10 Oct. 2021 17:33
For a year and a half, the corona crisis has had people firmly under control. So far, little attention has officially been paid to psychological collateral damage. Now a study has been published that took on the subject and provided explosive figures.
Over the past year and a half, doctors and scientists have repeatedly warned against too narrow a view of the corona crisis and criticized the associated policy as being too one-sided in the sense of “health protection”. At the end of August, it was the psychoneuroimmunologist Christian Schubert who spoke to the magazine in an interview Cicero Took a stand. “The collateral damage is already immense, but there is no prospect of a change in strategy – on the contrary. Fighting the virus is entirely in keeping with the mechanistic image of man and is based solely on the technical aspects.”
The little-noticed collateral damage of the rigid measures to contain SARS-CoV-2 still includes the psychological interactions of lockdowns, warnings, “social distancing”, ever new “variants”, fear and constant worry. Attention to this aspect of health has also been urged again and again in recent months, but hardly found its way into the official political and media discourse.
Now one is in the specialist magazine on Friday The Lancet published a study that looked at the phenomenon and compared the psychological consequences that are obvious to many observers with concrete figures.
According to researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia and the University of Washington, the number of mental illnesses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has increased tremendously worldwide. According to the findings of the scientists, there were an estimated 53 million cases of major depressive disorders and 76 million additional cases of anxiety disorders in the COVID year 2020 that can be attributed to the virus crisis.
That corresponds to a global increase of 28 and 26 percent. In Germany, the growth rate is still comparatively low at just under 17 percent. The researchers’ data show that the increase was significantly greater in France, Spain and Italy, for example. However, there was no information from many countries, especially from countries with low and middle incomes. Further surveys are necessary.
The authors urged governments and policymakers to take urgent action to strengthen mental health systems around the world and meet increased demand. In addition to the direct effects of COVID-19, the pandemic “created an environment in which many mental health factors are also affected”.
“Social restrictions, lockdowns, schools and business closures, loss of livelihoods, decline in economic activity and the shift in government priorities in trying to control the COVID-19 outbreak all have the potential to affect the mental health of the population significantly affect. “
“Not taking steps to address the burden of major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders shouldn’t be an option,” the researchers state. Younger people are therefore worst affected by the psychological consequences.
The lack of interaction with peers, school closings and the fear of unemployment are important factors, said co-author Alize Ferrari according to a statement. The study refers to surveys by UNESCO, according to which “COVID-19 has led to the most serious disruption of the global education system in history”.
In addition, mental disorders have increased significantly more in women than in men. More care and household duties as well as domestic violence in lockdown played an important role. For example, “care and household duties due to school closings or the illness of family members (…) are more likely to be carried out by women”. Also because of economic disadvantages, such as an often lower salary, women are much more affected by the psychological sequelae than men.
“They are also more likely to be victims of domestic violence, which increased during the time of lockdowns and no-leave orders.”
The scientists around Damian Santomauro from the Queensland Center for Mental Health Research (QCMHR) emphasized that this is the first study to quantify the global impact of the crisis on mental disorders in 204 countries by age, gender and location. Most research so far has focused on specific locations and a short period of time. The meta-analysis shows that an increased COVID-19 infection rate and reduced freedom of movement for “people with an increased prevalence of major depressive disorders and anxiety disorders” go hand in hand. The experts point out elsewhere, this could in turn have fatal consequences:
“Both major depressive disorders and anxiety disorders increase the risk of other illnesses and suicide.”
The authors urged governments and policymakers to take urgent action to strengthen mental health systems around the world and meet increased demand. Colleagues from Great Britain and Sweden joined in one Lancet– Comment on the appeal. There is an urgent need for more research to improve mental health in the context of the pandemic worldwide, the experts said.
more on the subject – Corona crisis: Mothers and financially disadvantaged parents are particularly psychologically affected