Contact a licensed mental health professional for assistance
Feeling anxious or depressed these days? You are far from alone, according to a new study from San Diego State and Florida State universities.
As published in the journal Depression & Anxiety, researchers compared nationally representative samples of U.S. adults from the first half of 2019 and from April/May 2020 who had completed online, industry-standard patient health questionnaires as part of the National Health Interview Survey and the Household Pulse Survey, both of which are administered by the U.S. Census Bureau. The researchers found:
- Compared to the 2019 respondents, the April/May 2020 respondents were more than three times as likely to screen positive for depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, or one or both, with more than one out of three screening positive for one or both.
- The prevalence of anxiety decreased slightly between the April 23–May 4, 2020, and the May 21–26, 2020, survey responses, while the prevalence of depression increased slightly but statistically significantly.
- The symptom increases from 2019 to 2020 occurred despite possible pandemic‐related buffering effects (such as rallying together and prioritizing health).
The researchers said their findings raise concerns about pandemic‐related risk factors for mood disorders like loneliness, economic strain, increased alcohol use, reduced physical activity, and increased interpersonal conflict, as well as the need to address these factors.
“These population‐level effects need effective solutions available to most, including, in terms of maximized access, those that are self‐guided (e.g., daily morning sunlight exposure, routine physical activity and exercise [e.g., walking], and reaching out to an array of others),” they wrote. “Access to quality mental health care, in general, is imperative, and improved telehealth and access to and fluency with it are priorities as well.”
So if you are feeling anxious and depressed, you are not alone—truly: Licensees of the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Board of Psychology and Board of Behavioral Sciences can help. Find out more about their services at https://psychology.ca.gov and https://bbs.ca.gov, and check a professional’s license at https://search.dca.ca.gov. In addition, check out several pandemic-related resources for emotional support and well-being at https://covid19.ca.gov.