The overall level of anxiety has declined since last year’s APA poll, but “we are concerned about the extent to which anxiety remains dominated,” APA President Jeffrey Geller told Medscape.
The latest poll results were presented at the 2021 Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association and are based on an online survey of 1,000 adults over the age of 18 from March 26 to April 5.
Serious mental health hit
In a new poll, four in ten Americans (41%) reported more anxiety than last year, down from just over 60%.
Young adults aged 18-29 (49%) and Hispanic / Latin Americans (50%) tend to report more anxiety than they did a year ago. People over the age of 65 (30%) are less likely to feel anxious than last year.
The results show that Americans are more concerned about getting COVID-19 (64%) than their family and loved ones catching the virus themselves (49%).
Concerns about the safety of family and loved ones were raised last year’s poll (conducted in September and now rises from 56% to 64%. Hispanic / Latin individuals (73%) and black individuals (76%). %) Are more concerned about COVID–19 (59%) than whites.
In a new poll, 43% of adults said the pandemic had a serious impact on their mental health, up from 37% in 2020. Young adults are more likely to report serious mental health effects.
Sleep problems (down from 19%, 22%), poor concentration (down from 18%, 20%), more fights, and more, pandemics affect our daily lives compared to a year ago A few Americans said they had a loved one (16%, down from 17%).
The impact of these issues is also shown.In adults, 17% said they drank more alcohol Or, I’m taking more medicine than usual, up from 14% a year ago.In addition, 33% of adults (40% of women) report gain weight During a pandemic.
Calling an action
More than half (53%) of adults with children say they are worried about their children’s mental state, and nearly half (48%) say the pandemic caused mental health problems in one or more children. Said. % And 19% of major issues.
More than a quarter (26%) of parents seek professional mental health support from their children for a pandemic.
Almost half (49%) of parents say their children have been helped by mental health professionals since the pandemic began. 23% from primary care professionals, 18% from psychiatrists, 15% from psychologists, 13% from therapists, 10% from social workers, 10% from school counselors or school psychologists received.
More than one in five parents said they were having a hard time finding a mental health professional who could book.
“This poll shows that even as vaccines become more widespread, Americans are still worried about their children’s mental state,” Geller said in a news release.
“This is a call for action to policy makers who need to remember that there is no health without mental health in the recovery of COVID-19,” he added.
Restoring force of finite resources
Samoon Ahmad, MD, Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry, NYU Grossman School of Medicine, said it was not surprising that Americans still suffered more anxiety than usual.
He believes there are several reasons why anxiety levels remain high. One is that he has noticed among patients over the years. “Most people suffer from anxiety, especially at night when the noise and distractions of modern life disappear. It’s time for introspection,” he explained.
“”quarantine It was like a protracted night, as the general distractions of so-called “rat races” have been relatively subdued for the past 14 months. I think this is what causes what is called “forced introspection.” I think this is causing anxiety as people are using only their time to reassess their careers and social life and are really starting to worry about some of their decisions. He led them to this point in life. “
It’s not surprising, according to Ahmad, another finding in the APA survey: that loved ones are more concerned about getting the virus than they were a year ago.
“We seem to be around the corner in the United States, and the worst of the pandemic is behind us, but the surge that took place around November-March this year is geographically wider than the previous wave. The severity of the virus has become much more realistic for people who lived in communities that escaped a serious outbreak during the outbreaks seen in the spring and summer of 2020. “Ahmad said.
“There is also growing concern about variants and their effectiveness. vaccine In the treatment of these variants. People with families in other countries where the virus is rampant, such as India and parts of Latin America, are more likely to experience more stress and anxiety. “
The results of the new APA poll are not surprising, but they are still “deeply concerned,” Ahmad said.
“Resilience is a finite resource and people can’t take that much. stress Before their mental health begins to deteriorate, “Ahmad said.
“Some people take longer than others to overcome this kind of anxiety and re-adapt to social situations. It’s completely natural,” said the founder of the New York City Integrated Wellness Center. Ahmad says.
“I don’t think it’s wise to try to limit the time it takes for a normal readjustment. I think everyone in the field of mental health needs to avoid suffering from prolonged anxiety. No need. I was taking or diagnosed with a mental illness because I was nervous about getting into public places right after the pandemic. “
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