The COVID-19 outbreak has significantly altered everyday life’s social and economic structures. It affected the general population’s mental health, as seen by heightened anxiety levels, stress, and sadness. The epidemic has caused significant alterations in society and the economy in everyday life.
It impacted more than just the general populace as a whole. However, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, medical professionals (HDPs) were put under significant pressure due to the high volume of cases. In many situations, they began working longer hours, sometimes with fewer resources and frequently in an environment with questionable infrastructure.
During the Coronavirus pandemic, several types of research were conducted in the United States, and the results of these studies focused on individuals who were at an exceptionally high risk of having detrimental effects on their mental health or drug usage. It featured persons in their twenties and thirties, those who had just lost their jobs, families with children, communities of color, and essential employees.
The following are some of the primary areas of concern that have been identified:
- Before the pandemic, young people were at significant risk for mental illness and drug abuse, but few received treatments.
- Young people’s mental health is pandemic-related, such as university closures and financial loss.
- During the pandemic, more 18-24-year-olds than usual reported anxiety or depression (56 percent). In addition, young are more likely to report drug use (25% vs. 13%) and suicide ideation (26 percent vs. 11 percent).
- Economic downturns link job loss to despair, anxiety, anguish, and poor self-esteem, which may lead to drug abuse and suicide. During the epidemic, adults with job loss or reduced incomes reported more mental illness symptoms.
- When a woman has children, she is more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression than a man who has children. Women have reported more excellent rates of depression and anxiety than males before and throughout the epidemic.
- This outbreak has disproportionately impacted people of color and those living in urban areas. Hispanic or Latino adults and non-Hispanic black are more likely than non-Hispanic white to exhibit anxiety symptoms and depression. Access to mental health treatment has always been a problem for people of color of this ethnicity.
- Many essential employees confront obstacles, including a higher chance of getting coronavirus. In addition, during the pandemic, essential employees are more likely to express anxiety, depression, drug usage, and suicidal thoughts than non-essential workers.
How to take care of yourself?
For your emotional and physical health, self-care practices may help you take control of your life. Improve your mental health, care for the body and mind, and interact with people.
- Get adequate sleep.
- Engage in some physical exercise consistently.
- Eat healthily.
- Stay away from substances like smoking, alcohol, and narcotics.
- Put a time limit on your screen time.
- Take some time off and relax.
- Continue with your usual schedule.
- Reduce your time spent exposed to the news media.
- Stay busy.
- Maintain an optimistic frame of mind.
- Use your internal moral compass or the spiritual life you lead as a source of encouragement.
- Set priorities.
- Make connections with people.
- Make an effort to help other people.
- Help a friend or family member.
- Avoid stigma and prejudice.
- Learn to distinguish what is usual from what is not.
- When you find that you need it, ask for support.
Looking to the Future
People at higher risk of mental health issues and those who have difficulty getting treatment will be especially hard hit by the pandemic’s short- and long-term effects on mental health and drug use. However, many of the stressors used to control the spread of the coronavirus are expected to continue in the foreseeable future.
During epidemics, health care personnel might also suffer from psychological stress that can continue for up to 3 years after the outbreak has ended. The need for mental health services will persist long, even if the coronavirus pandemic is over.