Depression Rates Have Skyrocketed Since COVID-19 — Here’s Why

TMS Gaithersburg Experts Examine the Increase in the Rate of Depression and Anxiety Among U.S. Citizens Since the Start of COVID-19

Back in March, when lockdown started, lay-offs began, and a wave of uncertainty fell over millions of U.S. citizens, experts feared that the start of a mental health crisis would accompany the coronavirus pandemic. Their fears have since been confirmed, as a rise of depression and anxiety has been observed among U.S. citizens since the pandemic. 

With no clear end in sight, it’s crucial to examine the reasoning behind this mental health crisis as well as ways that people can successfully address and treat their symptoms. TMS Gaithersburg experts — the Psych Associates of Maryland — examine the rise of depression and its connection to the COVID-19 pandemic in its latest blog post. 

How COVID-19 Has Negatively Impacted Our Mental Health

TMS Gaithersburg experts examine the link between the events of the pandemic and our mental health

black female doctor talking to white female patient

In the past, mass traumas such as natural disasters or wars have significantly impacted the mental health of the country. The start of the COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. With millions of U.S. citizens being laid off, social distancing measures enacted, and anxiety over a virus whose effects are still being researched, it is no wonder the U.S. is on the verge of a severe mental health epidemic. In fact, a recent study published by the JAMA Network Open found that 3x as many U.S. citizens met the criteria for depression now than they did before the pandemic.

TMS Gaithersburg experts examine how the pandemic and its consequences have negatively affected the mental health of millions of people in the U.S. and abroad. 

Job Lay-Offs and Financial Difficulties 

Millions of people across the nation were laid off during the initial stages of the pandemic. While some have gotten their jobs back, others have since been permanently laid off. Workers in the hospitality and retail industries have been hit particularly hard. Many people are worried that some things, including the hospitality industry, aren’t going to completely recover after the pandemic. 

As of now, there is no clear prediction as to when things will start to “get back to normal.” With some people having no job prospects or a hefty savings fund to fall back on, they are likely going to experience depression about their current circumstances as well as anxiety about the future. With few businesses hiring, it can also be easy to fall into a depression from feelings of worthlessness and loneliness. 

Social Isolation

In order to keep their friends and family members safe, many people have held out against spending time with them or even going out in public and interacting with various people. And while social isolation can help combat the spread of COVID-19, it can negatively affect one’s mental health. Social isolation can cause a number of health issues, such as sleep problems, heart issues, and a weakened immune system. After all, humans are naturally social beings. Without being able to seek comfort from others and spend quality time with them, one can easily fall into a state of depression. 

Fear of the Virus and its Effects

During the initial stages of the pandemic, many people thought that the virus was only deadly for older individuals or people with co-existing health problems. But since then, young, healthy people have become severely ill or even perished from the virus. 

Some people who have recovered from the virus continue to deal with complications such as heart muscle damage, fatigue, and neurological complications. Because some COVID-19 patients are asymptomatic, many people have also felt paranoia about possibly contracting COVID-19 after going out in public. 

TMS Gaithersburg Experts Examine How We Can Take Care of Our Mental Health

The pandemic has challenged us all in numerous ways, but there are steps we can take to nurture our mental health

two women talking together on sofa

While dealing with the ongoing pandemic can take a serious toll on your mental health, there are a number of ways you can take care of your mental and physical health. Doing small things like taking a morning walk and chatting with friends and family members over video calls can help make you feel less lonely. Meditation can also help you relieve stress and stimulate neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin to boost your mood. 

Mental Health Counseling

Numerous people have also turned to psychological counseling during this difficult time. Thanks to the rise of telehealth medicine, patients have been able to enjoy the benefits of counseling without having to worry about potentially exposing themselves to the virus in public. During these sessions, you can talk about what has been going on in your life and what has been causing you stress. Together, you and your therapist can come up with healthy methods to improve your mental well-being.

Dealing with depression and anxiety can be challenging whether we are in the middle of a pandemic or not. But even though we are still practicing social distancing guidelines, there are numerous ways you can treat your depression. For instance, numerous patients have turned to telehealth counseling to help treat their mental health while also keeping themselves safe during the pandemic. Interested in booking an appointment with a mental health professional? Contact the team at the Psych Associates of Maryland today!


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