Anxiety and depression have been big issues that people have been dealing with for a long time. More than 264 million people of all ages are suffering from depression around the globe.The Covid 19 pandemic has affected people in many different ways, many people have felt lonely and isolated as the pandemic has physically forced people apart. As the pandemic gets worse it causes people to not only be isolated for unreasonable amounts of time but also create loads of anxiety and stress as people begin to lose their jobs and sources of income to just simply be able to survive. Depression is more than just short mood swings, it can cause the person to suffer for great and long periods of time making it difficult to focus and get things done. Anxiety is one of the leading causes of depression, as the pandemic quickly became a prominent issue in everyone’s lives anxiety levels rose and so did depression. Before Covid 19 blew up, survey results from January 2019 showed that 1 in 10 adults reported symptoms of depression and or anxiety, whereas when that same survey was taken later in the pandemic the number jumped up to 4 out of every 10 adults.
This chart shows the number of people who reported mental health issues before and after the pandemic.
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After the pandemic 56% of 18-24 year olds reported symptoms of anxiety and depression. This is a huge number for such a big chunk of people. At its worst depression can lead to suicide. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in 15-29 year olds. Depression is the result of complex interactions socially, physiologically, biologically. people who have gone through intense life changing events are more likely to develop depression. It makes logical sense that the depression levels spiked after the COVID 19 pandemic, as many people were becoming isolated and forced to flip their entire lives around. However if the depression levels continue to increase we could be getting to a dangerous level.
While there are medications that are proven to help with depression, one of the main causes of the disease during the pandemic has been isolation. It is scientifically proven that doing things as a community such as creating a group that plays games together every Saturday, or doing something to help the environment can create a sense of belonging and purpose. While COVID 19 has put many of these in person events on pause there are still things we can do to create a more inclusive community even during these masked times. Wether it is getting together outside as a group and hanging out, or doing something to help the environment that gives someone a purpose, there are many things we can do to bring awareness and support people struggling with this disease. I know there are many areas around where I live that could use some help environmentally, not only would it be helping the person feel like they belong and have a purpose it also would be helping the environment, making the world in general just a happier healthier place. As I myself was struggling I know the one thing that helped me was feeling as though I had a purpose and was making a positive impact on the world.
In the comments please respond to the following questions.
- What are some ways in your community that you can support people safely with the current COVID 19 pandemic?
- How can you bring awareness and support for people with the disease in your community?