As we reopen parts of our society, we are recognizing more and more that many individuals are struggling to adapt to this new normal COVID-19 world. I think most of us in the education profession felt we would have overcome this pandemic by now. However, we as a society are still working through some significant issues.
Often individuals who have been isolated and confined are showing signs of high anxiety and even depression. Others who have had adverse experiences like job loss, death of a family member or other crisis are also dealing with significant loss and grief. Some of the mental health research is indicating that we are dealing with depression in epic fashion in our current mental health trending.
On NPR Rhiti Chatterjee discusses some of these current trends. Here are some quotes from this discussion:
Nearly a quarter of people in the United States are experiencing symptoms of depression, according to a study published Wednesday. That’s nearly three times the number before the COVID-19 pandemic began.
And those with a lower income, smaller savings and people severely affected by the pandemic — either through a job loss, for example, or by the death of a loved one — are more likely to be bearing the burden of these symptoms.
When a population experiences something traumatic, such as a pandemic or a natural disaster, researchers usually expect a rise in mental illnesses in the weeks and months following the event.
But the mental health toll of the coronavirus pandemic seems to be far greater than previous mass traumas, says Catherine Ettman, a doctoral student in public health at Brown University and an author of the study, which was published in the current issue of the American Medical Association journal JAMA Network Open.
The article then continues to discuss the prevalence of depression that is present today and some predictions about how prominent this may become in the future. We are realizing that the emotional impact of COVID-19 has had far-reaching mental and emotional impact that we did not anticipate.
It appears from the research that we are already experiencing a pandemic of depression that will continue for some time as we recover from the impact of COVID-19. It is helpful to realize the extent of this impact as we empathize with friends, family members and others that we encounter in our social networks.