The coronavirus pandemic has been associated with an increase in mental health difficulties for a range of reasons.
By DONNA RACHEL EDMUNDS – The Jerusalem Post
The finding, reported in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on Friday, was based on a survey of 5,412 people carried out by Qualtrics between June 24-30.
Some 40.9% of respondents reported at least one adverse mental or behavioral health condition overall: 31% said they had experienced symptoms of anxiety or depression in the 30 days before taking the survey, while 26% reported trauma or stress related symptoms.
Some 13% of those surveyed reported starting or increasing substance use as a coping mechanism, while overall 11% of respondents said they had seriously considered suicide.
However, the pandemic appears to have had a particularly detrimental effect on people in the 18-24-year-old age group.
Some 75% of young people reported having at least one adverse mental or behavioral health symptom, making them by far the most impacted demographic. Symptoms of anxiety or depression were the most commonly experienced, with 63% of 18-24 year-olds reporting anxiety related symptoms.
Unpaid caregivers were also vulnerable, with two thirds reporting at least one adverse effect, again, the most common being anxiety or depression, which had impacted 58% of caregivers. Some 31% of caregivers had considered suicide.
The next most impacted demographic were those whose educational level was less than a high school diploma: 30% of people within that demographic had suicidal feelings, while 66% had experienced at least one adverse impact.
Knowing someone who had died of COVID-19 appeared to have little impact on whether or not people experienced detrimental mental health impacts. Some 40.1% of those who did know someone who had died of the disease reported having experienced adverse mental health, against 41% of those who did not personally know someone who had died of COVID-19.
Similarly, 13.4% of those who did not know someone who had died of the disease had experienced suicidal thoughts recently, against 11.3% of those who did know someone who had died.
The findings were a significant increase on those reported for the same period in 2019: instances of anxiety disorder had nearly tripled (25.5% against 8.1% in 2019); and prevalence of depressive disorder was approximately four times that reported in 2019 (24.3% versus 6.5%). Suicide ideation figures were compared to 2018 results, and showed a doubling of suicidal ideation within that time.