Mental Health

Pandemic to “Info-demic”

Prior to a global pandemic wreaking havoc on our world, mental illnesses were a major health concerns for teenagers and adults. However, in addition to the medical severity to the novel virus, the pandemic’s merciless consequences of economic recession and social absence has only led to a severe downward spiral of suffering.

Research shows that anxiety rates have tripled and depression rates have quadrupled since the initial outbreak. However, a study J. Brian Houston, associate professor of the University of Minnesota, and Jennifer M. First of University of Tennessee, stated another underlying consequence of the pandemic was the “info-demic” itself. Defined as the overwhelming relay of information, mostly tragic, the info-demic reflected higher rates for mental health conditions. Since most of the information fell under the categories of mortality rates, conspiracy theories, and misleading information, people who read such fell victim to heavy words for the past year. Accumulation of being fed such unhealthy information could only lead to decreasing mental stability as the news source us citizens rely on bring only the dark truths we do not look forward to.

A survey showed that 1,500 U.S. adults showed that experiencing the most media exposure about the pandemic led to more stress and depression.

A study from June 2020 reported that 40% of 5,412 U.S. adults were struggling with mental health or substance use issues. Though adults and teenagers are both at greatest risk for depression, they are for different reasons, stemming from different aspects of the pandemic. Studies show that teenagers suffer from the lack of social interaction as the day count becomes a blurry timeline. Teenagers face the struggle of spending their days at a screen through a video call, which results in lack of motivation and thus poor performance in basic living habits and school. Adults struggle with balancing their adulthood with the stress, often having no one to rely on, as most teenagers do. Adults involve family members who bear the burden of keeping a roof above their loved ones.

Another study also showed that many patients reported signs of depression after recovering from COVID-19, mostly from shock and grief.

Health officials are not only reinforcing standard health protocols but also emphasize the importance of mental health care.

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Categories: Mental Health