How COVID-19 Has Affected Mental Health
The coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVID-19) has made every headline in 2020, with the number of those infected scrolling along the bottom bar of every news source. There are stay-at-home orders in place and mask mandates, but even behind closed doors it feels impossible to get away from.
It appears on every social media platform, is brought up on every news channel, and is the subject of conversation by just about everyone. For some, these are suffocating times. Per the CDC, “More than 2 in 5 US residents report struggling with mental or behavioral health issues associated with [COVID-19], including anxiety, depression, increased substance abuse, and suicidal thoughts…”
Reports of those suffering from the state of their mental health are on the rise. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) Tracking Poll conducted in mid-July of 2020, “53% of adults in the United States reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the coronavirus.”
KFF also went more in depth with their research, finding the specifics of what has been negatively affecting an individual’s mental health and wellbeing:
”The World Health Organization (WHO) ran a survey on how COVID-19 is disrupting mental health services in most countries. “…The pandemic is increasing demand for mental health services. Bereavement, isolation, loss of income and fear are triggering mental health conditions or exacerbating existing ones. Many people may be facing increased levels of alcohol and drug use, insomnia, and anxiety.”More than that, WHO also reported the alarming numbers of widespread disruptions of mental health services worldwide:
No one really knows what a post-pandemic world is going to look like, but one thing is for sure: as our needs for mental health treatment rise, so too must the quality and availability of treatment options. What we offer right now is not enough.
Fortunately, new treatment options like ketamine infusions may actually signal a change in the way we treat mental health. We may be looking at a future where mental health conditions (and the treatment of them) are given the respect they are due.