3 Ways COVID-19 Has Affected Global Mental Health
People all across the world are learning more about the nuances of mental health.
Many habits and practices that were once deemed as character traits are now being exposed for what they really are — and while mental issues have only gained popularity in recent years, Covid-19 has brought many issues to the forefront.
As medical experts continue to study the effects of the pandemic on mental health, these three facts suggest that a lot of damage has already been done:
1. Covid-19 has caused a spike in anxiety-related disorders
Studies indicate that 4 in 10 adults have reported anxiety-related symptoms in 2020.
Previously, that number was 1 in 10.
Experts suggest that this increase could be due to loss of income, isolation measures, and pre-existing mental health conditions.
Other reports show that 49% of women with children have reported anxiety and/or depressive disorder, while 40% of men with children have reported the same.
If these numbers are anything to go by, then around half of the population has experienced anxiety caused by the pandemic.
2. Covid-19 has caused an increase in substance abuse
Studies show that substance abuse among people has increased by 22% since the onset of the pandemic.
Stimulants and opioids have been identified by experts as the most popular drugs.
Research also indicates that one third of the people in the US have increased their alcohol consumption since Covid-19 was declared a pandemic in March 2020.
There has also been an increase in drug overdose. Reports show that drug overdose deaths between May 2019 — May 2020 are the most deaths ever reported in a 12-month span.
3. Covid-19 caused an increase in suicidal thoughts
Studies show that people diagnosed with Covid-19 were 16% more likely to entertain self-harm or suicidal thoughts.
13% of the population who were not diagnosed were also seen to exhibit suicidal tendencies.
Again, loss of income and isolation measures were seen as the primary sources for this behavior.
These primary sources induced worry and stress in many people and may have triggered known and unknown suicidal behaviors.
Despite the bleak picture these facts have painted, there is still a bright side to all of this.
Studies show that despite an increase in suicidal behavior, actual suicide rates saw no increase.
This can only mean that people have found ways to cope with the existing pressures.
This just goes to show that even in its darkest hour, mankind can still locate a ray of hope.