4 out of 10 US Adults Reported Anxiety and Depressive Disorders in 2020

Gillian Sisley

In relation to the numbers in 2019, this is an alarming increase

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

US Health Statistics are seeing a worrisome, but not surprising increase in mental health struggles for adults as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Data has found that, during the pandemic, 4 in 10 adults in the United States reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder between January to June 2020.

Comparatively, in 2019 only 1 in 10 adults reported these same symptoms.

As a result of the pandemic, adults struggling with these mental difficulties have gone from 10% of the population to 40% of the population, and that is absolutely something that should be worrying all of us.

We're only human, and we're doing the best we can.

Before the pandemic started, I was considered an adult who struggles with mental health difficulties. I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder in 2016, as a result of a sexual assault years before.

Like many with pre-existing mental health conditions, the pandemic seemed to make things far more difficult for me and my diagnosis. A whole new host of concerns was dropped on my lap, including a threat to my livelihood, that I had to figure out how to juggle along with managing my trauma.

The Common Wealth Fund estimated that between June-October 2020, due to pandemic-induced recession, 7.7 million US citizens lost their employment due to COVID-19. On top of that, 6.9 million more people were dependants of those former employees, meaning that a whopping 14.6 million individuals were affected by unemployment during those months.

And keep in mind, this is data only from the first 6 months of the pandemic... imagine how much higher those numbers are as of today in June 2021.

It's no wonder our mental health struggles were increased with the pandemic -- with such high numbers of people losing their employment due to COVID, who was to say we wouldn't be included in that number?

There is reasonable cause for concern here.

If the pandemic has brought any discussion to the forefront of society, it would be mental health.

The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) data indicates that U.S. adults who believe worry and stress from COVID harmed their mental health was at 53% percent in July 2020, and only slightly shifted down to 47% in March 2021.

To add to that, the Pew Research Center published an article in March 2021 stating that:

One-fifth of U.S. adults are experiencing high levels of psychological distress, including nearly three-in-ten (28 percent) among those who say the outbreak has changed their lives in “a major way.”

How could these numbers not be unsettling to us, and especially those of us who find that we too identify with the above statistics?

Because, statistically speaking, even if we ourselves may not feel in distress, odds are we know someone, a friend or family member or coworker, who is. That makes the impact of this pandemic, and the harm it's caused to mental health globally, closer to home than ever.

Final word.

Again I say, we are only human.

We can't always be on top of everything all the time, no matter how much we wish we could.

And if you’re goal-driven like me, that’s a tough pill to swallow. It’s all too easy to feel like a failure when one of the many balls you’re juggling drops.

With every new project or hobby or commitment we take on, something else must be sacrificed. And when just keeping our mental health in a positive place already feels impossible some days, we just have to be gracious with ourselves.

Because we're all doing our best to get through this thing, and that is absolutely enough right now.

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