We already know - because so many of us are experiencing it firsthand - that the isolation and uncertainty that come with a global pandemic are impacting mental health. In August, the CDC reported that 40% of Americans acknowledged struggling with anxiety, depression, suicidal ideations and/or substance use.
Now, researchers are finding that a diagnosis of coronavirus could be associated with an increased risk of a mental health diagnosis. A recent study found that nearly one in five individuals diagnosed with coronavirus are, within three months, diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder. The prevalence is greater than with individuals who struggled with other physical conditions, such as the flu.
Why this is and how mental health concerns will develop in the long-term remains unknown. But the findings remind us of an important message: We must not lose sight of our mental health in our concern for physical health.
Practice self-care, seek help when needed, don’t be afraid to admit your struggles and encourage loved ones to do the same.