Covid, Tuscan psychologists: in two years an increase in requests for children and young people

Florence, 10 May 2022 – Pandemic generated one increased requests of patients for 69% of Tuscan psychologists, compared to before the Covid era. It is reported by one report prepared by the same Regional ordertaking into account the inclusive period between March 2020 and February 2022. To suffer most from a widespread state of malaise was especially the band of teenagers, while the most recurrent disorders are called anxiety and depression, closely followed by relational problems.

“A sadly mixed picture – comments the President Marie Antoinette Gulino – which gives us a detailed photograph of the mental health of the Tuscans during these two years with Covid. Forced isolation and the restrictions have in some cases accentuated pre-existing problems, conflicts and unknowns, while in others they have triggered new fears and forms of unrest ”.

The study is the result of one examination to which 1099 psychologists and psychologists enrolled in the Order of Tuscany responded and which regularly conducts clinical activities in all the provinces of the territory. The figures he tells are alarming, not only for the exponential increase in requests, but also for their heterogeneity in terms of age and various denials of the accused malaise.

In more detail, 36% of the interviewed psychologists stated that the increase in questions from patients was contained up to + 20%, while 33% of the professionals reported an increase even higher than this threshold.

The pandemic has also negatively affected existing psychological problems, sharpen them and extend them. Among the various problems encountered, 56.3% of psychologists reported anxiety symptoms, 17.38% depressive symptoms and 14% relationship problems. Subsequently, about 5% report social or school phobias and about 3% report situations of eating disorders. In the scale of major concerns reported stand out there fear of the future, indicated by 40% of psychologists, the fear of being abandoned and of loneliness detected by 26.9%, fear of illness and death from 15.2%, fear of relationships outside the family from 8.8%, fear for their own family members from 6.6% and fear of losing Occupation from 2.1 per cent. Another open front waking up worry is it related to how Covid has affected children’s quality of life. For children, in fact, 67.5% of psychologists say yes consumes of children note an increase in requests for care over the prepaid period. The most common problems are anxiety, relationship problems, depressive symptoms, social phobias and eating disorders.

The band there However in Tuscany it suffered more the negative impact of the pandemic is on young people, which marks an increase in queries for even 81% of professionals championships. Anxiety symptoms, relationship problems, depressive symptoms, self-harm and eating disorders are the problems that are on the table, far from easy to unravel. regarding older, the average increase in requests is witnessed by 34% of psychologists, with values ​​varying from province to province. In this case, the most recurring situations have been identified in depressive symptoms, anxiety disorders, relationship problems, sleep disorders and social phobias.

In the light of the report is 90% of psychologists believe that the pandemic has increased, ie relational conflicts, aggravation of pre-existing situations and the promotion of a sharp increase in separations and divorces, reported by at least 40% of the professionals who completed the questionnaire. The strong change that the virus has also triggered in relation to work rhythms has not only introduced and strengthened new ways of approaching work, such as smartworking, but 49% of psychologists reported that I their patients experienced having to take on one new profession.

The study also reveals how the psychological turmoil caused by the pandemic is also increased risk behavior, as 60% of psychologists testify. The call to drugs and gambling as well as alcohol and smoking are proving to be dangerously rising. In the northwestern part of Tuscany, the highest percentage of psychologists is observed who have stated that they have witnessed an increase in risk behavior.
The most significant increases were reported by professionals working in the provinces of the Tuscan coast, with Lucca (70% of psychologists), Livorno (69% of psychologists) and Pisa (63% of psychologists).
Finally, restaurants, cinemas and museums represent the places that patients have had the most difficult to attend (according to 34.5% of the sample).

“The greatest degree of social isolation – he concludes Gulino – was registered in the interval between 13 and 35 years. The report clearly shows that it was first and foremost the young people who suffered the greatest psychological backlash. The long and careful study now allows us to prepare more focused and common solutions to restore the level of well-being that has been lost with the pandemic. A mission that the Order intends to undertake with all its might ‘.

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