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Covid crisis dramatically worsened global mental health

News Desk || shiningbd

Published: 21:37, 11 October 2021  
Covid crisis dramatically worsened global mental health

Cases of anxiety and depression around the world increased dramatically in 2020, researchers have found, with an estimated 76m extra cases of anxiety and 53m extra cases of major depressive disorder than would have been expected had Covid not struck.

The study is the latest to suggest the pandemic has taken a serious toll on mental health, and that women and young people are more likely to be affected than men or older people.

“We believe women are more likely to be affected by the social and economic consequences of the pandemic,” said the lead author, Dr Damian Santomauro of the University of Queensland.

“Women are more likely to take on additional carer and household responsibilities due to school closures or family members becoming unwell. Women also tend to have lower salaries, less savings, and less secure employment than men, and so are more likely to be financially disadvantaged during the pandemic,” he said, adding a rise in domestic violence may also play a role.

Young people have also been faced with a series of challenges.

“Youth have been impacted by the closures of schools and higher education facilities, and wider restrictions inhibiting young people from peer interactions,” said Santomauro, adding that young people were also more likely to become unemployed after an economic crisis.

Writing in the Lancet, the international team of researchers report how they drew on 48 studies published between 1 January 2020 and 29 January 29 2021 that included survey data on the prevalence of depressive or anxiety disorders in various countries both before and during the Covid pandemic.
 

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