According to a recent study, depression, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide are skyrocketing during the COVID-19 pandemic. A study made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), found out that young adults specifically are prone to these increases.
The study researchers analyzed information gotten from more than 5,400 U.S adults above the age of 18 who completed an online survey as of late June. The percentage of Americans reporting symptoms of anxiety disorder has increased to about threefolds.
Also, the percentage reporting for symptoms of the depressive disorder has increased about four-fold, compared to the same levels seen in a survey previously conducted around the same period in 2019, found in the study.
In general, about 41% of participants reported symptoms of at least one mental health condition in the 2020 survey. 31% was recorded for people experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression and 13% was recorded for people who increased the use of substances such as marijuana and alcohol to ease stress during the pandemic.
Also, nearly 11% was reported for people who considered suicide in the past 30 days. There was a toll where anxiety and depression were more common amongst adults between the ages of 18 to 24.
In this group, 65% reported symptoms of anxiety and depressive disorder, where 25% reported that have started or increased the use of substances. 25% were reported of considering suicide in the past 30 days.
In comparison to a national survey conducted in the year 2018, about 14% of young adults reported an episode of major depression, and 11% were reported to be seriously considering suicide in the past.
These new findings highlight the broad impact of the pandemic and also the need to prevent and treat these conditions. Some authors wrote in their study which was published on August 13th in a journal called Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
The study did not seem to determine the reason for the rise in mental health conditions, however, they knew the factors relating to the pandemic such as school and university closure, social isolation, unemployment, and other financial issues.
Other notable discovered factors we’re the threat of the disease itself and roles to play to stay safe. The conclusion was made on the need for further study to determine the specific reason behind poor mental health in the pandemic.
The reason why young adults particularly seemed more affected by the pandemic is not known. After all, studies have shown that young people are less prone to experience serious illness from COVID-19 compared to older adults.
However, these older adults in all the studies we’ve shown had the lowest prevalence of mental health symptoms. Among those at the age of 65 and more just had about 8% reports of them experiencing anxiety or depression.
3% of them reported having started or increased their use of substances and 2% reported to be seriously considering suicide in the past 30 days. An idea we have at In focus is that people’s ability to accept uncertainty may be tied to the state of their mental health.
Presently, there are a series of questions especially from young people about the duration of the pandemic, their relative risk, and what lies ahead in the nearest future.
A study made by Mark Czeisler whose a psychology researcher at Monash University in Melbourne said that “longer life experience can help older adults to learn how to tolerate these uncertain times”.
There is a dire need to address the mental health consequences of the pandemic. Mediums such as through increased access to resources for diagnosis as well as treatment of mental health conditions and the growing level of the use of telehealth is essential.