The stress brought about by the pandemic has not only affected the economy and healthcare system but people's mental health as well. A few months ago, specialists were already noticing increasing cases of depression among teens. Most attributed it as an effect of lockdowns and lack of social/physical interaction with friends, workmates, and even family. Now a recent report notes that adults in the United Kingdom are likewise affected by the serious medical illness.
The data comes from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) as was reported by the Independent. It shows that in five adults, one is probably suffering from a form of depression. That puts the number at approximately 19.2 percent of the adult population in the U.K. Experts point out that there is a substantial rise compared to the 9.7 percent recorded between July 2019 and March 2020, which was just at one in 10 at the time.
As shown by the information, the rate shot up when lockdowns were imposed across the globe due to the coronavirus outbreak. While most restrictions are not as firm as before, society has now embraced the new norm, which urges people to wear masks, minimise physical contact, avoid public areas, and isolate as much as possible. Meanwhile, among those who reported their experience with depression, 84 percent agree that anxiety and stress has affected their overall wellbeing.
King's College London professor of psychiatry Sir Simon Wessely said: "What is clear is that the rates have doubled as a result of the pandemic, in keeping with other reports. "It is also clear that it is younger rather than older people who are most affected. And this is before the predicted recession bites, when we can expect things to get even worse. This is deeply troubling."
Professor of clinical psychology and rehabilitation from King's College London, Til Wykes highlights the likelihood of a mental health crisis after the pandemic has been stopped. For now, the National Health Service (NHS) urges those who have concerns regarding their mental wellbeing to avail of their services. They can do so online or via telephone to communicate with a counsellor.
If you or someone you know is having thoughts about suicide, the Samaritans provide a free support service for those who need to talk to someone in the UK and Republic of Ireland. Visit Samaritans.org or call 116 123 (UK) or 116 123 (ROI), 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Visit this website to find a support phone number in your country.