One of the biggest adversities children have faced in quarantine is social isolation from their peers. Schooling and extracurricular activities associated with long-term education plans were the first to go during the shutdown, as the highest priority was to protect children from the spread of the virus. While necessary for the safety of the public, this has shown to have devastating effects on pediatric mental health.
It may feel like your social skills are a little rusty due to COVID-19. The activities that we used to do, such as attending a social gathering or sharing a meal, may feel awkward or anxiety producing. It is normal to feel this way in the context of the pandemic.
But what should those of us fortunate enough to be vaccinated return to? I didn’t exactly feel euphoric each day in my normal life pre-COVID-19. How should you choose what to rebuild, what to leave behind and what new paths to try for the first time? Clinical psychological science provides some helpful clues for how to chart your course out of pandemic life.
ADAA member Dr. Erika Vivyan writes..."Many families are managing anxious and depressive symptoms in their kids and teens who have been isolated for months. This increase in social anxiety and withdrawal in school-aged kids and teens during the COVID-19 pandemic may be best explained by the cycles that perpetuate these symptoms in “the new normal..."
As the U.S. vaccination rate increases and COVID-19 rates decrease, the question on everyone’s mind is “When will things go back to normal?” Secondarily, a majority of people follow that question with “Why am I so nervous about returning to normal?”
I recently had a Zoom call with a patient who leaves deliveries on her porch for a week and then disinfects the packages before opening them. Another patient shared how upon returning home she removes all her clothes in the garage, sprays her body with rubbing alcohol, and immediately showers.
Founded in 1979, ADAA is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention, treatment, and cure of anxiety, depression, OCD, PTSD, and co-occurring disorders through aligning research, practice and education.