Anxiety did not just affect the older adult population during the pandemic, as a recent study showed how the number of young people who suffered from anxiety nearly doubled during the first COVID-19 lockdown.
A study titled, "Mental health before and during COVID-19 in two longitudinal UK population cohorts" published in the British Journal of Psychiatry revealed that the number of young people who experienced anxiety doubled. From just 13 percent, the figures rose to 24 percent during the initial lockdowns.
Researchers from the University of Bristol made use of the Bristol's Children of the 90s questionnaire data, which showed that young people between 27 to 29 years old reportedly had higher anxiety levels during the early stage of the pandemic. Surprisingly, the number was said to be higher than the anxiety levels of their parents.
Normal levels did not return quickly as anxiety remained high even when the restrictions were eased in June. In a news release, the researchers explained that the results of their study could indicate a worse case for individuals who have a history of mental health problems, for women, and also for those who had to deal with pre-pandemic financial problems. There was no evidence, however, that would indicate that depression was higher on the overall, but specific groups of individuals were more prone to suffer higher levels of anxiety during the pandemic.
Aside from the three groups who had a higher risk of depression, the researchers also mentioned those who already had pre-existing mental health conditions, those who were living alone during the pandemic, and those who were self-isolating. They noted that they found no evidence of an elevated risk of anxiety among healthcare workers. The same was similarly observed in a group of more than 4,000 Scottish individuals, which implies that the effects may not only be specific to those in the South-West.
Dr Alex Kwong, co-lead researcher, noted that the data they derived revealed that there is a worrying rise in the anxiety levels of young people. He said it would look like it is due to the pandemic itself and also possibly because of the society and economic fallout of the lockdown. He also said that their evidence would suggest that it isn't only a short-term issue and that mental health interventions and support may be required to address these emerging issues.