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Cyprus

Coronavirus: Half of children and teens showing signs of ‘lockdown loneliness’

ΥΠ.ΠΑΙΔΕΙΑΣ ΔΗΜΟΤΙΚΟ ΣΧΟΛΕΙΟ ΑΓΙΟΥ ΣΠΥΡΙΔΩΝΑ

More than half of children and teenagers in Europe show signs of social dysfunction due to lockdown measures, while 10 per cent are severely depressed, according to a study carried out by the department of psychology and social sciences at Frederick University.

In an online conference presenting the results of the study, speakers from the department of Psychology and Social Sciences at Frederick, the Democritus University of Thrace, the Hellenic Mediterranean University and the University of Patras said that minors and young people in Cyprus and the rest of Europe were experiencing feelings of fear, stress, anger and sadness.

“Measures of social and physical distancing are positively associated with psychological disorders in both children and their parents, mainly with stress disorders that significantly affect their well-being,” said Dr Loukia Dimitriou, Associate Professor and chair of the department of psychology and social sciences at Frederick, citing international literature.

“Concerning symptoms of depression, post traumatic stress and anxiety” with increased tendency for the development of feelings of isolation were present in the 16-24 age group, referred to by some scientists as “lockdown loneliness”, Dimitriou added.

Studies showed that 10 per cent of children and teenagers experience severe depression while 55 per cent experience social dysfunction.

“To overcome the intense feelings of loneliness many teenagers used to and still spend many hours on social media,” she added.

Speakers concluded to the urgent need to focus on the mental health of people during the pandemic, especially children and adolescents through preventive programmes and services aim to support and empower them.

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