Coronavirus Pandemic Is Driving Spike In Mental Health Issues, CDC Study Says

A man sits at a Chinese airport terminal.
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new study on Thursday that spotlights the spike in mental health issues driven by the coronavirus pandemic, The Hill reported.

According to the research, almost 25 percent of Americans in the study reported depression — a fourfold increase from a similar survey a year ago — and approximately 13 percent said they were drinking or consuming drugs to cope with the crisis. More concerningly, almost 11 percent said they seriously considered taking their life in the last month. From this group, more than a quarter of respondents were between 18 and 24 years old.

“Markedly elevated prevalences of reported adverse mental and behavioral health conditions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic highlight the broad impact of the pandemic and the need to prevent and treat these conditions,” the report read.

“Addressing mental health disparities and preparing support systems to mitigate mental health consequences as the pandemic evolves will continue to be needed urgently.”

Per CNN, the burden of adverse observable or mental health problems fell most heavily on a few particular demographics. In particular, those from 18 to 24 years old; those from 25 to 44 years old; unpaid caregivers of adults; essential workers; and those with less than a high school diploma. For individuals who were treated for mental health problems before the pandemic hit, the prevalence of the previously mentioned struggles was even higher than the groups above.

Unpaid caregivers of adults experienced the worst symptoms of behavioral or mental health issues, per CNN.

“Unpaid caregivers for adults, many of whom are currently providing critical aid to persons at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, had a higher incidence of adverse mental and behavioral health conditions compared with others.”

A clinical technician extracts viruses from swab samples so that the genetic structure of a virus can be analyzed and identified in the coronavirus testing laboratory.
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The previously mentioned pandemic-related struggles have stretched outside of the United States. According to CBC, a study from Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) found that adult Canadians under the age of 40 are more likely to struggle with depression and loneliness, moderate to severe anxiety, and binge drinking.

Per The Inquisitr, 34-year-old Briton Daniel Furniss took his own life earlier this year after being unable to cope with coronavirus restrictions in the United Kingdom, which at the time was under strict limitations on traveling outside of the home. According to reports on his death, Furniss had several underlying mental health problems.

Just days before his death, Furniss took to social media to describe his difficulty with the situation and the perceived lack of guidance for how people with psychological issues can cope with the mandatory social isolation.


If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. For readers outside the U.S., visit Suicide.org or Befrienders Worldwide for international resources you can use to find help.