NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — After months of isolation, uncertainty and copious suffering, it’s no surprise the coronavirus has wreaked havoc on the mental health of so many Americans.
But one group is being particularly hit hard — young adults.
Before the pandemic hit last spring, Manhattan resident Giulia Nicita had felt anxiety, but she said it was nothing quite like what she’s experienced since.
“Feelings of helplessness and uncertainty for the future,” Nicita told CBS2’s Kiran Dhillon on Tuesday.
Suddenly, the 28-year-old said she found it hard to sleep, she didn’t have an appetite, and was often in tears.
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Nicita is now worried about her family back home in Italy, her dating life is on pause, and her new career in the arts is up in the air.
“I definitely was questioning whether I made the right career choice, whether in the long term this is something sustainable,” Nicita said.
But she’s not the only young person feeling anxious or depressed. According to a recent survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, young adults and millennials reported some of the highest rates of mental health conditions in June.
Manhattan psychologist Dr. Alexandra Stratyner said she has witnessed an increase in young adults seeking help during this crisis, including many who have never dealt with mental illness before.
“They’re at a pretty pivotal stage. They may be having families, looking to buy a home, you know, working on establishing career. And, of course, in the midst of the pandemic, that has been upended for many, many people,” Stratyner said.
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Stratyner said for so many millennials, a pandemic during such a transformative time is extra crippling, but she added there are many things all of us can do to alleviate tension, including sticking to a routine, eating healthy, exercising, and speaking to loved ones and friends.
Stratyner also said it’s important to seek out professional help when necessary.
If you’re worried about the cost, she said there are many professionals who are offering services on a sliding scale right now. There are also plenty of local and national of resources that are free for anyone in an emergency situation.
To combat her own anxiousness, Nicita is seeing counselor for the first time in her life, and she has taken up arts and crafts.
“My therapist said that doing something with your hands really helps bring you into the moment,” Nicita said.
She said she’s trying to adopt healthy coping mechanisms, especially if there’s a second wave.
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