First modification: 07/08/2021 – 21:28
The effects of social restrictions and the pandemic on children and adolescents have remained off the radar despite being the most vulnerable population. Child and adolescent psychiatrist, psychoanalyst at the Cochin hospital in Paris and author of an extensive bibliography, Marie-Rose Moro warns about the long-term consequences of the health crisis in the youngest.
“We have been slow to recognize the effects of the pandemic on children and adolescents. Now we know that they are very important ”, explains psychiatrist Marie Rose Moro, who has continued with her consultations without pause throughout the health crisis.
Children and adolescents are the main victims due to their vulnerability, not due to deaths or infections, but because they have been isolated. “We have between 20% and 30% increases in consultation orders,” he adds. Figures that are verified globally. His daily life has been profoundly altered and his environment has been weakened. The lack of social interactions, the confinement, the illness of relatives, the grief and the economic difficulties leave traces.
The discomfort of the little ones can be detected from the earliest age: “From 0 to 3 years old, babies suffer a lot from the pandemic. During pregnancy, delivery and ‘the first 1000 days’ mothers are without help, they have suffered from a lot of postpartum depression all over the world. Their little ones have had many disorders, depression, anxiety ”.
The child psychiatrist, who has published more than a dozen books, highlights two emblematic cases of what the pandemic can cause. Describes the case of a 10-year-old girl who developed an acute fear of the outside. “He began to have a lot of pains throughout his body and phobic disorders,” he says. Was the response of the little girl to the restrictions and confinement: “He did not want to go out or for his parents to go out.”
The youngest do not always know how to tell their discomfort: “The children expressed their grief with their bodies.”
But those who have suffered the most from the pandemic are adolescents “with phobic disorders, depression and the desire to die.”
An emblematic case is that of a 16-year-old boy whose grandfather “died in the Covid-19 hospital. Since she couldn’t go out, see her friends, or play sports, she began to wonder what to live for. He no longer wanted to eat or listen to music. I had lost the taste of the relationship with the outside world ”.
This situation will allow the new generation to be resilient, have strength and be inventive.
With psychological monitoring, the young man has started to climb the hill. “It is important that the children go out and interact again” respecting the biosecurity measures since we have “to be careful with a post-pandemic” in which the children would prefer to stay locked up and absorbed.
Faced with this hopeless picture, Marie-Rose Moro believes in the resilience of minors: “I don’t think it’s a lost generation. This situation will allow the new generation to be resilient, have strength and be inventive. But we adults have to help them ”.
Marie-Rose Moro has just published ’50 questions about babies, children, adolescents. How to be a father here and in the world ‘.