COVID-19 stress is hitting youth much harder than people over 60, new research shows
2020-09-18 from thestar.com
Young people are reporting higher levels of stress and anxiety due to the COVID-19 pandemic compared to those over age 60 despite their significantly lower risk of dying from the virus itself, a new study has revealed.
Levels of generalized anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder are proving to be the highest and more prevalent among those under 25, while those over age 60 reported the lowest levels for both disorders.
These numbers are revealed in new research published in early September by Dr. Izunwanne Nwachuchwu from the University of Calgary, alongside researchers from the University of Alberta and Alberta Health Services. The study shows that 96 per cent of people under age 25 said they’ve experienced moderate or high levels of stress as a result of the pandemic, compared to 68 per cent of people over the age of 60.
The study also revealed that 65 per cent of people under age 25 said they likely have generalized anxiety disorder, while only 23 per cent of people over age 60 said the same thing.
The findings, which were compiled through an online survey of 8,200 people in Alberta from varying age groups who are subscribers to the province’s Text4Hope program — a free mental health text support line — are worrying but not surprising to youth counsellors, who say younger people were already struggling with heightened levels of anxiety even before the pandemic.
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