Symptoms of depression and anxiety among U.S. adults declined in the first half of 2021, as Americans received the Covid-1 vaccine shot and state lockdowns and other restrictions were lifted.
The increase and decrease in the frequency of symptoms reported at the state and national levels “reflects the weekly number of new Covid-1 cases over the same period,” a study released Tuesday by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.
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The agency also found that levels reported in June were better than estimates from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) in 2001, and that the frequency of symptoms increased after August 2020, the highest level since December last year.
The CDC used data from the bi-weekly US Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey (HPS) survey, which began in April 2020 and was taken from a selection of US Census Bureau master address files that contained all 50 e-mail and mobile telephone numbers. About 117 million U.S. housing units in the state and Washington DC
The analysis looked at data collected from 19 bilateral surveys from August 2020 to June 2021, with breaks from December 22, 2020 to January 5, 2021 and from March 30 to April 13, 2021.
The researchers analyzed more than 1.5 million responses to 19 waves to obtain results.
Nationally, the average frequency of anxiety symptoms increased by 13% from August 2020 to December 2020 and decreased by 26.8% from December 2020 to June 2021.
The severity of depression increased by 1.8..8% from August 2020 to December 2020 and decreased by about a quarter from December 2020 to June 2021.
“Throughout the study period, the frequency of anxiety and depression symptoms was positively correlated with the average number of daily COVID-19 cases. Mental health services and resources, including telehealth behavioral services, were critical during the COVID-19 epidemic,” the CDC wrote.
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Mississippi was found to be among the states with the highest increase in the percentage of anxiety and depression, while Florida and New York had the lowest percentage increase in the percentage of depression and anxiety, respectively.
The study had at least six limitations, the agency noted, adding that the fifth decrease in the frequency of symptoms observed between June 2021 occurred before the recent surge in delta variant cases.
Researchers add that delivery systems for mental health care and resources, such as telehealth behavioral services, are important during epidemics – especially in populations affected by the virus.
The CDC said members of the population in hard-hit areas may be “more at risk for the psychological consequences of Covid-1” and that the impact on the mental health of the epidemic could have a community-specific impact when disease and mortality rates are rising.
“Fluctuations in anxiety and depression symptoms during an epidemic underscore the importance of real-time monitoring of mental health symptoms. Tracking these results, including demographic characteristics, can provide early indicators of demand and potential growth for mental health services.” The study said.
A CDC report prior to August 2020 found that US1% of US adults surveyed in June reported symptoms of anxiety or depression – numbers from the NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health). Joshua Gordon wrote that the rate was almost double what was expected before the epidemic.
In December, the percentage of U.S. adults who experienced at least one of these diseases increased to 42%: an 11% increase over the previous year, Nature reported in February.
Another CDC survey published in July found that more than half of public health workers reported mental health problems during the epidemic.
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Gordon said crisis intervention services such as SAMHSA’s Disaster Helpline (1-800-985-5990) and Crisis Text Line (Home Text 17111711) There has been a significant increase in volume since the onset of the epidemic, noting that the CDC, NIMH and other agencies are working to raise awareness of available mental health resources, including the Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-talk).
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential psychological assistance to people in a crisis or emotional distress of suicide, 2/7.
If you or someone you know has suicidal thoughts, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).