New study: Significant increase in mental distress among adolescents during coronary heart disease

A new study by Maccabi Health Services and the KI Institute examined diagnoses and use of psychiatric medications among adolescents in Israel during the corona epidemic and compared it to the period before the outbreak. The findings showed a significant increase in mental health diagnoses and consumption of different types of psychiatric medications during the corona period compared to the period before. Among other things, there was a 55% increase in diagnoses of eating disorders, a 38% increase in diagnoses of depression and a 33% increase in diagnoses of anxiety. An increase of 28% in the administration of antipsychotic drugs to adolescents was also observed.

The study also found that most of the increase in diagnoses was seen among adolescent girls: a 68% increase in the diagnosis of depression, a 67% increase in the diagnosis of eating disorders, a 42% increase in the diagnosis of anxiety and a 29% increase in diagnoses related to stress during the corona period. The study analyzed data from over 200,000 medical records of teens ages 12-17.

‘This study did not examine all psychiatric diagnoses and does not include the private and ambulatory mental health system. Therefore, phenomena that have not been measured here can be ruled out and require appropriate observation and treatment, “explains Dr. Shira Greenfeld, director of the Medical Informatics department at Maccabi.

D"R. Gilad Bodenheimer Head of Mental Health at Maccabi Health Services: "The alarming findings again point to the need for national preparedness not only against the epidemic, but also against its psychological effects. The findings emphasize the need for budgeting of a national program with dedicated budgets for the benefit of dealing with and responding to the mental state of children and youth in Israel. The program should focus on preventive care, and integrating the arms of education, welfare, and of course health in the care of youth and their families in the community".

Dr. Pini Akiva, Director General of the KAI Institute: “The study we conducted emphasizes the need to include the issue of the mental health of the youth in the country as part of the discussion dealing with the corona crisis, and can help various factors focus on assistance in groups with particularly high vulnerability.” .

Illustration. Credit: pixabay

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