- More than a third of Americans have displayed clinical signs of anxiety, depression, or both since the coronavirus pandemic began.
- The US Census Bureau began surveying Americans on a weekly basis in late April, seeking information on the social and economic impacts of the pandemic.
- According to the latest findings, 24% of Americans showed clinical signs of depression, and 30% showed clinical signs of anxiety.
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More than one in three Americans are showing clinical signs of anxiety, depression, or both, according to the US Census Bureau, which began administering a weekly survey in late April to measure the social and economic impacts of the pandemic.
The most recent data, published last week, were based on responses from more than 42,000 households between May 7 and May 12.
The households were asked questions typically used to screen for mental health problems. 24% of respondents showed clinical signs of depression, and 30% showed clinical signs of anxiety.
The latest data represents the devastating toll of the pandemic and attendant job loss. In a 2014 national survey, the Census Bureau found that 25% of Americans experienced a “depressive mood.” During the pandemic, 50% of Americans experienced a depressive mood.
Anxiety and depression rates were highest among young adults, women, and poor people.
The pandemic is, as Portia Crowe wrote in Business Insider, exacerbating poverty in the United States.
“Government support has been meager, with limited funds to small businesses and a one-time check of up to $US1,200 per person,” Crowe said.
“American workers,” she added, “if laid off, will suddenly find their healthcare gone as well.”
“It’s understandable given what’s happening. It would be strange if you didn’t feel anxious and depressed,” Maria A. Oquendo, a psychiatry professor at the University of Pennsylvania, told the Washington Post.
“This virus is not like a hurricane or earthquake or even terrorist attack. It’s not something you can see or touch, and yet the fear of it is everywhere,” Oquendo added.
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