A recent study from Boston University School of Medicine indicates that 27.8% of U.S adults had signs of depression as of mid April, compared to 8.5% before the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Researchers used data from 5,065 participants from the 2017-2018 National health and Nutrition Examination Survey, and 1,441 participants from the Covid-19 Life Stressors Impact on Mental Health and Well- Being, researched between March 31 and April 13, 2020, in which 96% of the U.S. population was under shelter in place policies. This data was used to tell the increase in mental health. Both surveys used PHQ 9 to determine symptoms of depression and collected the same demographic data. PHQ-9 is a 9-question method designed to start treatment in a primary care environment for the severity of depression.
Covid-19 has had a huge effect on the globe, study shows that these studies have mainly been affecting many people in Asia, health care workers, and college students. Although that’s what study shows, every human is affected. Experts say that kids and teens are suffering horribly, and that depression and suicide rates are increasing. Suicide is still the second leading cause of death. The suicide rate among Americans aged 10 through 24 has rapidly increased 56% from 2007 through 2017. However, the main factor of symptoms of depression during this stressful time is income and savings, researchers found that someone with less than 5,000 dollars in savings during Covid-19 was 50% more likely to have signs of depression than someone that has more than 5,000 dollars. Depression symptoms during Covid-19 have also increased due to all of the losses of life, loss of community, inability to be with loved ones, feelings of loneliness, trauma from widespread disease, unemployment, housing insecurity, and so forth.
Everyone is being affected by this pandemic one way or another to different degrees. Dr. Fava states, ” It’s okay to not feel okay.” Once that comes to mind and to be accepted, you can start to look for care and resources for treatment and better health. When you reach out to friends, relatives, or neighbors, who might be struggling, that is one of the best things you can do! Dr. Fava says, ” It has a positive effect” Even if you are the one struggling, reaching out makes you feel better knowing you helped someone out. You can have someone to connect to, you can also find that you are not alone. It is recommended to engage in self care and fulfilling personal needs. Recent studies have strongly suggested two strategies for preventing or to reducing depressive and anxiety related symptoms or feelings, and that is to be socially connected and to be physically active. A person does so through virtual meetings, phone calls, messaging, and engaging in regular physical activities. If your body feels better so does your mind. Study shows that physical activity produces endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that act as natural pain killers, enhancing sleeping capacity, which decreases tension. Here is a link to find more helpful information as of how to deal with depressive, anxious, stressed, and isolated feelings or symptoms.