Recent data from the National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) Foundation has given us new insights into the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on youth mental health. When compared to data from 2019, the proportion of pediatric emergency department visits doubled among adolescent females with eating disorders and tripled for adolescent females with tic disorders. These findings suggest that eating disorders can be triggered by pandemic-related risk factors including lack of structure in one’s daily routine, ongoing emotional distress and changes in food availability.
In regards to increased cases of youth with tics, these have been posited to be due to stress of the pandemic as well as exposure to severe tics highlighted on social media platforms that have gained visibility over the course of the pandemic. It is also noteworthy that during January 2022, increases in anxiety, trauma and stress-related issues were also recorded.