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

Sheeraz Qurban

The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected the daily lives of people regardless of age or nationality. To date, more than 4 million people have succumbed to the virus. Collectively, it has affected economies, social lives, education, tourism, etc. That has caused changes in daily life worldwide. While on an 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, businesses, childcare & health, along with the shocking loss of their loved ones, family, and friends. Despite facing several mental health issues, they are not getting help for their mental wellbeing.
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon from Pexels

What is Mental Health?

Mental health is our emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing, which affects our 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 a direct impact on our daily life. Multiple factors contribute to mental health issues, including biological, genetic, traumatic, and abusive experiences.

Are You Mentally Healthy?

If you are

  • having sleep or eating disorders,
  • 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 probably the time you must seek mental help.

If you are having all or some of these symptoms, then your mental health needs attention. Mental health issues are common and can be coped with by proper care, meditation, and medication.

How COVID-19 is affecting 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 crises. All this ultimately gave rise to mental health issues, particularly in the United States.

According to a survey, conducted by KFF COVID-19 VACCINE MONITOR, 55% of women and 38% of men in the United States believe that their mental health is negatively affected by the pandemic.

7/10 people aged 18 to 29 in the United States are worried about employment, getting infected, and childcare.
KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor (March 15-22, 2021)

4/10 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 financial ones. Mental health in the US has been neglected compared to physical health. People are responding to their mental health on their own due to a 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 the stresses of life, work productively and make meaningful contributions to the community. Instead of stressing more about an already stressed situation, people need to work on positive mental health. Following are some ways to maintain positive mental health suggested by the national mental health program.

  • To get professional help: if needed.
  • Connecting with others: in this pandemic where social activities and gatherings have nearly vanished, people need to connect online and make productive and positive use of social media.
  • Staying positive: 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's sleep. Socializing is essential for 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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