Itâ€™s no secret that the COVID pandemic has made its way through the hearts and minds of citizens all over the country. Each person has had their own emotional experience during this pandemic. Some may have had moments of grief, frustration, boredom, panic, maybe all the above. However, one continuous experience multiple people are facing that is being linked to the COVID pandemic as a possible root cause is the recent mental health crisis.
More and more research has been coming out to addressing the increase in mental health issues since the COVID pandemic started. Fortunately, we are in a time where mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, addiction, and many more are pushed to be actively treated and even further studied. Hence, the increase in mental health disorders and diagnoses, means the recent demand for treatment also follows.
In a New York Times article, written by Christina Caron, she writes, â€œAccording to an American Psychological Association poll of nearly 1,800 psychologists published in November, 74 percent said they were seeing more patients with anxiety disorders compared with before the pandemic, and 60 percent said they were seeing more patients with depressive disorders. Nearly 30 percent said they were seeing more patients overall.â€
Besides the increase in mental health diagnosis and treatment, another worry concerns individuals who were already facing their mental health issues and then only got worse with the pandemic. Dr. Nicholas Kardaras speaks about his concerns on this topic in the New York Post, when he mentions â€œEven before COVID, the state of the nations mental health wasnâ€™t so hot. In 2019, there was a record number of suicides (over 47,000) and overdoses (over 70,000), as well as record rates of depression and anxiety as many young people struggled to hang on. So COVID was like gasoline poured on an already raging fire â€“ depression rates have since tripled, and for the 12-month period ending last June, fatal overdoses have increased by almost 20 percent to an all-time-record high of 81,000â€
Still, nothing happens without a reason, and this is where the pandemic comes into play. There were already increases in anxiety and depression among other mental health subjects but the reason the pandemic is being seen as a major factor to this sudden increase is because of the adjustment made to keep safe from COVID.
In an article from the journal Progress in Neurology and Psychiatry: Volume 25, Issue 2 called â€œImpact of the COVID-19 pandemic â€“ a mental health service perspectiveâ€ written by Andrew Byrne, Robert Barber and Chee Hwai Lim, it covers what specifically made the COVID pandemic add to this outcome. It states that the restrictions like â€œlockdowns, physical distancing, protective measuresâ€ have led to social isolation, increased home and work stress and financial strain for many.