Teenagers are “exhausted, psychologically very tired and have a strong sense of precariousness”. And the discomfort, through symptoms of anxiety and depression, worsened in the second phase of the pandemic: the post-traumatic stress disorder, linked to the March lockdown, “has turned into a maladjustment disorder with more stable and more lasting symptoms. , which is also causing physical symptoms, such as somatization, important concentration problems. With consequences on the school level. And in the medium and long term “. The picture is drawn by Adelia Lucattini, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst of the Italian Psychoanalytic Society (Spi) during the online meeting “The Covid impact on adolescents psychological implications and clinical experience”, promoted by Boiron during which the impact of the pandemic on young people and the opportunities offered by integrated medicine.
“Post traumatic stress disorder – explained Lucattini – is benign, it can heal spontaneously in 6 months. Now, however, we observe ‘stabilized’ disorders. Anxiety is rather stable, depressive disorders are stable and it is frequent, transversely. among children and adolescents, insomnia or very early awakenings that interfere with the general functioning of children. We can see the psychological fatigue, the difficulty of supporting the idea that we are in a pandemic situation destined to last for months. The disorders have become more intense. And this affected us clinicians because, even if we expected an increase, we did not expect the intensity of the symptoms we see “.
The expert explained that “the impact of the pandemic on adolescents is strong and important”. And it has been since the beginning. But now there is an evolution. “It has been changing and intensifying in this second phase, with the resumption of the pandemic and with the new restrictions already present in many Regions. At the beginning we observed post-traumatic stress disorders, or rather anxious reactions as strong as insomnia, linked a little. at the lockdown, but above all at the outbreak of a pandemic, an event of which there is no previous memory and which traumatized the teenagers. But, then, the boys also recovered quickly thanks to a quiet summer. But the second phase there caught completely unprepared, “added Lucattini.
On the first phase, there are already data confirming the difficulties experienced by the boys. The very large study by the Higher Institute of Health, carried out together with the University of Campania Vanvitelli, “found an increase in anxiety and depressive disorders by 14%”, recalled the psychoanalyst. Subsequently, the ISS, together with the national register of twins, carried out a second study with twins with an average age of 9 years and, also in this case, “anxious depressive disorders were around 13-14%”. But this is all about the first stage. “We are awaiting results on the second phase which, from the very first reports, highlight increasing data on adolescent distress, especially for anxious-depressive disorders”.