mental health during pandemic

Mental Health

During the Pandemic



anxious quarantine bad/worse/worst
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career long-term hit/hit/hit (2)
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adverse pattern (2) longitudinal
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stick (2) fellow (2) speak/spoke/spoken
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bit (2) related (2) forget/forgot/forgotten
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equal disruption seek/sought/sought
protect empathy leave/left/left
hit the streets






Person One, Young Female: “I’m angry. I’m depressed. I’m anxious. My mental health is not going good.”

Person Two, Young Female: “I have been sad a lot, I must say.

Person Three, Young Female: “I have become more depressed. I was in quarantine myself and that made it even worse.

Person Four, Young Female: “I’m lonely, yes, and often very sad. And I can’t really sleep very well anymore, either.”

Person Five, Middle-Aged Male: “I know people who actually had suicidal thoughts.

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It’s been over a year now that the world has been dealing with covid-19 — and its devastating ramifications.

Some have lost loved ones; others their jobs. All of us have been stuck at home during lockdown, unable to live the lives they are used to.

And for many of us, myself included, this has taken a massive toll on our mental health.

I’ve always considered myself a very happy and positive person who’s in control. But in a pandemic, for the first time in my life, I felt lonely, anxious, depressed and stressed. I’ve even experienced nervous breakdowns and panic attacks.

And that made me wonder, who else is feeling like this?

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Several studies have found that young adults are especially prone to mental health impacts due to the pandemic.

So I hit the streets here in Berlin to learn more about how young people have been struggling under lockdowns.

Female Youth, One: “The social isolation, that we are really growing lonely.”
Male Youth, Two: “At a certain point, you just crave seeing people again, to go clubbing, to touch each other without distancing, without masks.

Three Female Youngsters, Three: “The motivation is often not there, especially when it comes to doing something for school.”

Male Youth, Four: “I’m scared that this will never end. I am scared that this will become a permanent condition, even though we are all sticking to the regulations like crazy, and are all playing along.”

Female Youth, Five: “Of course also financial worries, how will things go on.”

Person Five, Middle-Aged Male: “Your freedom is just gone.”

Female Youth, Five: “I think mentally, it just does a lot to people, unfortunately — especially to young people.”

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It’s true: many surveys across the world show that it’s young people especially who are experiencing increased levels of anxiety and depression during the pandemic.

A Canadian study showed that Millennials, those aged fifteen to thirty-four had the highest rates of clinically, significant anxiety, at 36%. And are much more prone to substance abuse since the pandemic broke out.

One of the largest data sets has been collected in the UK.

Elise Paul, UCL Research Fellow: “What we’ve found is that recently, one in five people in our study have been experiencing depression symptoms that have been significant enough that would require clinical attention.

At the same time, around fifteen percent (15%) in our study have been anxious enough, experiencing enough anxiety that would also probably meet the criteria for clinical disorder.

So the problem is significant. And these numbers are higher in young adults over the course of the pandemic.”

And it’s not just in Europe that mental health is an issue.

Elise Paul, UCL Research Fellow: “We have a hundred forty two longitudinal studies across seven countries. When we look across these, we find a similar pattern that young adults are more adversely affected in terms of mental health in other countries as well.”

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One of the countries in which young people are especially struggling is India. That’s why one clinical psychologist there set up a telephone help hot-line when the covid crisis struck.

Mythili Hazarika, Clinical Psychologist: “In two weeks, two-hundred and thirty-nine callers were there, who had actually reached out to us for different kinds of mental health issues, day and night; twenty-four hours.

So, we never knew this was so huge. And around forty-six percent (46%) of people who were anxious; around twenty-two percent were depressed, as well as depressive symptoms were there. And people are suicidal.

In India, nineteen (19) to thirty-five (35) year-olds, the anxiety was found to be very, very high.

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Studies have found that financial fears and worries about the future are one of the triggers for young people’s deteriorating mental health.

Mythili Hazarika, Clinical Psychologist: “People are very, very anxious about career and job-related issues, economic hardships.

Hopelessness is something we should be very, very worried about, because that is one trigger for suicide as we all know.

One couple, I still remember, had called us and said they are going to bridge. They said they are going there to now commit suicide.

And then I to them and spoke in person, ‘Why is this happening?’
And then they said, ‘We don’t have any money now in our bank’.”

Elise Paul, UCL Research Fellow: Well the pandemic has been a very different experience for people of different age groups, and young people who are just starting their careers and building a nest in their careers, may have experienced this as more of a negative impact in terms of disruptions as well as financial insecurity for the future.

According to the ILO, a hundred-and-forty (140) million jobs were lost in 2020 worldwide. And it’s young people, who haven’t been able to establish a career who are worried about their prospects in the job market.

Young Woman, One: “We’ve definitely developed fears for the future because we don’t know anymore where it’s going exactly. We also don’t have the chance to network with companies, and have no idea what the job market actually wants from us as everything is in transition.

And I have the feeling that we are being forgotten about a little bit, despite the fact that we are the future and we have to see how we best deal with the situation.”

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But it’s not all doom and gloom. Experts say that one silver lining about the rise of mental health struggles during the pandemic is that we are able to talk about it more openly.

Mythili Hazarika, Clinical Psychologist: “This is the first time that mental health is given a lot of importance, from what I have seen. Prior to this, yes: there were hardly any councilors. People never used to bother about psychologists and giving a position to them.

Elise Paul, UCL Research Fellow: “This pandemic can be seen as an opportunity to raise awareness about mental health, as well as increased access to mental health care services for vulnerable groups, as well as just the fact that we’ve all been through this this past year. I think it’s very hard to deny the physical and mental health aren’t equally important.”

If you’re finding yourself in a pandemic slump, there are a few simple things you can do to keep your mental health in check.

If you are really struggling though, please contact a hotline or seek out professional help.

Elise Paul, UCL Research Fellow: “We found that accessing social support; so having at least one person who you can to talk to, and just being honest with them about how you are feeling.

That recognition, that empathy is really important for people. We’ve also found that outdoor activities such as gardening and exercise really make a difference. Try to leave your house during the day, go for a walk. If you’re not leaving the house for protective reasons, get some exercise in your house, even if you don’t feel like it, because there are long-term benefits for you mental health.”

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Happy. The people in the video all feel happy, healthy and free! Is this entirely true, mostly true, in the middle, yes and no, partially true, largely false or entirely false?

Sad. What has happened over the past year?

Angry. Have only young, uneducated, unemployed people suffered from stress, anxiety and depression during the pandemic?

Bored, Boredom. How have people’s lives changed? What are their main concerns?

Tired, Fatigued, Listlessness, Lathargy. The pandemic has affect all people of all ages and occupations equally. Is this right or wrong?

Surprised, Shocked. Mental health problems only affect people in the US and other developed countries. Is this correct or incorrect?

Disappointed, Despair, Despondent. Are these mental health issue minor or can they be serious?

Helplessness, Hopelessness, Pessimism. Once the pandemic is over, will everything go back to normal, and young people will have a bright future?

Scared, Afraid, Frightened, Fear. Has anything positive come out of the pandemic?

Worried, Concerned, Anxious. What do the experts in the video recommend or suggest?
Ashamed, Humiliated. The coronavirus pandemic has had a profound affect on my town, city and country. Yes or no?

Depression, Panic Attack. What have you, your friends, classmates or colleagues gone though? How do they describe their experiences?

Furious, Mad, Have a Fit. Do some people need psychiatric help and support?

Optimistic, Hopeful. Is psychological help and counseling adequate?

Motivated, Energetic, Enthusiastic. How do people cope with the crisis? What are some ways that people have done to cope with the situation?

Elated, Joyous. What might happen in the future?

Excited, Thrilled, Adrenaline Rush. What can or should people do?

Rapture, Ecstasy, Exhilarated. Can or should the government do anything?

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