Experts have uncovered alarming trends regarding anxiety and depression among young adults during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Young adults might not be quite as susceptible to the serious adverse medical effects of COVID-19, but they aren’t protected from the stress and anxiety of the pandemic.
The disruption caused by restrictions on social activities and businesses is hard on everyone, but research shows the effect on young adults is especially severe, mostly because they are often at the start of their careers or less established in their jobs.
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Recent reports have found 25% of people between ages 16 and 24 in the United States were unemployed in May 2020. Now the effect is being evaluated in a new study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
The study looked at nearly 5,000 people between the ages of 18 and 26 during the last two weeks of June. It found that 59% experienced the loss of employment because of the pandemic through themselves or someone in their household.
When they were asked about symptoms of anxiety or depression, 75% reported being nervous, 68% reported not being able to stop or control worrying, 67% had little interest in pleasure or doing things and 64% reported feeling down, depressed or hopeless.
Another study published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, though unrelated, showed how some of the effects are especially harmful.
That study found that an alarming 80% of young adults reported significant depressive symptoms, 80% reported drinking alcohol and 30% reported harmful levels of drinking. The study found 22% of participants reported using drugs, and one-third of those said the drug use was severe.