Young adults feeling trapped by quarantine, mental health experts weigh in


MCALLEN, Texas- Coronavirus has impacted many people in different ways, unemployment, cancelling major events, quarantine and even mental health.

Several young adults are having to deal with the sudden changes COVID-19 has brought.

“It’s like living the same day every day, waking up same time, seeing the same people, make the same meals, breakfast, lunch, dinner and then repeat,” said Tessie Ledesma, a Mercedes native who lives with her twin brothers, all under the age of 24.

“This is crazy, surrounding ourselves with each other, all day every day makes you want to pull your hair out sometimes,” said Ledesma.

More than 150 of the COVID-19 cases in the Rio Grande Valley are young adults under the age of 35.

The first case in the RGV was a 21-year-old man from Rancho Viejo.

Mental health experts say for many young adults, this is the first time they have experienced such a quarantine and or pandemic.

“It’s normal and natural for a person to feel sad, anxious or a little bit afraid,” said James Whittenburg, a licensed professional counselor.

Whittenburg is counseling online and recommends staying in contact with someone even if it’s not physical, as it will calm anxiety.

“Try to connect with friends or loved ones, telephone, video conferencing,” said Whittenburg, “Don’t hesitate to reach out for help. There are many mental health professionals that are available through telemedicine.”

If you are getting anxious and depressed from being cooped up inside and start to feel physically ill, there are things you can do to control it.

“One of the things I recommend is deep breathing and that can make one lightheaded so to do deep breathing and concentrate on their surroundings,” said Whittenburg.

Several local programs like UTRGV are offering free online counseling for students.

For more information on that, visit:

The Texas Health and Human Services also have a 24/7 hotline for anyone experiencing difficulties during this pandemic.

That number is 833-986-1919 and is answered seven days a week.

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