How is COVID-19 affecting mental health?

In January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) said the outbreak of the disease caused by the new coronavirus was an international public health emergency. The WHO said there is a high risk of the spread of coronavirus disease in 2019 (COVID-19) in many countries around the world. In March 2020, the WHO assessed that COVID-19 could be characterized as a pandemic. In this context, this period of crisis generates stress in the population.

On, both young people and the elderly complain that the covid-19 virus affects their mental health without realizing it or without realizing it.

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COVID-19 and mental health

When we face a crisis, the health of our mind is the first to be affected. Paradoxically, mental health is the first thing that helps us resist and survive the crisis.

The performed studies followed the neuropsychiatric manifestations and mental disorders developed both in the acute phase of SARS infections (2002-2004), MERS 2012, and COVID-19 (2019-2020) and in the long term, after discharge. Confusion (delirium) was the symptom constantly present in the acute phase of all 3 epidemics. According to research, in the acute stage of infection with SARS, MERS:

  • confusion was reported in 28% of patients
  • 33% had depression
  • 36% had anxiety
  • 34% – memory disorders
  • 42% – insomnia.

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the mental health of young people

COVID-19 endemic disease severely affects the mental health of young people. Following a study, British researchers noted that the number of cases of clinical depression among the young population has increased. At the same time, the scientists observed a decreasing trend of alcohol consumption for the target category.

In this unique study, researchers at the University of Surrey surveyed 259 young people in the fall of 2019 and the middle of last year’s lockdown period. Thus, data on anxiety levels were collected; depression; wellness; alcohol consumption, and sleep quality experienced by participants.

Following the centralization of information, scientists have found evidence that the COVID-19 pandemic has a substantial impact on the mental health of young people. Due to the epidemiological context, there was a significant increase in the symptoms of depression and a decrease in general well-being. Specifically, the number of cases of clinical depression among participants doubled, increasing from 14.9% to 34.7% between May and June 2020.

There was also a link between increased depression and poor sleep quality during the lockdown period. At the same time, there was a worrying trend in terms of sleep routine. Young people began to become active during the night, go to bed later and later, and sleep during the day. Such behavior not only affects sleep cycles but also disrupts the proper functioning of the body. Therefore, the researchers associated this program change with high levels of anxiety and several minor psychiatric disorders identified in the youth questionnaires.

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