Mental health issues affect about 13% of the world’s population. However, the pandemic exacerbated the problem in the US, with 59% of adults reportedly suffering from mental health issues.
Keep reading to discover how the COVID-19 pandemic fueled the rising mental health issues, including burnout, PTSD, stress, and anxiety.
What is causing the rising mental health issues?
Several circumstances are causing a rise in mental health issues:
- Loss of income: The US economy contracted 19.2% in 2020. Consequently, many people lost jobs and livelihoods, leading to a sharp rise in anxiety levels.
- Consequences of the pandemic: Federal and state governments passed lockdown mandates, outlawing traveling and shutting down businesses and learning institutions. Social isolation leads to rising mental health issues, such as anxiety and suicide rates.
- Cyber-bullying: 82% of Americans use social media. Inevitably, cyber-bullying crept up on social platforms, leading to mental health cases like depression and stress, progressing to self-harm tendencies.
Examples of Rising Mental Health Issues
Prolonged and excessively emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion will cause burnout. Most people who experience burnout will get it from a demanding and overwhelming job environment with incessant and unrealistic demands.
Thankfully, burnout is an occupational phenomenon, not a disease—much likely experienced burnout due to adjusting to working from home and taking care of the kids. Yet, simultaneously, they’re expected to hit the same work targets despite all the distractions.
It is a mental health disorder triggered by either witnessing or experiencing terrifying events. Individuals who have gone through a traumatic experience will have difficulty adjusting and coping.
Symptoms include severe anxiety attacks, unbearable thoughts, flashbacks, and nightmares. If these symptoms persist and last for months to years and come in between the day-to-day functioning of your life, then you probably have PTSD.
Considering more than 1 million people have died because of the pandemic in the US, it’s easy to see why some might have PTSD.
Stress occurs when you find yourself in situations you have little or no control over. It is the feeling of being under pressure, a state of physical and emotional tension. Stress is a normal part of human life.
That said, stress can cause mental health issues, worsening existing problems. Due to the pandemic, stress levels affected 29.6% of the general American population.
Anxiety is a mental disorder characterized by a feeling of fear, foreboding, panic, and nervousness. Some of the symptoms you will display include sweating and a pounding heart. It affects about 18% of the American adult population each year.
You will display intense and persistent worry about seemingly ordinary situations, which most people experience due to the uncertainty brought about by the pandemic recession.
5. Major depressive disorder
Otherwise known as clinical depression is a mental health disorder triggered by social, biological, and psychological situations (stressors).
These stressors change your brain activity, which leads to feelings of persistent sadness and depressed mood. As a result, you will lose interest in everyday activities and always feel sad. About 8% of Americans suffer from a major depressive disorder.
Final Word – Rising Mental Health Issues
The COVID pandemic contracted the economy by 19%, causing businesses to shut down and lose jobs. Consequently, people had to isolate themselves to prevent the disease spread. All these factors combined fuel the recent rise in mental health issues.
Most adults had to grapple with the stress, anxiety, and depression of losing livelihoods, while the death of loved ones might have caused PTSD in some. In addition, some suffered from burnout as they had to juggle working from home while caring for children or sick loved ones.
Contact Health Consultants Group
To learn more about rising mental health issues, how you can help your employees with such problems, and other essential HR issues, visit our contact page or give us a call at (800) 367-2482.