Anxiety jumps in pandemic
CASES of major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders have rocketed during the pandemic, respectively jumping by 28 per cent and 26 per cent last year.
That’s the key finding of a world-first study that quantified the prevalence and burden of the disorders by age, gender and location in 204 countries and territories.
University of Queensland, Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research and University of Washington researchers estimated people living in countries hit hard by Covid-19 had the biggest spike. That’s especially the case for women and younger people.
“Countries with high infection rates and major reductions in the movement of people – a consequence of measures such as lockdowns and school closures – were found to have the greatest increases,” study leader Damian Santomauro said.
He said mental health systems would need urgent strengthening to cope with the significant increase in cases.
That would be challenging, he said, as mental healthcare systems in most countries had historically been under resourced and disorganised in their service delivery.