Doctors see changes in mental health care needs during the pandemic – WZDX

Doctors see changes in mental health care needs during the pandemic – WZDX

The pandemic has shaken the world up and it’s taking its toll on people’s mental health nationwide.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — According to the CDC, the average number of people who took medication for mental health reasons was 15.8% In 2019. That same average is now 24%.

“No matter what your age is, no matter like, what stage of life you are, the pandemic has affected everybody. Obviously, the entire system has been shaken up and that’s one possible reason why people are experiencing more anxiety and depression,” said Huntsville Hospital Adult and Geriatric Psychiatrist, Dr. Senthil Rajaram Manoharan. 

One of the more specific things that contributes to this anxiety and depression that is felt all across the nation is fear of the unknown.

Rajaram says, “First and foremost there is, you know… there is absolute uncertainty as to what is happening; every few months a new variant, something new is happening, there is another surge, right? And there is also this whole unpredictability component like as to what is going to happen.”

There’s also this issue of not being able to compartmentalize our lives like we used to, pre-remote working and schooling that is, Rajaram says, “There’s been a blurring in workspace and home space, like some people have to juggle between so many different responsibilities, and which one to put ahead of the other.”

Speaking of remote learning, Rajaram also expresses concern about the lasting effects this may have on one particular group…grade school children. 

“They have missed several months of schooling and education. so the lack of social and cognitive development over time is something that we need to see how it has impacted them.”

As well as long-lasting effects in adults, “Secondly, substance use problems. People are resorting to more alcohol and substance use as a way to cope.”

One of the best solutions to this increasing rise in mental health issues is really checking in with yourself and your loved ones before someone is in crisis mode.

Rajaram further explains, “Instead of being in a crisis, an emotional crisis and going to the ER, people will have to recognize those subtle little changes; changes in sleep, changes in mood, even they’re having difficultly going through an acute problem or a crisis and to seek help.”

Due to the pandemic, Rajaram also said that mental health services may continue to move in a more remote route, making services more accessible especially during times of a surge.

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Mental health