By Jean Eljay, PhD, MS, CMT, CHt, NLPc, AdvCH, CHt
The Dilemma: Overtime, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, accumulating data suggest that the population of children, teenagers and young adults is facing a crisis in increasing mental health issues and amplified suicidal ideation.
These adverse outcomes are a parent’s worst nightmare. In the population of children, teenagers and young adults, the feelings of fragility and uncertainty are widespread. Recent published articles confirm that the pandemic is dramatically increasing these severe and critical concerns. The major indicators of this increase in harmful behaviors stem from the feelings of fear, frustration, anger, sadness, and loneliness (see inset). In the young, these feelings are currently escalating into serious mental health issues of anxiety, pressure, tension, stress, depression, “too much” behaviors (eating disorders), addictions, poor acclimation, and other harmful habits.
This trend is dramatically underscored by easily recognizable changes in behavior. These warning signs include but are not limited to increasing distress and an escalating lack of energy usually manifest by increasing social isolation. In this population, these negative behaviors are a major warning sign of decreasing resilience and increasing risk.
The Herald: Warning signs, especially in the child, teenager, and young adult population, are critical to starting positive intervention. When the computer’s antiviral program picks up and sends alerts of malicious code, e.g., viruses, worms, Trojan sequences, it is an early warning signal. Not much damage has occurred. However, overtime the malicious code replicates within the normal computer programs until the computer slows down with the strain of increasing changes in the program’s normal code.
Overtime, these accumulating errors cause dysfunction and eventually will cause functional disruption that results in complete computer failure. Warning signs are the best. They pave the way to corrective action; a call to arms so to speak. There are crushing statistics showing very alarming increases in depression, anxiety, and suicide in the child, teen, and young adult population. This breeding ground of harmful behavior and disillusionment is based in bias, discrimination, and shame.
His Truth: Warning signs require action before the signs become serious. Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy, MD, MBA, the Surgeon General of the United States in his advisory to the nation stated emphatically that “the future wellbeing of our country depends on how we support and invest in the next generation.” But what is the plan? The world has been destabilized with on-again/off-again starts and stops. Uncertainty in major organizations (the bedrock of this society) contributes to the impression that the population of children, teenagers, and young adults show dramatic signs of decreasing stamina and vanishing resilience.
Mandates have come and gone. The only certainty is the uncertainty. Apparently, solutions are scattered, valid information scarce and “new rules” unfocused and unenforced. Emphasizing the surgeon general’s crisis mode, the time to act is now.
That of course begs the question of how? Normalcy is redefined each day. The return to a previous normal will not happen. Moving forward, each day can be embraced as the start of the “new” normal. The pre-pandemic world has been altered and a fresh start begun.
Simple and Straightforward Solutions: The road to bringing back safety into these challenging times is paramount to reversing negativity and fostering a “new” stable outlook. The response of the world to this onslaught of a viral particle is heartening with infinite positives. It is time to instill and reinforce the wonder of these positives in the young. While the world is disrupted, safety and stability are the keys to the future.
Foster safety and stability in our population of children, teenagers, and young people by contacting Dr. Jean with your questions and comments at 484.574.1144 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. See more at hypnobiosis.com