Covid-19

Depression Symptoms Spike In US Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, Social Unrest

The novel coronavirus brought many challenges to the world. From potentially deadly complications, declining economy, job losses to more problems with mental health.

As the number of patients with COVID-19 continue to grow, many people are also feeling more anxious and stressed. In the U.S., 23.5 percent of people reported feeling symptoms of depressive disorder between April 23 and May 5, according to a recent survey by the National Center for Health Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau.

The number continued to increase to 25.1 percent of the population with the same symptoms between June 11 and June 16. Experts described the findings as alarming. 

In the same period in 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that only 6.6 percent of the population experienced any symptoms of depressive disorder.

“I think we can all agree we are probably in the biggest mental health crisis this country has seen in a very long time,” Donna Demetri Friedman, executive director of Mosaic Mental Health in the Bronx, told New York Daily News. “There’s enormous fear permeating our society right now, whether it’s financial, physical or emotional.”

The racial issues and recent protests in the U.S. also contributed to the growing number of people experiencing problems with mental health. Estimates show that 25.6 percent of black Americans felt symptoms of depression between April 23 and May 5 and the number grew to 28.3 percent between June 11 and June 16.

More health workers have also been at higher risk of depression and stress in the past months. One study in Italy found that the frontliners who treated COVID-19 patients experienced high rates of psychological distress, such as post-traumatic stress symptoms, depression, anxiety and insomnia.

A separate study in Singapore also explored the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the medical workers. Researchers found that at least 15 percent of the workers reported symptoms of anxiety amid the health crisis, while a high number also experienced depression and post-traumatic stress.

The mental health problems associated with COVID-19 may affect many people for years, according to Dr. Eric Nestler, head of Hope for Depressions Research Foundation and a psychiatrist at Mount Sinai. 

“We think we’re at the very early stages of seeing a dramatic increase in the symptoms of PTSD, depression, anxiety and the associated conditions like substance abuse and suicide,” he said. 

Health experts recommended that people maintain social ties and practice “mindfulness” to prevent the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on mental health. 

Mental health and COVID-19 In the U.S., 23.5 percent of people reported feeling symptoms of depressive disorder between April 23 and May 5 and 25.1 percent of the population had the same symptoms between June 11 and June 16, according to a survey by the National Center for Health Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau. Pixabay

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