It’s no secret that teens have been hit hard by the Country’s prolonged shutdown.

Just as their biology is pulling them out into the world, a virus has shut them in.

To my surprise, giggles met me as I came into the living room from my home office a few weeks ago. Hearing my middle school daughters laugh during online classes is rare, and it made me immediately curious. Then I realized the giggles weren’t because of class. They were on a 10-minute break and tuned in to one of the many, many, humorous videos produced by their favorite K-pop boyband, BTS — a worldwide sensation, in case you haven’t heard.

They might’ve been watching the band’s handsome young men dressed in funny costumes while performing one of their awesomely crisp dances, or perhaps seeing these same artistic athletes eagerly slurping ramen, or just being the captivating young men that they are (yes, I’m a bit of a fan too). Almost no matter what the band members are doing, it is an emotional salve for my daughters, and they laugh like crazy with each clip. Sometimes my cheeks ache from smiling too hard as I watch my girls watching those charismatic boys.

My older daughter, who is normally easygoing and affable, came to me a few months ago and said she thought she might be getting depressed. I took her seriously. As a mental health professional, I knew I would first support her in several lifestyle changes, and then if she continued to feel internally shaky, I’d find her a therapist.  Keep Reading on