The lockdowns, school closings and other coercive isolating measures have disturbed the children. The UK is already warning of the sharp increase in eating disorders among children. The corona measures are increasingly coming under criticism.
The number of children hospitalized with an eating disorder in the UK has, according to official figures, increased by almost 70% since the start of the “pandemic”. Psychiatrists warn that they are overwhelmed with the number of people seeking help. The newspaper The Telegraph reports about it.
Experts said repeated lockdowns and periods of isolation had “devastating” effects on children’s mental health, leading to sharp increases in anorexia and bulimia. They said this uncertainty has made many children feel like they have lost control of their lives – a factor that can contribute to eating disorders. The charities warned that the hospitalized patients were only the “tip of the iceberg” as the vast majority of people with eating disorders were not being hospitalized. Preliminary data from the NHS shows that 4,238 children under the age of 17 were hospitalized between April and October last year. That’s a 69 percent increase compared to the same months before the pandemic when there were only 2,508 admissions.
In the 2020/2021 financial year, there were 23,302 admissions for eating disorders in all age groups, an increase of 21 percent compared to the 2018/2019 financial year. The 2021/2022 financial year could set another sad record: According to the report, there were already 15,941 recordings across all age groups in the UK from April to October 2021.
Dr. Agnes Ayton, chair of the eating disorders department at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, told the newspaper:
“The hidden eating disorder epidemic has grown dramatically during the pandemic, and many community services are now overloaded and unable to handle the sheer number of people who need help. We have reached a point where we can no longer afford to carry on as we have before. “
Studies have long proven the negative effects of lockdown
It has been known for a long time that the compulsory corona measures are very stressful for children and adolescents. For example, a study by The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) showed that a large majority of children and adolescents experienced damage to their mental health during the so-called first wave of Covid-19. Greater stress from social isolation, including canceling important events and losing personal social contacts, was strongly linked to deterioration in mental health. The study, published on February 26, 2021 in the journal European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry has been published, offers in-depth insight into the effects of Covid-19 measures on the mental health of children and adolescents in Ontario, Canada.
From April to June 2020, the research team surveyed more than 1,000 parents of children and adolescents between the ages of two and 18 and almost 350 adolescents between the ages of 10 and 18. In six mental health areas – depression, anxiety, irritability, attention span, hyperactivity, and compulsions – 70.2 percent of school-age children (six to 18 years old) and 66.1 percent of preschool-age children (two to five years old) reported about deterioration in at least one area. A smaller proportion, 19.5 percent of school-age children and 31.5 percent of preschool-age children, reported an improvement in at least one area. “We found that compared to their pre-pandemic condition, the children were generally worse and sometimes better.”says Dr. Daphne Korczak, child and adolescent psychiatrist at SickKids and lead author of the study. “We also found that the mental health impact of the pandemic on school-age children was greater during the initial lockdown, underscoring the importance of classroom learning and after-school activities for children.”