With the unprecedented shock and loss that is associated with the arrival of COVID-19, the entire world is scrambling in order to develop a working vaccine that will allow for all of us to return to our everyday lives. However during the period that the vaccine is being developed there has been a popular policy around the world for the government to adopt. This policy is for the public to isolate themselves at home in order to limit the contact with other people which helps to limit the spread of the disease but is associated with negative drawbacks such as depression. We will be discussing this topic in our depression on the rise during the COVID-19 article.
The government enforced policy of self-isolation around the world and based on your personal circumstances, a large part of the companies that can afford it and make it work have let their workforce to work from home, furthermore many universities have closed their campus and moved their entire curriculum online.
Additionally based on World Health Organization recommendations, individuals that are shown COVID-19 related symptoms are required to self-isolate for at least 14 days.
This isolation has been extremely difficult for many, who are not used to be stuck at home all day and only going out to walk the dog or get groceries. Isolation has contributed significantly to the development or deterioration of depression among many other health conditions in millions of people around the world.
Opening up Old Wounds
Another key aspect of isolating for large periods of time is that it can be very difficult for recovering addicts that have a variety of addictions such as drinking, smoking, and taking harder substances. Whether it is because of boredom or as a way to deal with rising levels of stress many former addicts are struggling to stay clean and many have unfortunately taken back their old habits and relapsed. Taking back their addictions is not bad for the health of themselves but also the people that may be around them at home also isolating such as family and roommates.
Domestic Abuse on the Rise
All around the world including the United States, there has been an alarming trend that the cases of domestic abuse are rising. The reason for this is that victims of existing domestic abuse are spending more time with their parents since they are working less, working at home, or even not working at all. Also in some countries such as the USA, inmates are being released from prison in order to limit the spread of COVID in prisons which are known for being densely populated.
Moreover, it is much harder for victims to escape the abuse due to a combination of travel restrictions and also the dramatic increase in cases of domestic abuse during lockdown which has left charities that deal with domestic abuse unable to help everyone.
You can learn how to help prevent domestic abuse during COVID-19 by watching the video below.
Being in isolation is a very difficult decision that we have to make ourselves and also towards others in order to protect the individuals that are most at risk. The individuals that are the most at risk are the elderly, people with pre-existing conditions, and people in bad health due to their lifestyles such as smoking and being obese.
Due to this elderly people are another demographic group that is suffering a big amount from isolation as they often tend to leave away from the family and are currently not able to see their friends and family in real life.
It is also a very difficult time for the many people around the world that are mourning for their loved ones that have passed away. As of writing this article, there are close to 1 million confirmed deaths all around the world, with this number being believed by researchers to be much higher in reality due to the suppression of information in countries such as Russia, Iran, and China about the true figures of infected and dead.
For many people, it will be very difficult for them to currently come to terms with the mourning of their close ones, as COVID-19 came so fast and unexpected taking many people early that otherwise are unlikely to have died so early.
Boredom Is Potentially Dangerous
It is important to point out in this depression on the rise during the COVID-19 article that boredom is not always such as innocent feeling. A lot of research has been done recently on the topic of boredom, this feeling that is often seen as harmless can be very dangerous in certain cases. Research shows that the level of risk and danger depends on the personality type of the person, for example, extroverts are more likely to suffer from boredom as they enjoy spending time with others and generally do not enjoy being at home all day.
High levels of boredom can lead us to spend a lot of time thinking about things that we would not have generally thought about. Often these will be dark thoughts, furthermore, according to multiple studies, people that are bored are more prone to risk-taking which is not generally a good idea during a global pandemic.
Fear of Becoming Infected
Regardless of whether you personally know someone that has passed away or not, the majority of people around the world are fearful of getting infected by this disease that is sweeping the panic. On average the younger age groups tend to be less worried due to the lower number of mortalities in their population groups while adults and the elderly are much more likely to be fearful about getting infected by COVID-19.
No one planned when they were celebrating New Year Day that this particular year they will be experiencing one of the worse disease outbreaks in the 21st century so far. Life is something that we also treasure even if we make sometimes make decisions that are not beneficial to our health, no one wants to die young and miss out on great memories and moments.
Worrying About Money
Life has truly been altered due to the pandemic, people are changing their behavior by shopping less for luxuries and spending less money on businesses that require you to leave their houses such as going to the cinema or the restaurant. Unemployment rates in the United States for example have risen to close 9% meaning that millions of people in the country are now without a job and many of the others that happen to still have a job are working much fewer hours. These money worries have been proved to be a major factor in the development of depression.
Reduced Support for Other Health Conditions
Public and private health services have been overwhelmed around the world. It is now harder for people that had preexisting conditions or happened to develop a health condition as well as the elderly to be able to be treated in capacity and quality. Additionally, the health professionals that visited those individuals regularly were often the only quality form of contact with other people that the patients had.
Ways to Tackle COVID-19 Related Depression
As you may have likely gathered from this depression on the rise during the COVID-19 article, COVID-19 is not the only pandemic that is sweeping our world, the other pandemic is depression. Below we have made a list of useful steps that you can take in order to prevent and tackle depression related to COVID-19 in yourself and the people around you.
- Remember that just because you can’t meet people in person that you can still interact with them on video-calling platforms such as Zoom, FaceTime, and Facebook Messenger.
- Eat healthily and do not take up any new or old bad habits and addictions.
- Exercising is a good way to relieve stress.
- Be grateful for what you have and have a positive outlook on the world while also not becoming complacent with the risks associated with this disease.
- Reach out for help, there are a lot of charities set up for victims of domestic abuse or for example food banks that are helping individuals and families that are struggling financially.