How COVID-19 has affected The Mental Health of People in USA

Sheeraz Qurban

COVID-19 has adversely affected The Mental Health of People in USA

The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected the daily lives of people world over regardless of age or nationality. Till date, more than 4 million people have succumbed to the virus. Collectively, it has affected economies, social lives, education, tourism ,etc. which has caused changes in daily life worldwide. While on individual level it has severely affected our mental health, particularly in the United States where 55% of women and 38% of men say that their mental health is negatively affected by the pandemic. People are worried about getting infected by the virus, employments and businesses, childcare and health along with shocking loss of their loved ones, family and friends. Despite facing several mental health issues , they are not getting help for their mental wellbeing.

What is Mental Health?

Mental health is our emotional, psychological and social wellbeing which has effect on thinking, feeling and acts. Our mental health determines: our response to a particular situation, our response to stress, our behavior and our ability to make choices and decisions. It has direct impact on our daily life. There are multiple factors which contribute to mental health issues including biological, genetic, traumatic and abusive experiences.

Are You Mentally Healthy?

If you are having sleep or eating disorder and procrastinating your daily activities, avoiding social activities or feeling stoic of almost everything, consuming more alcohol or smoking more than you usually do or experiencing rapid mood swings, or feeling low all the time and find no energy for doing anything at all; it is the time you must seek mental help.
Photo of a Woman sitting on a sofaPhoto by Gui Spinardi from Pexels

If you are having all or some of the above mentioned symptoms then your mental health needs attention. Mental health issues are common and be coped with proper care meditation and medication.

How covid-19 has affected our Mental Health?

Covid-19 has adversely affected our daily life. Repeated lockdowns, quarantines and limited movements have further deteriorated it. Millions of people have lost their loved ones and have experienced trauma along with financial and social crisis. All this ultimately gave rise to mental health issues all around the world and the United States is not exception in this regard.

According to survey conducted by KFF COVID 19 VACCINE MONITOR 55% of women and 38% of men in United States believe that their mental health is negatively affected by the pandemic.
Younger adults' and women's mental health is mostly affected by COVID19KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor (March 15-22, 2021)

“Stress and worry about contracting the virus, coupled with job losses, loss of childcare, as well as the devastating loss of loved ones due to COVID-19 are just a few ways in which the pandemic may be having an effect on mental health,” - Audrey Kearney, Liz Hamel and Mollyann Brodie from the KFF survey team.

7/10 people aged 18 to 29 in the United States are worried about employment, getting infected and childcare.

4 out of 10 men and 55% of overall women in the United States believe that their mental health is severely affected by the COVID-19.

Despite facing several mental health issues like stress, depression and anxiety, people in the United States are not getting mental help due to various reasons- mainly the financial ones. Mental health in the country was not given much importance as compared to the physical health. It is high time that mental health must be given due importance and public awareness about mental health be enhanced. People are responding to their mental health at their own due to lack of awareness. To avoid stress, depression, irritability and other symptoms of mental illness people rush to social media as an alternative to therapy.

How can Mental Wellness be maintained during the pandemic?

Mental wellness allows us to realize our full potential, cope with stresses of life, work productively and make meaningful contributions to the community. Instead of stressing more on already stressed situation people need to work on positive mental health. Following are some ways to maintain positive mental health suggested by national mental health program.
Man and Woman sitting together in front of a tablePhoto by Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas from Pexels

  • Getting professional help: if needed.
  • Connecting with others: in this pandemic where social activities and gathering are nearly vanished people need to connect with others online and make productive and positive use of social media.
  • Staying positive: in this stressful situation where people are surrounded by worries, positive thinking is much needed. By staying positive and hopeful we can maintain our mental wellness.
  • Helping others: helping each other in different tasks is a very productive way of avoiding stress and depression.
  • Getting enough sleep: Maintaining sleep and eating routines help in staying mentally healthy and active.

Mental wellness can also be maintained by having a balanced diet, socializing frequently, exercising regularly and having a good night sleep. Socializing is a key factor in maintaining mental wellness while isolating yourself does no good. Though the pandemic is here to stay, staying positive and hopeful is the best antidote to mental illness.

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