New poll shows uptick in teens with anxiety, depression and aggression since pandemic

The Richland Library shares tips from one doctor to help parents talk to teens about their feelings on COVID

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Columbia, SC (WOLO) — After more than a year of living in the midst of a new ‘normal’ there have been a lot of things that have changed, including places you’ve been able to go, events you’ve been able to enjoy and you may have even noticed a change in some of the people you know.

While South Carolina health officials say vaccine distribution appears to be going well, indicating there a slight light at the end of what some say has been a dark year, experts say there is still a little ways to go before we start to get anywhere close to what things were like pre pandemic.

According to experts, this pandemic has been hard for most, but especially teenagers when you figure that the amount of time they’ve had to deal with coronavirus, and the changes that have come with it represents a huge portion of their lives.

Officials say depending on their age, the pandemic has lasted between 5% to 7% percent of their lifetime. A time that health officials say is a formative time for them to socialize and trying new things, which has been halted because of the pandemic.  According to a recent national poll their has been a sizable spike the amount of teenagers who are exhibiting signs of anxiety, depression, and aggression since the start of the pandemic.

Health experts say if your child is showing these symptoms it may be time to talk with them about how they are feeling. Below are some of the suggestions offered by Dr. Jennifer Allen at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to help parents when they are ready begin talking to their young adults.


  1. Acknowledge and validate their feelings
  2. Practice transparency
  3. Ask about their friends
  4. Ease their guilt
  5. Give teens control
  6. Provide facts in the face of uncertainty
  7. Give teens privacy
  8. Note changes in behavior or mood
  9. Take time to clear your mind

The Richalnd Library also shares more places you can find ideas on how to help teenagers work through some of their mental health. Both the Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA) and The South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control (SCDHEC) have resources for managing mental and emotional health during COVID-19.


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