The third lockdown and the negative impact associated with it has had a "phenomenal" effect on young people, according to a psychotherapist.
Dr Colman Noctor, a child and adolescent psychotherapist and assistant professor at UCD, said this lockdown is "the worst one yet" for children and teenagers.
The lack of interaction with friends, school, activities or sport is having an adverse effect on people's wellbeing and mental health, he said.
Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast with Susan Keogh, he explained that the "cyclical" nature of the three lockdowns has had an "accumulative effect" on young people.
"Everything that they would have in terms of mental wellbeing, the connections of their friends, routines, structure, a lot of that has been limited for them," he said.
"Out of Christmas, the issue was they had the expectation to back in school as normal, that was abruptly ruptured."
"There's a crankiness seeping in," he added, with the idea that "we're all in this together" slipping.
Dr Noctor continued: "COVID-19 is one thing, but it's the consequences of the lockdown that we need to worry about most from the point of view of its impact on children's wellbeing, development, mood, anxiety etc.
"This seems to be the worst one yet, from the point of my own clinical experience of working with young people over the last month it has been phenomenal how young people have been affected by this, and families.
Dr Noctor added that the closure of schools has had the impact of "the whole system being fragmented", with life now really stressful for parents.
"I do believe the school closures are massive in the impact they've had on children and families, it's a different ball game when that's off," he stated.
On the same programme, Ian Power, Executive Director with SpunOut.ie, said he has noticed the intensity of conversations with young people in recent weeks increase.
It comes as the Taoiseach confirmed that level five restrictions will continue until at least March 5th.
"It's now back to same levels of the middle of 2020, back to June levels, and conversations are lasting longer, people don't seem to have access to the usual support networks, whether that's friends or family or mental health services," Mr Power explained.
He observed that those particularly impacted by the disruption of the pandemic are college and Leaving Cert students who are reporting "huge amounts of anxiety".
For anyone going through a tough time right now, check out https://t.co/NPXBPbQPbd for a list of services and resources.
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Ian and his team have been encouraging young people to adopt some coping mechanisms to get through this difficult time.
This can be calling friends, going for a walk, listening to music, watching a TV series or a film, or reading a book.
He urged people to avoid "doom scrolling" on social media and to instead focus on connecting with others, eating healthily and exercising to keep their moods up.
You can find a range of organisations who offer a variety of support services via the SpunOut.ie website.