Mental Health effects of Covid-19

Note: Info taken from:

Additional Note: This article discusses the “Second Pandemic” of Mental Health, with some additional information/insight.

COVID-19, for a variety of intersections with people, can cause an outcome of mental illness: Anxiety; PTSD; Depression; Insomnia; Dementia; Suicide.  Aside from additional detail, there’s also some ideas on what to do.

Anxiety: Prior to Covid-19, Anxiety was already the most common mental illness in the US. Since Covid-19, Anxiety is sky-rocketing because of the compounded concerns of health, job loss, and financial challenges.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): PTSD may not be as prevalent as anxiety, but it’s also on the rise.  Individuals are suffering social isolation, physical discomfort and fear of survival.  One area where PTSD is obvious is within frontline healthcare workers – especially in hospitals/ER/ICU.

Depression: Before Covid, depression was definitely a common mental disorder with about 17M adults in the US. Since Covid, it’s increased three-fold.  Most at risk are individuals with lower income, less than $5,000 savings, stressors related to isolation and job loss.

Insomnia: Lack of sleep has had more awareness lately in studies and the media.  Covid has exacerbated the issue with people concerned of worry/fear over jobs, family situation, their health, etc.  Also a concern is insomnia in front-line healthcare workers.

Dementia: The reason is still being investigated, but there is an increase in Covid survivors now diagnosed with dementia – two to three times higher rate.  In general, the concern is that predominantly older people (typically identified with dementia) are susceptible to Covid.

Suicide: In some countries it’s up and in others it’s down.  But, the Pan American Health Organization warns that the Covid pandemic may exacerbate suicide factors.

Coping with stress by following various healthy steps: Take care of physical, emotional and mental health.  Eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, getting a good night’s sleep.  Turning off the news and social media.

Reach out if you or a loved one is in crisis: Important to reach out to help if you feel overwhelmed.  The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration national helpline is (1-800-662-HELP); The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 800-273-TALK and there’s also 911.

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