Five Year-Olds Are Suffering Panic Attacks About Meeting Friends After More Than a Year of Lockdowns

It’s not just adults who have been affected by the Covid campaign of fear. Children as young as five are now having panic attacks over meeting their friends following more than a year of lockdowns, according to the Telegraph.

Experts said young children had become increasingly anxious, with some fearful of leaving their homes, amid an explosion in “locked-in trauma” across the country.

Waits of up to four years for help on the NHS have forced a growing number of families to seek help from private psychologists – only to find that they are oversubscribed and unable to take on more patients, a Telegraph investigation reveals.

Leading private therapists said they are taking twice the normal level of calls from worried parents, forcing them to turn away patients, or open waiting lists for the first time in their careers.

Experts said many children were suffering behavioural problems fuelled by lockdowns, social distancing and fear of infection, with many now anxious about everyday social activities…

Dame Rachel De Souza, Children’s Commissioner for England, said a survey of more than 550,000 children – the largest such poll in history – will show mental health to be the greatest concern of this generation of children.

She said her visits across the country, as part of a forthcoming commission, had found children suffering “locked-in trauma” and struggling to adjust to changes to their lives since the pandemic…

Dame Rachel told [a meeting run by the NHS Confederation]: “I’ve been around the country and seen those sad little faces… putting their arms around their friends as they tell me about having their trauma from losing a grandparent, not being able to go to a funeral. Coming out of lockdown and not knowing how to make friends anymore, not knowing how to talk to anyone else,” she said…

During the 12 months since the first lockdown, 420,504 children and young people have received NHS treatment for mental health problems, an 11% rise in two years.

But experts say this is just a tiny proportion of those who need help.

Child Psychologist Maryhan Baker has seen demand for her services double in recent months, with average waiting times jumping from two weeks to nearly four months.

“I’m working longer hours and more evenings to fit more people in but the demand is beyond my own individual capability,” she said.

She said many parents who approached her for help had been warned by GPs “not to bother” waiting for an NHS appointment.

“It’s going to get worse before it gets better. There are a lot of children who were maybe just a bit anxious before the pandemic presenting now with compulsions, eating disorders, self-harm and other control behaviours,” she said.

Worth reading in full.

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