How the Pandemic Is Affecting Our Overall Well-Being

If you’re like most people, the pandemic has brought about many new issues in your life that you could not have been prepared for. The past year has taken its toll on several aspects of all of our lives.

The COVID-19 pandemic created many new problems for many people. Our mental health is no different. The pandemic has affected many people’s substance abuse and mental health issues. 4 in 10 adults have had symptoms of depressive or anxiety disorders. This statistic is up from 1 in 10 adults from January to June 2019. 

Among these statistics, 36 percent of adults reported having trouble sleeping, 32 percent reported eating increases, and twelve percent said they have increased substance and alcohol consumption during this time. Twelve percent reported chronic conditions that have gotten worse due to the stress from the virus. 

The ongoing effects of the pandemic may very well continue to have long-term impacts on mental and physical health, but with the end of the pandemic as we know it in sight, there is hope for a return to our everyday lives and a light at the end of the tunnel.

High-Risk Groups

The following data comes from substance use and mental health data during and before the COVID-19 pandemic. This data examines populations specifically at risk for having damaging substance abuse and mental health during the pandemic, which includes young adults. These people have lost their jobs, parents and children, essential workers, and communities of color.

  • Young adults have dealt with many pandemic-related consequences, including university closures and income loss, affecting poor mental health. Since the pandemic, 56 percent of young adults aged 18-24 said they had anxiety and depressive disorder symptoms. Compared to the general population, young adults have a 25 percent chance of reporting substance use, up from 13 percent. They also have a 26 percent chance of having suicidal thoughts, which is up from 11 percent. Before the pandemic, all young adults were at high risk for harmful substance use and mental health disorder, but several did not seek treatment.
  • Research reveals that job loss connects to increased depression, distress, anxiety, and low self-esteem may cause higher statistics of substance use disorder and suicide. Adults in homes with lower incomes or job loss have a 53 percent chance of mental illness symptoms, and those without job or income loss have a 32 percent chance during the pandemic.
  • Research while the pandemic has been going on emphasizes concerns with poor well-being and mental health for children and their parents, especially mothers because several are experiencing issues with school closures and decreased childcare. Mothers have a 49 percent chance of anxiety or depressive disorder symptoms, and fathers have a 40 percent chance. Both before and during the pandemic, women have had higher rates of depression and anxiety compared to men.
  • The pandemic had a severe impact on the health of communities of color. Non-Hispanic Black adults have a 48 percent chance, and Hispanic or Latino adults are 46 percent of reporting symptoms of depressive disorder and anxiety. In comparison, Non-Hispanic White adults have a 41 percent chance. Historically, communities of color have had challenges obtaining mental health care.
  • A great deal of essential workers continues to experience many challenges, including a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 than other employees. Nonessential workers have a 30 percent chance of reporting anxiety or depressive disorder symptoms, while essential workers have a 42 percent chance. Nonessential workers have an 11 percent chance of starting or increasing substance use and an 8 percent chance of suicidal thoughts. In comparison, essential workers have a 25 percent of growing substance use and a 22 percent chance of suicidal thoughts during the pandemic.

Both those with new symptoms of mental health or substance abuse disorders and those diagnosed before the pandemic could require mental health and substance use services but might experience additional barriers resulting from the pandemic.

General Increases

The pandemic has caused rising concerns for mental health and substance use issues. This fact includes concerns about suicidal ideation. In January 2021, 41 percent of adults said they had anxiety or depressive disorder symptoms, or both. This statistic has stayed at this level since Spring 2020.

In June 2020, 13 percent of adults had new or increased substance abuse symptoms because of COVID-19-related stress, and 11 percent of adults said they had suicidal thoughts in the past 30 days. Suicide rates have been increasing and will increase because of the pandemic.

Early 2020 had reported drug overdose deaths that were exceptionally high from March to May, which relate to pandemic-related quarantines. 

Let Us Help

While the pandemic has no doubt affected us all, there has never been a time where treatment has been more accessible. Thankfully, there are several resources to seek counseling and mental health treatment to help you and others cope during these difficult times. 

At Lisa Rogers Counseling, we offer many services, including adult therapy for individuals, single couples, and married couples. 

We offer child therapy, group therapy, family therapy, social skills, and play therapy. We also provide adolescent treatment in individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, and substance abuse.

Contact Lisa Rogers Counseling to schedule an appointment today. 

Since 1993, I have been providing a combination of all my years of training tailoring specific treatments based on the individual needs and challenges of my patients, facilitating healing. I make every effort to accommodate the busy schedules of my patients by offering evenings, weekend appointments and Telemental Health (Online Counseling-Virtual/Video Conference and Phone Sessions) offered in the following states I am licensed in: New York, California, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey, Georgia, Florida, and Vermont.