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rev Colomb Psiquiatr. 2020; 49(4): 27988. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rcp.2020.05.006
- Demaria F, Vicari S. COVID-19 quarantine: Psychological impact and support for children and parents. Ital J Pediatr. 2021; 47(58): 1-4. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13052-021-01005-8
- Achterberg M, Dobbelaar S, Boer OD, Crone EA. Perceived stress as mediator for longitudinal effects of the COVID-19 lockdown on wellbeing of parents and children. Sci Rep. 2021; 11: 2971. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-81720-8
- Vargas L. Entorno íntimo y psiconeuroendocrinología del estrés crónico. Rev Chil Neuropsiquiat. 1984; 22: 259-264. https://pesquisa.bvsalud.org/portal/resource/pt/lil-32859
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