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Depression

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    Covid-19’s Effect on Mental Health

    Person wearing mask and looking at a computer screen.

    Covid-19’s Effect on Mental Health

    Covid-19 cases around the world are again on the rise. Here in Alabama, medical personnel are exhausted, and there is a critical shortage of hospital beds. While many continue to routinely ignore CDC, NIH, and WHO pandemic guidelines, others are growing weary of isolating. Covid-19 has been classified as a pandemic for more than eight months, and it is well-known that social interaction is imperative to mental health. We are in the midst of a pandemic that primarily affects our physical being, but it is contributing to a mental health crisis.

    Depression (noun) – a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest; a mental condition that may cause one to feel that life isn’t worth living 

    The number of people diagnosed with depression has increased dramatically this year. In one study, 70% of the people found to have depression or anxiety reported loneliness or isolation as one of the top three contributors to their mental health state.  Even worse, 11 to 17-year-olds are at the highest risk of being diagnosed with anxiety or depression [1].

    For some, it’s worse. Suicide, suicide attempts, and suicidal ideation rates are also increasing quicker than they were pre-Covid. But as people seek help for their mental well-being, the stigma that surrounds mental health has begun to diminish, leading others to seek help as well.

    Ultimately, it is our individual decisions, such as practicing pandemic-safe ways to interact, that will help diminish the impact of Covid-19 on our physical and mental health. Our individual choices are likely to influence the well being of others now more than ever.

    Resources

    If you or a loved one is battling suicidal thoughts or depression, please call or text: 

    • The National Suicide Prevention Hotline – 1-800-273-8255
    • Crisis Text Line – “hello” to 741741
    • Youth Line – “teen2teen” to 839863 or call 1-877-968-8491
    • The Trevor Project – “start” to 6786781 or call 1-866-488-7386 

    Click here to read another article from another GirlSpring contributor on understanding and coping with depression.

    Citations

    1. “The State of Mental Health in America.” The State of Mental Health in America – Mental Health America, Mental Health America, 2020, www.mhanational.org/issues/state-mental-health-america.