The battle to stop the coronavirus pandemic, waged with social distancing and forced isolation, is taking a psychological toll that some specialists warn could spark yet another crisis, one of mental health.
The coronavirus pandemic has not only threatened the physical health of millions but has also wreaked havoc on the emotional and mental well-being of people around the world. Feelings of anxiety, helplessness, and pain are increasing as people face an increasingly uncertain future, and almost everyone has been affected by the loss.
The coronavirus has plunged the world into uncertainty, and the constant news about the pandemic may seem relentless. All of this is affecting people’s mental health, regardless of whether they have a diagnosed mental illness.
The decline in mental health was most experienced by millennials and Generation Z, more than half of whom said it had worsened “somewhat” or “significantly.”
The authors say the findings are not surprising and that adults are expected to feel anxious that their lives have taken such an abrupt turn for such a short period of time, whether it be regarding orders to stay home, lose their jobs, or fear of getting sick.
More than 40% of all generations said that their mental health had “worsened” during the pandemic. Nearly half of Generation Z and Millennials reported worsening feelings compared to 40% of Generation X, 38% of baby boomers, and 35% of the silent generation. However, Generation X had the highest percentage of respondents, a fifth who said their mental health had “significantly worsened.”
Respondents were then asked how likely they would be to speak to a mental health professional about how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their emotions. On a scale of one (probably nothing) to five (extremely likely), 40% said it is highly likely or extremely likely that they will speak to a professional.