Rate of Depression Are Triple of Pre-COVID Levels

WEDNESDAY, September 2, 2020 (HealthDay News) – As the coronavirus pandemic swept across America, so too has an epidemic of depression, according to a new study.

Since the start of the pandemic, the prevalence of symptoms of depression has nearly tripled, with the poor who lost their jobs and their savings the most affected, researchers report.

“People with low incomes were twice as likely to experience depression, and people with the same income but with less savings were 1.5 times more likely to experience depression,” said lead researcher Catherine Ettman, director of strategic development at the School of Public at Boston University. Health.

“We were surprised at the high levels of depression,” she said. “These rates were higher than what we saw in the general population after other large-scale trauma like September 11 and Hurricane Katrina.”

The current pandemic is not just an event. With COVID, there is fear, anxiety, and dramatic economic consequences, especially among people with fewer resources, Ettman said.

“It forces us to pay attention to the mental health issues that are emerging right now that will require attention in the months and years to come,” she said.

For the study, the researchers used a survey of more than 1,400 people aged 18 and older who responded to the COVID-19 and Life Stressors Impact on Mental Health and Well-Being survey, conducted from March 31 to April 13.

This data was then compared to data from more than 5,000 people who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Review Survey from 2017 to 2018.

Since the pandemic, 25% of responders said they were slightly depressed, compared to 16% before the pandemic. Fifteen percent were moderately depressed, up from 6% before the pandemic.

There was 8% moderately severe depression, compared to 2% before COVID-19 and 5% with severe depression, compared to less than 1% before COVID-19.

Researchers found that the risk of symptoms of depression was highest among people with less than $ 5,000 in savings.

Ettman believes that in addition to better access to mental health care, programs that keep people’s heads above water economically are needed to ensure they have the resources to get through these times.

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Jothi Venkat

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