Yes, the global pandemic that’s still very much today’s news affecting hundreds of millions of people around the world, yes that’s the one.
The impact on people's lives and health has been immense. In the 19 months now since the WHO declared a global pandemic status, research has enough hindsight and data to paint a picture of the various psychological impacts on people. What are the results? What do you think?
Bad outcomes... All studies on the effects of covid on mental health agree that after the declaration of a state of pandemic, there was an increase in global health problems. The pandemic increased loneliness, anxiety, depression, insomnia, alcohol and drug use, and self-destructive and suicidal behaviors, according to a study by Anant Kumar and Rajasekharan Nayar. In addition, other results show that this perceived loneliness, as well as these individual and pandemic-related stresses, increased people's sensitivity and obsessiveness.
Although all pointing in the same direction, the results are not exactly the same depending on the studies and the groups observed. Researchers from Jilin University in China have shown that 40.4% of young people show psychological problems following covid-19, and 14.4% show post-traumatic stress disorder. Another study based on German controls highlights the difference between pre- and post-covid, where psychological distress increased from 24 to 66%. This study also shows that psychological distress increases especially among women, young people and single people. Another study highlights the fact that poverty also increases the risk of mental health problems and their psychosocial consequences.
Nine researchers from the University of Ottawa and Chiang Mai University provide a synthesis of the various publications on the effects of covid on mental health. They highlighted the wide variability of mental health problems between countries, depending on the region. These differences stem from pandemic preparedness, inequality and economic vulnerability. Comparisons of different publications show that countries show more depression and anxiety if the Human Development Index is low, but also if the number of hospital beds is limited.
Although the entire planet was psychologically impacted by the pandemic, some countries, with fewer resources, suffered greater fallout than wealthier and better prepared countries. In the same way, people with particular situations are more likely to suffer the effects of the pandemic. All these results show the importance of considering alternatives to facilitate employment opportunities for unemployed people impacted by the pandemic, but also of facilitating long-distance contact to solve problems of solitude. It is also obviously necessary to pay attention to mental health services, especially among women, single people, unemployed and young people.
Kumar, Anant, and K. Rajasekharan Nayar. "COVID 19 and its mental health consequences." (2021): 1-2.
Liang, Leilei, et al. "The effect of COVID-19 on youth mental health." Psychiatric quarterly 91.3 (2020): 841-852.
Liu, Shuyan, et al. "Increased psychological distress, loneliness, and unemployment in the spread of COVID-19 over 6 months in Germany." Medicina 57.1 (2021): 53.
Nochaiwong, Surapon, et al. "Global prevalence of mental health issues among the general population during the coronavirus disease-2019 pandemic: a systematic review and meta-analysis." Scientific reports 11.1 (2021): 1-18.
Öksüz, Elif Emir, et al. "Adult Mental Health and Loneliness During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Late 2020." European Journal of Psychology Open (2021).