The coronavirus epidemic is driving skyrocketing rates of depression

According to a recently published study, Americans are reporting three times more depressive symptoms than before the epidemic. Jama.

Why it’s important: The downstream effects of coronavirus on our health and especially our mental health are getting worse.

Between the lines: The same people who are heavily armed with the real coronavirus also have a higher risk of depression.

  • Low-income households, households with less than $ 5,000 in savings and exposure to coronavirus stressors are more likely to have depressive symptoms.
  • The authors write, “An event that causes physical, emotional and mental harm, the COVID-19 epidemic itself can be considered a traumatic event.” “In addition, policies designed to prevent its spread introduced new life stresses and disrupted daily life for most people in the US.”

Bottom line: The authors conclude that, “Post-Covid-1 plans have the potential to increase the likelihood of mental illness, especially in at-risk populations.

Our idea bubble: The best way to reduce the mental health issues arising from an epidemic in the short term is to reduce the severity of the epidemic, which means the virus is under control and, in turn, minimize its economic disruption.

  • But mental health issues don’t go away overnight, and our health care system was already bad at addressing them. U.S. Suicide and substance abuse have been a major issue in India for years.
  • If we are really going to consider these traumatic mental health issues, the policy probably requires no serious policy efforts, as the likelihood of mental health care under today’s system is minimal in people.

Go deep: Incoming coronavirus mental health crisis