How has the Pandemic Affected Mental Health?

The Covid-19 pandemic has ripped its way through the world over the past year and a half. That has led to governments enforcing lockdowns to stop the spread. This legislation has slowed the virus down but being locked inside has had some serious effects on people’s mental health. This article will explore some of the ways that the pandemic has affected mental health.

Emotional Fallout of Social Distancing

Social distancing measures have been employed across the world to stop people from spreading Covid-19. The rules of social distancing are relatively standard—you have to stand around six feet away from another person. However, the effects of social distancing on mental health differ depending on people’s circumstances. For some people, social distancing has meant that they haven’t had any physical contact for a long time. Humans are wired to touch from birth, so losing physical contact can increase feelings of depression, anxiety, stress, and more. Standing six feet apart from someone in a queue might not seem like a big issue, but it could be making people unhappy.

Loneliness

Lockdowns around the world have caused feelings of loneliness to increase. This shouldn’t come as a surprise when you think about it. Social interactions have decreased and physical human contact is almost non-existent for some people. Video calls have mitigated some of that damage but they can’t replace the social lives that people led before. Loneliness has been linked to higher levels of anxiety, depression, suicide, and even heart disease. 

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Financial Anxiety 

Around the world, the Covid-19 pandemic has led to job losses. Industries such as hospitality and live entertainment have been hit particularly hard, but there has been financial insecurity across the board. Some governments have attempted to provide compensation but some people have still suffered from financial anxiety. This can cause severe mental health problems, including depression and anxiety. 

Health Anxiety 

It’s no surprise that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused an increase in health anxiety. With people worried about catching the disease, more and more people are inclined to stay indoors and avoid mixing with others. Plus, with gyms and healthcare facilities closing, people have had reduced access to health resources. To combat this, some people have been taking supplements—from brands such as Neubria—and exercising in their own homes. 

Grief Due to Loss

The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in millions of deaths around the world. Each of those deaths has caused grief, which in turn has had a huge effect on people’s mental health—sometimes leading to problems such as depression. 

Increase in Domestic Abuse 

The increase in domestic abuse during the Covid-19 pandemic has been called “a pandemic within a pandemic.” With couples being forced to stay inside, there has been a significant increase in domestic violence and emotional abuse across the globe. This can have serious effects on the victim’s mental health, as domestic abuse can cause an increase in depression and anxiety, as well as long-term mental health problems such as PTSD.