Pandemic takes toll on mental health of Americans

‘The pandemic is lasting considerably longer than the aftermath all of but the most severe disasters’

(CNN) – As the pandemic continues, doctors are concerned about the rise of mental health and substance abuse disorders.

And not just among those with existing illnesses.

As of August, nearly 41% of adults surveyed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported struggling with mental health issues.

“We see increases in the rates in which people are reporting depressed mood, trouble sleeping, changes in appetite, energy, worry, anxiety and grief in the setting of the pandemic,” according to Dr. Joshua Gordon, the director of the National Institute of Mental Health.

He said this isn’t unusual during times of extreme circumstances.

Increases in symptoms have been seen during other national crises, like extreme weather events and 9/11.

“The pandemic is lasting considerably longer than the aftermath of all but the most severe disasters and so we can anticipate potentially more significant impact in terms of mental health,” Gordon said.

Medical experts are now bracing for what they are calling a “second wave of mental health devastation,” according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.

This increase will likely overwhelm the mental health care system, it says.

As with the virus itself, front-line essential workers and people of lower socioeconomic groups are most at risk.

If you need assistance, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

There is also a crisis text line. Text “HOME” to 741741 to connect with a crisis counselor.

Para soporte de crisis en Español, llame 1-888-628-9454.

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