Adult Mental Health Doubles From 2019
Twice as many adults in the UK are reporting symptoms of depression compared to last year according to the Office for National Statistics
Before the pandemic, one in ten are said to have depressive symptoms. Now it is reported that one in five states symptoms associated with low mood and depression.
The results come from a survey of some three and a half thousand adults over the past twelve months. Participants were asked a set of standardised questions used to assess depression. They were asked to think about the previous two weeks and mark on a scale (1-10) how often they experienced changes to behaviour including mood, enjoyment of activities, sleep, and appetite.
The scoring results from June 2020 showed that 20% met the criteria for depression. Compared to the same month last year, a 50% increase.
While the screening questionnaire is well known, it is important to remember that it is not a diagnostic tool but rather an indication of everyday depressive behaviours and feelings.
Symptoms of Depression Rising Amid The Pandemic
A small number, some 3.5%, saw some improvement in their symptoms since the outbreak. But over 13% surveyed developed symptoms that fell into the moderate to severe category of depression.
People under 40, those with a disability, women and those who would struggle with an unexpected cost were found to be the groups most likely to show symptoms of low mood and depression.
Laura, a 25-year-old from Torquay, has been experiencing worsening mental health over lockdown. She also manages a form of Chronic Fatigue called ME and lives alone in a flat with no outdoor space. Laura had been managing her severe depression before Coronavirus with face-to-face talking therapy and volunteering at a charity shop. Lockdown meant her therapy sessions ceased, so too did her voluntary job. The isolation and abandonment from her mental health team hurt the worst and left her feeling “the worst I’ve ever felt”.
Pre-lockdown, her daily routine kept her busy and allowed her to process her thoughts. But at home and with no professional support, Laura had no one to talk her thoughts through with. “I had such dark and intrusive thoughts; I’ve never known such a dark depressive place.”
Post-Lockdown Mental Health
Head of the charity Mind, Stephen Buckley “It is important to remember that for the past six months most of us have found it more difficult than usual and that there is no ‘normal’ way to respond to an international pandemic. If you do notice changes to your thoughts, behaviours and feelings that affect your daily living talk to someone you trust or a professional.”
Throughout the pandemic, The Devon Clinic has provided continuing support for the community. During the lockdown, a free telephone service was set up with direct access to our professional talking therapists. Many cited that our temporary service was the only access they had to mental health support during the lockdown.
As the country continues to open up, and services slowly begin to work through the backlog of old and new caseloads, we continue to support our community’s mental health. The Devon Clinic has a range of talking (and physical) therapies including counselling, psychology, cognitive behavioural therapy and hypnotherapy to support good mental health. We are proud providers of private, part and fully funded sessions allowing us to support Torbay’s mental and physical wellbeing.
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