Being a young adult (18-25) is an exciting, formative, and sometimes turbulent time. Older teens begin to break away from family and develop more relationships away from home. Early 20-somethings begin careers and lives all their own. But now, at a life stage already marked by change, young adults have had a pandemic dropped in their laps.
Imagine your prom or graduation ceremony cancelled. Your first semester of college over Zoom. Your internship eliminated. Moments of celebration gone, achievements unrecognized, milestones unmarked, expectations unmet, and conventional structures obliterated.
It’s no wonder so many young adults have felt their wings clipped, with as many as 4 in 10 struggling with depression and anxiety. You may see it in a young adult you know, along with low motivation, staying in bed, suffering grades or work, changes in eating habits, or increases in alcohol or drug use.
If there’s an issue, a simple “Are you OK? How can I help?” can open the dialogue, even if you have to ask more than once. Reintroducing structure and daily routine can also be very helpful (even simple things like showering and regular exercise), as well as them reaching out to friends to reclaim any lost connections.
Speaking of reaching out, consider exploring professional help if you’re not certain. The experts at Rosecrance recommend even a screening with a school counselor or primary care physician that can help identify issues and stressors that may warrant further treatment. And Rosecrance offers holistic treatments including outpatient care, in-school services, group therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy.
If a young adult you care about is experiencing any mental health or substance use issues as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, take a listen to series 5, episode 1 of the Rosecrance podcast “On Your Radar,” which covers how young adults have been affected by the loss of structure over the last two years.
Download “Young Adults: Finding Footing After the Loss of Structure,” series 5, episode 1, HERE.