The Impact of Pandemic on Mental Health Reflection Essay
The coronavirus pandemic has impacted mental health trends significantly. The disease has exposed people to stigma and discrimination, physical distancing, and loss of jobs in many of the sectors that were hardest hit by the pandemic. A high population globally, especially those affected by the various, are facing a probability of experiencing mental illnesses. Women, children, youth, and the elderly face anxiety, insomnia, depression, and posttraumatic stress due to the impacts of the diseases. Many settings globally have set up social media and virtual mental health services to impact mental health communication and health education.
More needs to be done to improve mental health facilities and services to enhance efficiency and equity. The impact of COVID-19 on mental health globally is immense. Mental health care services were not prepared for the pandemic’s vast negative impacts in low developed countries. Mental health facilities are unable to meet the expectations of the pandemic. Sub-Saharan African, for instance, is limited due to the poor internet connection and low digital literacy levels (Torous et al.. ,2020). The COVID-19 pandemic has influenced the lives of millions of people globally. The pandemic effects are likely to lead to mental health problems in those who have not had previous mental health problems. Mental health issues are likely to result from stigma and the break of social support. Factors related to the economic losses can develop to bring about long-term mental health problems.
In the US, for instance, reports indicate that 45% of adults are experiencing stress and anxiety. The numbers have shown an increasing trend about persons getting infected with the COVID-19. The UK reports 33% of people with high anxiety levels from the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. A survey in Italy shows 37 % of people displaying posttraumatic stress symptoms and 21 % undergoing stress; insomnia reported 7 % while severe anxiety 20 % of the population and depressive symptoms indicated 17% from the respondents. Global health settings reported health workers experiencing anxiety, clinical depression, posttraumatic stress symptoms, and suicidal thoughts in high numbers. A study in China shows the prevalence of anxiety among health workers at 45%, posttraumatic stress signs at 74%, and depression among the health workers at 51 % (Semo & Frissa, 2020). The majority of the settings reported a high number of mental health issues from single nurses and health care workers working during emergency cases and rooms. Recent studies have shown that COVID-19 patients have experienced anxiety and depression symptoms that may last up to two years, affecting a large population’s quality of life. COVID-19 survivors are likely to develop long-term effects that may need special care.
Children have experienced adverse effects during the pandemic on mental health. Spain has reported high levels of stress and anxiety in children due to the strict measures imposed during lockdown periods. Previous reports have indicated that pandemics have the potential to cause adverse mental health issues in young children (Semo & Frissa, 2020). Conditions that increase the possibility of facing depression include losing close relatives like parents and separation from a parent during quarantine. Children practicing social distancing are at risk of developing mental health issues due to lack of interaction with peers and boredom. Having reported the first cases of the Coronavirus, China has reported low levels of stress among children under the age of 18 years. The main reason may be attributed to low levels of infection among members of that age group and limited exposure to infection.
Older adults are at a high risk of being affected by mental health issues. Practices such as social distancing and the fear to die from the Coronavirus may trigger stress and negative impacts on people with mental health problems. The older population, especially people above 55 years, has high cases of preexisting depression in regions like China. Contrary to the findings, reports in Canada and the US show seniors above 65 years report few mental health issues compared to other groups of the population. Globally, high levels of stress have been reported among adolescents and the youth. Stress among the youth has been attributed to social media platforms.
Stress levels among people with higher education levels increased during the pandemic—increased self-awareness of the health status due to the exposure levels and income uncertainty. People experiencing physical conditions such as dizziness, muscle aches, and coryza reported high levels of anxiety and depression (Semo & Frissa, 2020). Good health care systems are adequately prepared to deal with a pandemic to lower mental health issues in the population. High levels of trust between mental health patients and physicians are an effective tool in handling mental conditions. Globally, people earning low wages experience high levels of stress and mental health problems than people with a high income. The workforce has globally insisted on preventing the infection and spread of the coronavirus disease leading to fewer mental health problems among the staff. Improved workplace hygiene like putting on a mask and hand washing has been reported to reduce mental health issues.
The impacts of the pandemic on the healthcare system have affected patients seeking chronic care. High levels of anxiety and stress levels may result from the inability to get timely medical care. Psychiatric people display high levels of depression, stress, and anxiety. The adverse effects of the care of patients with mental health problems worsen the condition of a patient. People experiencing bipolar disorders and schizophrenia mental health conditions are likely to worsen during the pandemic. Patients with severe mental health issues require frequent clinical visits and contacts for assistance (Semo & Frissa, 2020). Previous research shows that women are more affected by psychological issues during the COVID-19 pandemic. High levels of mental health issues in women can be associated with the fact that women are more likely to experience posttraumatic symptoms and stress from their career and domestic issues.
Poverty and mental illness are intertwined. The pandemic has increased poverty. The increase in unemployment levels and the job insecurities experienced during the pandemic have affected different families’ lifestyles. Efforts towards adapting to a jobless life and new hardships have resulted in acceleration in mental issues. People with mental may face severe social psychological impacts (Hartz, 2014). The social isolation and limited access to mental health facilities and programs have caused additional psychological distress, pushing mental illness towards an increasing trend. An international overview of the new trends of mental health during the current COVID-19 pandemic and the related health risks have been experienced at varying levels.