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When wide scale lockdowns began in the US as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic, experts in psychiatry quickly began to worry of the negative impact of social isolation and stress on mental health. In order to appropriately allocate resources and create effective health-care interventions, it’s important to know 1) the mental health conditions of the general public in the US and 2) the factors that are associated with poorer mental health as a result of the pandemic.
A recent study by researchers at Penn State University assessed self-reported changes in Depression, Anxiety, and Stress during the first months of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the United States (April 20 - May 22). They found that people more inclined to ruminate expressed greater stress and anxiety throughout this time period, but that people with greater social support reported less symptoms of depression. Also, adherence to national health guidelines regarding the pandemic was associated with reduced stress throughout the time period. Interestingly, despite the association between age and COVID-19 mortality, older individuals reported less stress, depression, and anxiety. The results suggest focusing public health interventions on the positive mental health outcomes of adhering to health guidelines and developing effective coping strategies that do not involve rumination, particularly in younger adults.
Read more here: https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/17/17/6315