Prepare, Prevent and Respond to COVID-19
This project supported through the CARES Act under the Family Violence & Prevention Services Act informing the community to prepare, prevent and respond to COVID-19
Written by: Luana Scanlan, MBA- PRIME Consultant
Depression is a common mental health disorder in the U.S. that can happen at any age. It develops because of physical changes to your brain and how it works. Risk factors for depression include a family history of depression, major life changes that involve stress, physical illnesses, and medications. Symptoms include feelings of hopelessness, pessimism, guilt, restlessness; difficulty sleeping, focusing; fatigue or changes in appetite; thoughts of death or suicide. No two people experience depression in the same way. While these symptoms are like those resulting from life experiences such as loss, life threatening illness, etc. depression is different because it is persistent - time does not heal depression. The Mental Health American organization provides online screening tools for depression and related mental health conditions.
Researchers analyzed data from the 2020 Korea Community Health Survey to assess links between COVID-19 and self-reported depression among adults (Byun, et al. 2022). They focused on compliance with three COVID-prevention rules: social distancing, wearing a mask indoors, and outdoors. The results suggest that compliance with COVID-19 rules supported mental health in the Korean population.
People who did not comply with public health measures were more likely to be depressed. Not wearing a mask indoors was most often linked to depression. In participants with a high level of education, non-compliance was significantly associated with depression. The observance of public health rules in the early stages of future pandemics can minimize stress, frustration, anxiety, and depression.
COVID-19 has also been causally linked to psychological problems such as panic disorder and anxiety (Qiu, et al., 2020; Hossain, et al., 2020). In patients infected with COVID-19, uncertainty about treatment and health outcomes affected their mental health (Hossain & Purohit, 2020). A recent study of survivors of COVID-19 infection reported the frequency of depressive symptoms twelve weeks after COVID-19 infection at 11–28% (Renauld-Charest, O. et al., 2021).
In countries where mask wearing was recommended in the early stages of the pandemic the level of depression and stress was lower than in countries that did not emphasize mask wearing as a form of prevention (Wang, et al., 2020). The research suggests that compliance with COVID-19 public health policies can reduce related depression and support mental health (Zhao SZ, et al 2020).
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