We are all aware that COVID-19 has had, and continues to have a great global impact on the physical health of many. However, the mental health aspect of this virus has been just as bad or even worse, in comparison to the physical side. The pandemic has had significant psychological effects on business owners, professionals of all domains, and has extended its tentacles to individuals with a perfectly healthy mindset. All the while, increasing the severity of ones with any preexisting psychiatric disorders. For instance, the increase in unemployment rates have thrown many daily wage workers out onto the streets, in turn, damaging their mental health. The same goes for healthcare professionals who are out, daily, carrying an enormous amount of pressure to cope with, while putting their lives at stake for the safety of others. The mental wellness of many Americans has been depleting, and has taken a toll on them through depression, anxiety, chronic loneliness and has gone so far as leading to suicides.
Now, you’re probably wondering ‘Just how much of a negative mental impact has the virus had on our population?’.
Well, let's talk statistics, starting with the The Household Pulse Survey. This 12-week online survey was conducted by the NCHS in intervals of 7 days from April 2020-July 2020, looking to yield average national and state percentages of various age groups that reported signs of Anxiety Disorders during the peak of COVID-19. According to Week 1 of the survey (April 23rd through May 5th), a national average of 30.8% was reported. Jumping close to Week 12 (July 16- July 21), the data shows our national average climb all the way up to 36.1%. Judging the data yielded from the survey, we can come to the conclusion that as the days progressed, percentages of Americans with signs of Anxiety Disorders became higher and higher. Now, the data produced shows Anxiety Disorder rates only during COVID. However, to get an even deeper understanding of just much of an impact the pandemic has really had, we need to take a brief look into Anxiety Disorder rates pre-virus.
Conducted in 2 quarters, starting from Jan-Jun of 2019, by the NCHS, The National Health Interview Survey, shows the average national and state percentages of Americans with symptoms of depressive and/or anxiety disorders. The national average at the end of the 2nd quarter was in between 10.9% to 11.0%. Now it doesn’t take a genius to find that 36.1% (national average for reported symptoms during COVID), is more than triple of 11.0% (pre COVID).
This pandemic has taken a severe toll on our population’s mental state, and it is time we acknowledge one’s feelings of anxiety, loneliness, etc. to be valid, instead of ignoring them. There are many ways to treat mental illnesses, such as online therapy sessions and online mental illness institutes. Never, ever, feel ashamed to contact such a place to get help, and remember that there is always light at the end of the tunnel!