At the onset of the epidemic, approximately one-fifth of adults had symptoms of depression. This follows from a study by the Institute for Democracy and Economic Analysis of the Institute of National Economy of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.
“The mental health of the respondents gradually improved after the initial jump worsened at the onset of the pandemic, but the incidence of symptoms of at least moderate depression or anxiety is still almost double in mid-June 2020 compared to the pre-pandemic state,” studies.
The authors of the study pointed out that everyone’s lives changed almost overnight. Meetings with other people were reduced and many were left alone. Among other things, the fear for loved ones and their health began to appear, there was a risk of loss of income and loss of work.
The whole situation affected women, young people and those whose income dropped significantly. According to psychologists, the fear of work and the inability to pay bills in people still exacerbates insecurity and leads to depression.
“Since mid-February, people have heard only bad news. In addition, the fear of what will happen did not reassure them much and caused uncertainty in them,” psychologist Jan Lašek told TN.cz.
According to psychologist Jeroným Klimeš, the depression in people was exacerbated by the fear of dismissal and the subsequent economic situation. “Half of the republic has a problem with a monthly income. People have to work. If we close them at home, half will fall to the economic bottom. More people will be killed by individual measures than the virus itself,” Klimeš remarked.
The study also highlights the importance of psychological assistance and financial and social support to individual households most affected by the coronavirus pandemic. It is these factors that reduce feelings of insecurity and the level of concern, especially about widespread quarantine during a potential second wave.
“No one knows what will come in the autumn. But we are taking senseless measures because of the hundreds of people who have died. It is beyond common sense,” Klimeš is angry.
The study is based on the Life during a Pandemic project. From mid-March to June, experts asked 3,100 people every two weeks about their situation and behavior. They evaluated sleep, nervousness, appetite, fatigue, interest in children and irritability.
Following the introduction of the coronavirus emergency in the Czech Republic, the proportion of people with symptoms of moderate depression or anxiety rose from six to twenty percent. Subsequently, it fell. Before mid-June, it reached 10%.
Symptoms of anxiety depression occurred in 37% of women with children under 18 and in 14% of fathers. According to experts, the uneven distribution of care in families is behind the big difference. Most of the women stayed at the nursing home with the children.
21% of childless women also had moderate depression and anxiety, and 12% could have no children. Symptoms were also described by 36% of young people aged 18 to 24 and 13% of people over 65.