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How Has COVID-19 Affect Mental Health?

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How Has COVID-19 Affect Mental Health?

Mental health is a foundational element in resilience, particularly for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The crisis has had an extensive impact on mental health in many ways: increasing symptoms, restricting access to mental healthcare services and substance use treatment options, and placing frontline healthcare workers at greater risk of burnout or suicide attempts.

During the pandemic, more people than ever before reported serious psychological distress. This is likely due to a variety of barriers such as lack of access due to shortage of mental health professionals and insurance coverage issues which make mental health services expensive or out-of-network for some.

Adults experiencing severe psychological distress reported higher rates of alcohol and opioid use, as well as suicidal ideation compared to those without such distress during the pandemic. This trend was especially prominent among young adults during its initial peak.

During the pandemic, young adults who increased their substance use were twice as numerous as those who decreased it. Many of these increases were related to alcohol or opioids, which may exacerbate anxiety and depression symptoms.

Contrary to popular belief, alcohol does not alleviate mental symptoms but instead worsens them and is especially detrimental for individuals with pre-existing mental disorders. Furthermore, drinking excessively during a stressful period should be avoided since this could add additional layers of tension and anxiety.

In addition to increasing stress levels, alcohol and drug abuse can cause psychiatric issues and even lead to self-harm or other negative outcomes like homicide or suicide. This is especially harmful for those with preexisting mental illnesses like chronic illness or PTSD.

Mental health disorders come in many forms, each having a distinct impact on someone’s quality of life. Major depressive disorder, for instance, often leads to difficulty managing daily tasks and feelings of hopelessness; anxiety disorders tend to cause difficulty sleeping as well as feelings of sadness or low moods.

These disorders can have detrimental effects on people’s health and society, so it is imperative to address them as soon as possible. Fortunately, there are many treatments available for those affected by these disorders – counseling or group therapy being two examples.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offer free counseling and support to those struggling with anxiety, depression or other emotional issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. These resources can be accessed online or in person.

Research is emerging that the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an alarming rise in depression and anxiety disorders, as well as more suicidal thoughts and behaviors. According to one estimate from the Global Burden of Disease study, there was a 28% increase in major depressive disorders and 26% increase in anxiety disorders following this event.

This surge in mental health problems during the COVID-19 pandemic is an urgent matter that must be addressed promptly. Just like with any other global health crisis, we must prioritize mental health during early stages and build a robust mental health care infrastructure to monitor long-term effects. This requires collaboration across research, policy and healthcare disciplines.

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