Mental health therapist: COVID fatigue is real and impacts children

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After more than two years of social distancing, many people are feeling the effects of “COVID fatigue” — and a restless desire to get back to a normal life.

COVID fatigue impacts people of all ages, including children who don’t always realize or can’t explain what is troubling them.

Central Oregon Daily news spoke with a local therapist who helps children and adolescents deal with the mental health impacts of the COVID pandemic.

“Fatigue is hitting all of us. This is what, year three? It’s a wearing down of all of us but children especially,” said Bill Moss, owner of Bill Moss Counseling Service, LLC. “The structure of school has been interrupted. They’ve done WebX at home for a while. Those that have returned back to school still have to wear their masks and practice social distancing.”

A mental health therapist with more than 40 years of experience, Bill Moss of Bend specializes in treating children and adolescents.

“They are still adapting, so that’s a big part of it, trying to encourage flexibility and looking at how they adapt and how their parents are suggesting and taught them to adapt.”

Moss examines his clients’ sleep patterns, diet and exercise.

Those three essentials of healthy living are often impacted by children’s anxiety about when they can get back to their old routines.

“I talk to a lot of children, adolescents and adults about compartmentalizing, so it doesn’t become this tsunami of fear,” he said. “I try to help them understand; how to redirect their thoughts, their fears, negative information and replace with something that’s more positive and authentic.”

Moss encourages his clients to utilize support networks available to them such as their parents, friends and teachers.

Moss provides authentic health information from the CDC and Oregon Health Authority to his clients and their families, if they don’t already have it.

“I think it’s helped to differentiate with this omicron variant being so transmissible and contagious. It’s important to acknowledge that, but also important to acknowledge that it moves through a lot quicker in those that have been vaccinated or boosted; that the effect isn’t going to be as great as it was when the first four variants came through,” he said

Moss encourages his clients to trust their gut instincts about issues that are troubling them, including anxiety about the COVID pandemic.

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