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CDC research sheds light on the ‘mental health crisis’ associated with the coronavirus pandemic



A new CDC survey found that nearly 41% of respondents are struggling with mental health problems stemming from a pandemic – both related to the coronavirus itself and the measures taken to stop it, including away from physically and command at home. .

The CDC researchers write in the report: “The marked increase in incidence of adverse behavioral and mental health conditions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the broad impact of pandemic and the need to prevent and treat these conditions ”.

The findings, published Thursday in the CDC Mortality and Disease Weekly Report, are based on an online survey of 5,412 adults living in the United States conducted between 24 and 30 months. Six.

The survey found that 40.9% of respondents reported at least one mental or behavioral health condition:

  • 31
    % said they experienced symptoms of anxiety or depression,
  • 26% said they experienced injury or symptoms of a stress disorder,
  • 13% said they had started or increased their substance use,
  • 11% said they have seriously considered suicide in the past 30 days.

All do not shoulder the same mental health issues.

Access to mental health is crucial during a pandemic, experts say

For example, the survey found that at least one adverse mental or behavioral health symptom reported by more than half of the respondents was:

  • 18-24 years: 75%;
  • unpaid adult caregiver, at 67%;
  • reported that they had less than a high school diploma, at 66%;
  • essential labor force 54%;
  • 25 to 44 years old, the rate of 52%.

The percentage of those reporting treatment for existing mental health conditions was even higher.

The percentage of survey respondents who said they seriously considered suicide within the 30 days prior to completing the survey also varied between subgroups, the survey found. The percentage is significantly higher among:

  • 31% of unpaid caregivers for adults;
  • 18-24 years old, at 26%;
  • essential labor 22%;
  • Respondents were of Hispanic origin, at 19%;
  • The respondents are black, accounting for 15%.

Overall, the researchers found that while symptoms of a mental health or behavioral condition differ significantly between small groups, unpaid adult caregivers are bad. worst.

Coronavirus is more stressful for Americans than others, research shows

“Unpaid adult caregivers, many of whom are currently assisting those at increased risk of serious illness from increased COVID-19, have an incidence of mental health conditions,” the researchers wrote. god and detrimental behavior higher than others “.

They added, “Although unpaid caregivers were not evaluated in this study, about 39 percent of unpaid caregivers for adults sharing a home with children (compared to 27 % of other respondents). Caregiver workloads, especially among multi-generational caregivers, should be considered for future mental health assessment, based on findings of this report and the challenges caregivers may face. “

The study has a number of limitations, including that it is based on self-reported information from an online survey, which can lead to some bias if respondents are not honest in their responses. on depression symptoms, substance use, suicidal thoughts and other mental health topics.

Prior to the pandemic, previous estimates have shown that, overall, nearly one fifth – or 20 percent – of all adults in the US live with mental illness.

‘Adults are not fine in America’

When it comes to the new study, “this is a virtually real-time biopsy of the American mental health experience. So I appreciate you can criticize this study for its internet-based. This study may be criticized for the lack of formal diagnostic interviews. But you can conclude that adults are not doing well in the US, “said Dr. Ken Duckworth, medical director of the National Coalition for Diseases. Psychiatrist, who was not involved in the study, said.

“We are doing this in August and this is a biopsy of nearly 6,000 people since June.” There is a mental health crisis caused by this pandemic. “

In the future, Duckworth says that he wants to see follow-up data on what some people are at high risk for the mental health consequences of a pandemic – such as essential workers or caregivers. Squirrels – are doing so not experiencing some of the mental health symptoms compared with their peers, who have reported symptoms.

Duckworth also added that the new findings are consistent with previous studies, showing that symptoms of anxiety and depression disorders increased significantly in the US from April to June compared to the same period last year. – and the number of calls to the National Coalition for Mental Illness has gone up, he said.

“If you are the state policy director, if you are the mental health commissioner, if you run a health plan, you need to know this information. There is a small group of people – caregivers. , people with pre-existing medical conditions, people of color, essential workers – these people will need mental health assistance, “Duckworth said. “This is part of the human experience here that is happening with your fellow Americans.”


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