Report Analyzes Harmful Effects of COVID Lockdowns on Teenage Girls: ‘What Have We Done to Our Children?’
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Suzy Weiss, a former reporter for the New York Post, examined the devastating effect of COVID-19 lockdowns on the mental health of young teenage girls in an article titled “Teenage Girls Won’t Forget.”
Weiss wrote that every teenage girl she spoke to “felt like she was sinking or being swallowed up.” In an article published in her sister Bari Weiss’s “Common Sense” Substack, Weiss spoke to several teenagers who spent more than a year in isolation because schools were closed due to the pandemic.
“It’s like a sci-fi show where people fell asleep and woke up two years later, and the world moved on, but they didn’t,” clinical psychologist Regine Galanti told Weiss.
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Lily May Holland, 16, said when she returned to school she felt “out of place”.
“I would have gone to parties, and my friends and I were planning on going to concerts and reunions,” Lily told Weiss. “I had a crush on the freshman year. But it all fell away.”
Weiss said the “tangibility” of the school, like “the sweaty locker rooms, the polyester ballgowns, the cold metal of a first-place trophy, the puff of a contraband cigarette,” completely faded away.
TEENAGE SUICIDE ATTEMPTS INCREASED DURING COVID-19 LOCKDOWNS: CDC
Holland’s mother, Eliza, a pediatrician who works with girls suffering from suicidal thoughts, drugs and eating disorders, said “all their freedom and autonomy” was gone after the lockdowns were put in place.
The number of girls aged 12 to 17 taken to the emergency room after a suicide attempt increased by 51% between 2019 and 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a June 2021 report.
A 14-year-old said she started cutting herself and told Weiss that social media causes depression in a lot of girls. “I couldn’t sleep without feeling pain,” she said. A mother of a 16-year-old said her daughter ‘felt like she was rotting in her room’.
Adam, a father of two teenagers, one 15 and the other 17, said he felt his daughters “carried the weight of the world on them”. He said he realized how badly things were going for his children when he saw his eldest in his softball uniform “hanging over his body”.
“An irrational being has crept into my wonderful, cooperative, never-living, straight student daughter,” he said. Adam had to take his eldest to the hospital because “she looked like she was about to pass out”.
“I tell my wife all the time, ‘What have we done to our kids?'” Adam told Weiss.
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The CDC found that 44% of teens felt hopeless or constantly sad in the first few months of 2021 and 55% said they had experienced emotional abuse at home, according to a survey released April 1.
The negative effect of school closures on the mental health of young adults is a concern shared by Liberals and Conservatives.