DAK: “Dramatic development” – Corona policy makes children and young people mentally ill

It is theoretically possible that… It cannot be completely ruled out that… Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) resorts to such auxiliary constructions if he wants to create headlines with “absolutely lethal variants” on the one hand, but on the other page. the other side wants to present itself as an expert following the fear campaign wishes, which only pointed to possibilities.

Neither theoretically possible nor completely excluded, but crystal clear reality, verifiable empirical evidence are DAK-Gesundheit’s figures. As every year, the health insurance company has assessed data from its young insured and produced a children and young people’s report. The current one focuses on the effects of the pandemic and the numbers are devastating, the appeal of the DAK chief is urgent.

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“The Covid 19 pandemic, which has lasted for more than 30 months, has a potentially large direct and indirect impact on the health and healthcare of children and young people in Germany,” writes DAK diplomatically. The “measures that accompanied the pandemic” gave rise to “various challenges”: “physical, psychological, social and economic to grow up healthy”. The statutory health insurance could never write that the pandemic policy has made many children and young people mentally ill. But their numbers make it clear.

DAK CEO Andreas Storm is also as clear as an official in a statutory fund can publicly allow: “Open schools are important in the next Corona winter. And also maintenance of everyday structures that provide support, such as sports clubs and facilities for open child and youth work.” Children need a safe space to develop independently and healthily. The now verifiable data showed a “dramatic development”. In addition, the affected children and young people need immediate programs and offers of help.

On the one hand, children and young people went to the doctor less often in 2021 – with masks being mandatory and G2 rules. The decrease is 5 percent. But at the same time, the numbers in the area of ​​mental disorders have exploded, DAK reports:

  • 15 percent more morbid obesity in boys between 15 and 17 years of age.
  • 23 percent more newly diagnosed depression in girls aged 10 to 14.
  • 24 percent more newly diagnosed anxiety disorders in girls aged 15 to 17.
  • and 54 percent more newly diagnosed eating disorders among girls aged 15 to 17.

Especially young people between the ages of 15 and 17, who follow the news more than younger people, are more susceptible to anxiety disorders, as DAK reports.

“Incidence of this disease” has increased by 24 percent. The numbers had already increased in this age group the year before. Anxiety disorders had decreased among younger people in 2021. But eating disorders also increased among them – by 33 percent.

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The children and young people not only went to the doctor less often during the pandemic year. They were also prescribed fewer medications. According to DAK, the number of prescriptions for reserve antibiotics has plummeted: by 51 percent compared to 2019, the last year before Corona. While the number of prescribed medicines overall has fallen significantly, it has increased within medicines that work against mental illnesses.

The Children and Youth Report 2022 is based on data from around 800,000 children and young people up to the age of 17. This corresponds to almost 6 percent of all children and young people registered in Germany. The cash register has evaluated the period from 2018 to 2021 inclusive.


Should you feel you need help, remember to contact the telephone advice service. Call free on 0800-1110111 or 0800-1110222 to get help from advisers who can offer help with the next steps. There are also offers of help from the German Depression Aid Foundation and the German Society for Suicide Prevention. There is also a forum on the internet – for example at the German Depression Relief Fund – where those affected can exchange information.

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