Lockdowns are taking a toll on young people’s mental health. Everyone should be alarmed.

The data are stark on this point. Among those aged 18 to 29, 42 percent reported symptoms of anxiety and 36 percent had symptoms of depression. Those numbers decline with each successive age cohort, reaching their low points among respondents 80 years old or older. Only 11 percent of the most elderly had anxiety symptoms, and only 9 percent presented as depressed.

A recent study from the Census Bureau shows that about half of Americans reported symptoms of depression in early May, double that from a similar study in 2013-2014. In one sense, that’s unsurprising; nearly 100,000 people have died of covid-19, and more than 30 million have lost their jobs. What might be surprising, however, is that symptoms of psychological distress are directly correlated with age. The younger the person, the likelier he or she is to experience mental health issues. Read On