Since the pandemic began and turned our lives upside down a year ago, I have felt frustrated that I couldn’t continue helping families – at least not in person. Shaken by events and uncertain about what I could say that might be helpful, I also stopped blogging.
I’m ready to jump back in and focus on what’s important to you. I’m seeing families face-to-face (vaccinated and with strong Covid protocols in place), am doing Zoom and phone consultations, and am now offering therapy as an additional service for the first time in years. Because people need it.
The pandemic has resulted in a 40% increase in people reporting symptoms of anxiety and depression. Almost everyone is feeling isolated and lonely. We’re seeing higher rates of sleep disorder, eating disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and suicide. People are adopting unhealthy behaviors in an attempt to deal with stress (drinking, drugs, over-eating, binge watching t.v. and videogaming).
Parents struggle with juggling work and their children’s educations in the same physical space, all with the overlay of anxiety and fear that someone they love may get sick. Children are trying to learn via Zoom without the benefit of teachers to guide them, interactions with peers, and the outlets provided by art, dance, p.e., music, and recess. Eighty-six percent of parents report negative changes in their children’s emotions and behaviors during the pandemic. Difficulty concentrating was reported for 77% of children, boredom for 52%, irritability for 39%, loneliness for 31%, and worrying for 30%. And now that parents can observe their children’s learning at home on a day-to-day basis, many are becoming more aware of the struggles their children have. Meanwhile, students may be falling behind in learning with the vagaries of quickly cobbled together online classes and on-again, off-again in-person schooling.
Even those children (and adults) who are not demonstrating overt symptoms could be at risk for future problems. Studies have found that social isolation and loneliness are predictive of future mental health problems, increasing the risk of depression up to nine years later. Duration rather than intensity of loneliness is more strongly associated with mental health symptoms. And it doesn’t appear this pandemic will be over any time soon.
On top of the impact of the pandemic, twice exceptional and gifted individuals are prone to experiencing mental health challenges as a consequence of their exceptionalities. Over-sensitivity, intensity, feeling misunderstood, perfectionism, high expectations for achievement, imposter syndrome, feeling socially alone, and existential depression can be expressed differently in this population.
The needs are real. I’m back, and I want to help.
For comprehensive neuropsych assessment: https://drdevon.com/services/psychoeducational-assessment/
For gifted and achievement assessment: https://drdevon.com/services/gifted-assessment/
For consultation: https://drdevon.com/services/consultation/
And for therapy services click here. https://drdevon.com/services/therapy/