HARLINGEN, Texas — Isolation can cause depression and anxiety among teenagers. As stay at home orders continue, suicide hotlines have seen a rise in calls across the U.S. relating to COVID-19, which is a growing concern for doctors.
Dr. Christopher Albert, Psychologist and Director at the UTRGV Counseling Center said the isolation created by the pandemic can cause mental health challenges for teens and young adults.
“When people socially isolate from others that can be a risk factor for depression, certain anxiety disorders and practically any other condition,” he said.
Dr. Albert said this could cause a rise in suicides among teens and young adults, but wants them to remember they are not facing these challenges alone.
“There’s a sense of community as well because we’re all in this together,” he said. “When you are at home you’re more likely to be with your family and you know that could be a good thing it can be a chance to connect with family.”
Dr. Albert also wants families to become aware of signs related to depression or suicidal thoughts like changes in their child’s behavior, but says family and friends should not wait for those signs to appear.
“If you suspect someone may be depressed or thinking about suicide just say ‘Hey I noticed you’re feeling down, I want you to know that I am here for you and I just have to ask have you been thinking of taking your life’,” said Dr. Albert.
Doctors recommend those dealing with depression or suicidal thoughts to talk to friends or family. They can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.