Rising Mental Health Issues Amid COVID-19
When faced with a tough situation or a tragedy in life, have you thought about how well you handled the condition? Or not? When adversity hits a person’s life, some may be ok and bounce back while others tend to stay there and not be able to go forward. COVID-19 pandemic is a time like that, where people realize how resilient they are. This is a trying situation where you might experience elevated levels of emotions like fear, anxiety, and stress.
When COVID-19 cases peaked nationwide, more than a third of Americans reported depression and anxiety, according to a new study by the National Institute of Mental Health. The pandemic affected people aged 18 to 29, with 24 percent of the 42,000 people surveyed reporting depression and 42 percent reporting anxiety. The second age group - the most affected - were people aged 30 to 39, while 34 percent suffered from anxiety, according to the study.
Correlation between economic downturn and mental health conditions among young people
According to a study published in mid-August by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, significant numbers of Americans reported experiencing mental symptoms during the pandemic, including anxiety, depression, anxiety disorder, drug use disorders, and suicidal thoughts. The economic recession resulting from the collapse of the global financial system and the US recession in 2008 affected many people's mental health and led to an increase in people already suffering from mental illness and substance abuse problems - consumption disorders.
Expecting mothers and newborn
1 in 5 women experience PPD (postpartum depression) and the number is already seeing an increase due to the pandemic. Expecting women or mothers to newborns show depressive symptoms due to isolation, lack of social support, or worried thinking about their young ones running a risk of coronavirus infection. PPD needs to be treated and it can be cured completely with the right treatment plan. There is no need for you to think that you are a bad mother. This is just a condition in your life that will pass by with the help of early intervention.
Work from home stress
It might be difficult for people to draw a line between work and personal activities while working from home completely. This could lead to an increase in stress levels, anxiety due to not being able to complete different tasks on time. Remote working means less interaction with peers, disconnection, or isolation from people can make you feel lonely.
Stress among healthcare professionals
Continuous exposure to life-threatening and traumatic situations can impact an individual’s mood and emotions. Many healthcare professionals who were in direct contact or were responsible for treating COVID 19 patients did experience symptoms like insomnia, anxiety, increased stress, unable to concentrate, and lack of appetite.
What can you do?
- Ensuring proper access to social support services, comprehensive treatment options, and harm reduction services.
- Break free from negativity - Social media is a known platform to circulate false information like wildfire. Trying to stay away from information or news that will disappoint or worry you, is one effective method to avoid depressive thoughts.
- Try the right ways to deal with your daily stress - Stress eating, consumption of alcohol or drugs, smoking, isolating yourself completely from others, not willing to talk are some of the measures that people take to deal with stress. All these actually cause negative effects on the human brain and may become reasons for depression.
- Healthy eating - Maintain a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables and low in sugar and fat. Healthy eating combined with light physical exercises that you could do at home is essential for a healthy mind.
- Reach out to your loved ones - Social distancing only means physical distancing and hence try to be in regular touch with your friends and relatives. There are various digital methods in the present day to stay in touch with your near and dear ones and prevent social isolation. Offer help to people who you feel are in stress or are feeling lonely. Staying in touch with colleagues, associates, friends, and family members is critical to the mental wellness of all, specifically for susceptible populaces consisting of the elderly, individuals living alone, and individuals with prior mental illness.
An area of concern is how much more mental health affects some groups than others, and the study has not been able to identify the reasons for the rise in mental illness, but factors linked to the pandemic, such as lack of access to and lack of access to healthcare, may play a role. Pandemics are particularly challenging for those who have previously had mental health problems, whether they are depression or anxiety. Individuals who are already receiving treatment before a pandemic may be better able to cope with it, as they are better able to develop coping strategies for anxiety, stress, and sadness.
If you are suffering from depression symptoms, it is important that you stay in regular contact with people. If possible, this includes family and close friends, but if your pandemic concerns are difficult to manage, contact your doctor immediately if you find it difficult to cope.