COVID-19’s Impact on Mental Health

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Olivia Marbury, Publications Editor

Depression and anxiety disorders have steadily increased amongst teens and with social distancing implemented, as well as the impact of the Coronavirus, teens’ mental health may become the largest problem in the future. 

The tips to avoid depression and anxiety in normal circumstances include avoiding isolation, having a healthy diet, and maintaining a steady routine. However, with the abrupt change in life and need to isolate due to COVID-19, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, let alone a healthy state of mind, has shown to be challenging for many. 

“A lot of change at once can be, and has been, overwhelming,” junior Emaan Moon said. “Not only have we been stripped away from the structure that school gave us but our social lives have been taken away too.” 

Since the outbreak, Moon adds that social distancing has been taken very seriously in her household and coping with the steps to avoid the virus has taken time. 

“Besides personal changes in my routine, having to hear about death all over the news all the time creates a type of anxiety many haven’t had to face,” Moon said. “An anxiety around death, the fact that everyone is vulnerable and no one’s safe, and that the horrible things happening is out of anyone’s control, even the experts, is, well, scary.”

This anxiety mixed with the shift from living with freedom to merely existing and surviving has  understandably changed student’s routines and mental states. With these concoctions of valid  emotions during a global pandemic, students are nevertheless expected to somehow maintain the motivation to fill out assignments. 

“I wouldn’t say I have a routine. I don’t know how my school gets done, but it gets done,” junior Rylei Jefferson said. “Like a lot of students, homework has never been my strong suit so I just wish there was at least some type of guidance to do school besides ‘here’s what you need to fill out’.”

Motivation and guidance during these unprecedented times are two things many yearn to have. 

“I try my best to get my work done and usually finish it at the beginning of the week,” junior Madison Marbury said. “Even though it’s finished I find myself burnt out a lot of the time.”

Though hardships have come through this situation in many different shapes and forms, some have found ways to maintain sanity and even be productive during quarantine and at home school.

“Surprisingly, my mental health has been at its peak since the virus outbreak,” senior Joan Tsopze said. “Now that I have more freedom and time throughout the day, I have time to reflect on my goals, get my work done, entertain new hobbies, workout, and even get a job.” 

Tsopze adds that even though senior year is talked up to be the best year and many are disappointed, this situation shouldn’t be taken lightly. For “many are losing their jobs and lives so if we have to cancel prom to keep people safe, so be it.”

“Quarantine can be a time to be grateful and grow,” Tsopze said. “It’s surprisingly taken stress off of me, and I’ve used this time as a time of reflection. I’m really excited for what the future holds.”