How Has COVID-19 Created A Mental Health Crisis?
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is not just wreaking havoc on America’s physical health. The unique threat of the virus, plus the isolation of lockdown and uncertainty of the future all have contributed to the unprecedented mental health crisis taking hold in America. Particularly—and unfortunately—amongst our nation’s young people.
In June, for example, nearly 40% of respondents to a CDC survey reported experiencing adverse mental health symptoms during the epidemic. 30.9% of surveyed adults have experienced anxiety or depressive disorders during this time. 26.3% of those surveyed report symptoms of trauma and stress-related disorders, 13.3% of respondents reported new or increased drug and alcohol use in response to the pandemic and 10.7% of respondents reported suicidal ideation in the thirty days leading up to the survey. Even more concerning, the number of young respondents (between 18-24 years old) reported suicidal ideation at 25.5%.
The causes of depression, suicidal ideation, anxiety, and stress-related disorders are complex and multifarious. Their increased prevalence during this pandemic is easy to understand: support systems for those suffering from depression are more difficult to access during the epidemic. Moreover, the things that regularly bring us joy: from social gatherings to dining out, to entertainment, and general human-to-human contact have been eliminated or severely restricted in our day-to-day lives.
Indeed, it is not unreasonable to say that our mental health is at its least mentally healthy, ever.
Which is really saying something. We were already in the middle of a mental health crisis prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s important to know that not only are you and your loved ones not alone, but that help is out there. At Chicago Rehab Center, our team has the ability to treat and care for you or your loved ones suffering from mental health disorders. Indeed, everyone is suffering these days, but we are here to see that you are not left by the wayside.
We’re here for you.
Reviewed by Dr. Beth Dunlap
Dr. Beth Dunlap, a board-certified addiction medicine and family medicine physician, is the medical director at CRC Institute, where she is responsible for overseeing all the integrated medical services at the Institute. Beth completed medical school, residency, and fellowship at Northwestern University, where she continues to serve on the faculty as a member of the Department of Family and Community Medicine. She has extensive experience in addiction medicine at all levels of care, and her clinical interests include integrated primary care and addiction medicine, harm reduction, and medication-assisted treatment.