The COVID-19 pandemic and mental health - WHO Youtube Channel
Signs of depression and how to cope
From CNBC :
According to the American Psychological Association, depression is typically characterized by a combination of:
- a lack of interest and pleasure in daily activities
- sleep issues
- low energy
- an inability to concentrate
- feelings of worthlessness
- recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
Everyone feels a little off during the pandemic, Ziffra says. That’s expected and normal. Someone with depression, on the other hand, might feel unusual levels of fatigue, notice significant changes in their sleeping or eating or have a lot of difficulty with basic daily tasks, like showering, grooming, cleaning or paying bills.
Mental health test websites:
General test: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/tests/health/mental-health-assessment
Depression test: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/tests/health/depression-test
Expert advice on how to cope
From CNBC :
Plan your activities. When you’re feeling particularly down, you might feel completely unmotivated to exercise, talk to a friend or get outdoors — but those activities can provide a sense of enjoyment and stimulation that will help with depression. e proactive and plan these activities in advance, Ziffra advises, so you feel less pressure to be spontaneous and do something to boost your mood.
Ziffra also recommends two other simple habits to help with depression: get quality sleep, which will help you function better during the daytime, and eat well and minimize your use of substances like alcohol or cannabis.
If you’re experiencing depression, or you think you might be, consider seeking help from a professional.
From WebMD :Is There a Link Between COVID-19 and Depression?
While experts still need to study the long-term effects of COVID-19 on the brain, over half of a U.S. COVID-19 survivor sample reported symptoms of depression months after recovery, those with more severe COVID symptoms being more likely to have depression.
In addition, researchers found that many survivors of COVID-19 reported cases of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, insomnia, and obsessive-compulsive (OC) symptoms. Other studies showed that the prescription of antidepressants, intimate partner violence, and suicidal thoughts have gone up since the start of the pandemic.
Those who’ve had COVID-19 appear to have a higher risk of a mental health disorder after recovery from the virus.
What Causes Depression in COVID-19 Survivors?
Experts believe that a COVID-19 infection can affect your mental health in two major ways:
- Your body’s immune response to the virus itself
- The psychological stress of a COVID-19 infection
When you get infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, your immune system produces cytokines, chemokines, and other things that promote inflammation. Experts found a specific kind of cytokine, called T-helper-2 cell-secreted cytokines, in people with COVID-19. Higher levels of these cytokines seemed to link to a more severe case of the virus. Experts found that if your body doesn’t properly control these cytokines, certain bad things can happen:
- Nerve inflammation
- Blood-brain-barrier disruption
- Peripheral immune cell invasion into the central nervous system
- Impaired nerve transmission
- Hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis dysfunction
- Microglia activation and indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) induction
All of these represent the roots of psychiatric disorders, like depression. This suggests that the actual effects of the COVID-19 virus can lead to depression, even after a person recovers from the virus.
In a study, experts linked higher systemic immune-inflammation index levels (SII), which refer to your immune response and inflammation, to major depressive disorder. Inflammatory factors like SII were higher among males and people who stayed in a hospital during their COVID-19 illness.
Mental Health Effects of the Pandemic
Whether you’ve had a case of COVID-19 or not, the pandemic has affected all of us in some way. Many things related to the pandemic can affect your mental health:
- Trauma from a widespread disease
- Fear of getting sick
- Grief from losing a loved one, or from the loss of life in general
- Physical distancing and the lack of socializing
- Financial concerns (unemployment, housing security)
- Loss of community
- Less access to caregivers
After most traumatic events, depression tends to peak right after and then fall over time. But studies show that the rate of depression after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic actually went up. Those who were hit hardest with long-term mental health impacts include:
- Families or people with a low household income
- Unmarried people
- Those who faced multiple pandemic-related stressors
In the U.S., 32.8% of adults had elevated depressive symptoms in 2021, compared to 27.8% of adults in the early months of 2020 and 8.5% before the pandemic.
From Wikipedia Prevention and management of mental health conditions
The WHO and the CDC have issued guidelines for preventing mental health issues during the COVID-19 pandemic. The summarized guidelines are as follows:
- Be empathetic to all the affected individuals, regardless of their nationality or ethnicity.
- Use people-first language while describing individuals affected with COVID-19.
- Minimize watching the news if that makes one anxious. Seek information only from trusted sources, preferably once or twice a day.
- Protect yourself and be supportive to others, such as your neighbors.
- Find opportunities to amplify positive stories of local people who have experienced COVID-19.
- Honor healthcare workers who are supporting those affected with COVID-19.
- Implement positive thinking.
- Engage in personal hobbies.
- Avoid negative coping strategies, such as avoidance of crowds and pandemic news coverage.
From DW News :What you need to know about COVID-19 this week
- Italy announced that it had reached its goal of having 80% of the population over 12 vaccinated, according to official data published Sunday.
- Russia registered 28,647 new cases of the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, and 988 deaths, an all-time high for the country. The Kremlin has blamed people's unwillingness to get vaccinated for the continued spike in cases and deaths.
- Malaysia has lifted travel restrictions for vaccinated residents as it reached its target of 90% vaccination amongst eligible adults.
- In Australia, Sydney was set to reopen after a months-long lockdown. Businesses are set to reopen to fully vaccinated residents on Monday. "It's been a hundred days of blood, sweat, no beers, but we've got it back in action tomorrow," New South Wales state leader Dominic Perrottet said.
From Reuters :
- England's COVID-19 prevalence rises again. The prevalence of COVID-19 infections in England increased to around 1 in 70 people in the week ending Oct 2, Britain's Office for National Statistics said on Friday, reaching its highest level since the end of August.
- Two Indian drugmakers seek to end trials of Merck's drug for moderate COVID-19. Aurobindo Pharma and MSN Laboratories plan to continue late-stage trials of the drug for those with mild COVID-19, the Indian drug regulator's expert committee said on Friday.
- Biden calls on more U.S. businesses to require vaccinations. President Joe Biden on Thursday said more U.S. businesses should obligate workers to receive COVID-19 vaccinations, calling the move vital to ending the pandemic and sustaining the economy.
- Doctors worry Sydney re-opening is moving too fast. Australian doctors warned a too-rapid easing of COVID-19 curbs in Sydney could put pressure on health systems and risk lives, as the city prepares for key restrictions to be relaxed next week after more than 100 days in lockdown.
Global daily statistics - Reuters COVID-19 Global Tracker
 https://www.cnbc.com/2021/10/10/dep...g-covid-pandemic-how-to-feel-better-cope.htmlList of sources:
PS: I will post again here in one week. Thanks for reading, everyone.