Anxiety & depression rates rise among Oklahomans
LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) -Anxiety and depression rates are rising since the start of the pandemic, it has been discovered that Oklahomans are struggling with anxiety and depression at alarming rates.
The pandemic has changed many things for people and along the way has taken a toll on mental health.
According to research firm QuoteWizard, they started seeing a change in mental health in the past few years.
Senior research analyst, Nick VinZant tells us how the pandemic has affected mental health in Oklahoma.
“When we look at Oklahoma specifically we found that Oklahoma has one of the highest rates of people who have anxiety and depression nearly 38 percent of people in Oklahoma say that they are dealing with symptoms of anxiety & depression. That is one of the highest rates nationwide and what we found is that has increased 15 percent in just the last year,” said Vinzant.
Vinzant also says that their findings have discovered that younger, less educated, people of color, and those who identify as gay or lesbian are more likely to develop anxiety and depression symptoms.
“So when we look at groups that have had a harder time or that are reporting higher numbers of anxiety and depression what we have really found is that they are facing a greater set of obstacles and I think challenges than other groups,” he said.
We spoke to a local group, Depression and Bipolar support alliance or DBSA who has been around since 1991 to help those struggling with mental health locally.
Facilitator for DBSA, Laura Bennett tells us how this organization helped change her life.
“I was on the road to self-destruction and I was lucky enough to find this group and I just started as a member just coming to the group,” said Bennett.
Bennett has been a part of the organization for the last 14 years, and she says she has witnessed first hand how the pandemic has caused mental health issues in more people than ever before.
“I noticed other people who didn’t have anxiety are now going up higher. A lot of people got put out of work and joined in just to kind of talk with us and we can help you with whatever you are going through because we are going through the same thing,” she said.
DBSA is a nationwide non profit organization, they meet every Monday at 6:30 pm at the Lawton Public Library.
They have a licensed councilor who attends the meeting once a month for additional support.
They only ask for donations if you attend and it is a safe and confidential environment.
For more information on how to get help. you can check out their website dbsaok.org,
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