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Mental Health Issues From Covid-19 May Affect Generations

By Nishkak +2 more

Introduction 

Around the world, vaccination drives continue to greatly reduce our risk of hospitalisation and death due to Covid-19. Although the Omicron variant is still raging across many populations, we already have data showing that booster shots can be effective against it. But as we look forward to what seems to be a hopeful end to the pandemic, we also need to address the impact Covid-19 has had.  

While the death toll and hospitalisation cases have been covered elsewhere, we also need to pay attention to the mental health impact the pandemic has had. Multiple studies have shown that mental health issues increased drastically throughout the pandemic. Let’s take a closer look. 


What’s causing increased mental health issues  

There are a variety of social, economic and psychological factors that play a role in mental health problems. During the pandemic, two factors were closely correlated to worsening mental health in the population: stricter lockdown measures and increased death rates. 

During the first 2 waves, lockdown measures were absolutely necessary to control the spread of Covid-19 but they also took away the freedom to go outside, socialise, continue regular work/education and even reduced outdoor exercise. All of these affect your state of mind. For example, simply interacting with strangers and acquaintances on a daily basis can be an affirmation. But the restrictions left people feeling isolated, alone and unable to connect with others.  

Other factors like the increased death toll, fear of death, fear of losing a loved one can affect mental health directly (if you have lost someone or know someone who died) or indirectly (through news and media about Covid-19 death rates). Not only can this lead to depression and grieving, but it also contributes to anxiety and uncertainty. 

Another factor to consider is that many people, couples and families have had to confront issues that previously went ignored. These may include marital problems, substance abuse, loneliness and relationship issues. The pandemic and subsequent counter-measures effectively forced many people to confront their domestic problems. 

All in all, many factors contribute to the higher rates of depression and anxiety that are being seen by mental health experts across the globe. 

Mental health of generations affected by Covid-19  

On the face of it, it seems that the mental health effects (increased anxiety and depression symptoms) aren’t affecting all age demographics equally. Also note, that while there was already a trend towards increased mental health issues, the Covid-19 pandemic seems to have pushed that trend upward in a short time. According to some mental health experts, millennials who are taking care of children or older adults seem to have taken on the most severe mental health issues during the pandemic. The same experts indicate that older generations may have more life experience resulting in better acceptance of the pandemic and its restrictions, while younger generations may be more resilient and adaptable. 

Alternatively, many mental health studies have indicated that there is an urgent need to focus on the mental health issues of the youth. For one, many children have not been able to achieve their milestones in the normal manner (think, for example, not being able to graduate from high school with an in-person ceremony). Additionally, for many poorer students, the school may have been their main source of social contact, food and primary educational needs. According to some studies, students from separated families may have a higher risk of facing depressive symptoms. More data is needed to understand the full extent the pandemic has had on younger people, however, most studies seem to show a relation between Covid-19 and worsening mental health symptoms.  

The bottomline  

Many of these studies and experts agree we do not fully understand the wide-scale impacts that Covid-19 has had or will continue to have on our mental health as a whole. What we do know is that the mental health infrastructure around the world is already overloaded and much more effort is needed on a national level to meet this increased requirement. Additionally, apart from age, the first-line workers (such as medical staff) may have been most affected psychologically during these past 2 years. Not only has the medical community been overloaded and under stress with a large number of patients, but they also have had to deal with death regularly. This may take a serious toll on them, some experts suggest that they may still be in battle mode which can be mentally demanding. Regardless of who is affected most, the world as a whole may need to keep a closer watch on the mental health fallout from the pandemic.  

Also Read: Does Masturbation Cause Weight Loss? Debunking Sexual Health Misconceptions

Conclusion

While sensationalist headlines seek to exploit the mental health issues caused due to Covid-19, we now have data that much work is needed to be done. For your part, you can reach out to mental health experts (counsellors, psychologists, therapists, psychiatrists) if you are facing mental health issues that interrupt your daily life. Since the pandemic has been going on for over 2 years now, most experts agree that the impact will be big, so do not be nervous or afraid in case you have been affected. Also, the effect may be seen across any of the generations- can be children, adults or older members of a family. Never ignore any signs of mental health illness. The best time to seek mental health treatment is today, so reach out and find a professional if you need one.  

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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