A Crisis Under the Surface: The Pandemic’s Toll on Mental Health

There is no denying the social and economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. But it’s creating an even deeper problem among Americans. 

It is not uncommon for one to be feeling down and anxious during these times. Covid has made an impact on our lives, turning it in a direction we never thought it would go. It can lead to us feeling stressed and afraid of what the future might bring.

This air of uncertainty is also causing a considerable impact on mental health. According to the American Psychological Association, psychologists noted an increase in the number of patients with anxiety disorders and depression in 2020, the same year the pandemic began.

In 2021, Global News Wire reported that more than 80% of Americans are experiencing the symptoms of depression. This only shows the depth and severity of the pandemic’s impact on mental health. 

In these trying times, we all need to reach out and help friends and loved ones who are struggling to process this ongoing health crisis.

Here are the symptoms you will need to watch out for:

Breathing problems

A clear sign of anxiety is irregular and unhealthy breathing patterns. This leads to an excess of carbon dioxide that restricts the amount of blood that travels to the brain. People who are prone to asthmatic attacks could experience worse. 

Anxiety can also lead to feeling dizzy and numb. Worse, the situation can lead to a panic attack characterized by overwhelming fear. According to an article in WebMD, the pandemic has caused an uptick in the number of panic attacks across the United States as Google searches for keywords like “anxiety” increased by 375,000 searches from March to May 2020

Loss of appetite and overeating

A clear sign of depression is a loss of appetite. Patients who suffer from a depressive disorder often eat less than usual. In fact, they might not have the drive to satiate their hunger.

At times, depression can also go the other way. Some patients may have the urge to overeat. An Australian study published on the Cambridge website found that adults over the age of 18 either have a poor appetite or are prone to overeating as a result of lockdown measures. 

Chronic pains

The pandemic comes as an added burden to people living in chronic pain. Some patients report their pain grew even worse at the onset of the pandemic. 

Cramped, stiff, and sore muscles might be bad signs of this. This is due to your body responding to the constant stress your anxiety inflicts on it. This can later spread and worsen by further escalating to worse symptoms like joint pains or arthritis. 

Sleep issues

Irregular sleeping patterns can originate from anxiety and depression. However, sleep disorders like insomnia are more common in people with depression and increased stress levels. 

With the pressure that the pandemic is weighing on vulnerable individuals, the health crisis has led to sleep disorders dubbed Coronasomnia. The noted increase in anxiety levels has created a situation when people find it hard to get a good night’s sleep.  

And this is not just happening in the United States alone. In 2020, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of Google queries on insomnia, and people as far as Greece and Italy have experienced high degrees of sleep discomfort.

Indeed, the pandemic has turned our world upside down. But like other health crises in the past, we can see an end to our worries. 

For now, if you or anyone you know is suffering from these symptoms of anxiety and depression, reach out to a local psychiatric clinic like MidCities Psychiatry. 

Contact us today and allow us to be partners in navigating the challenges of this pandemic.

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