JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Some psychologists are warning that the coronavirus pandemic and election are having an impact on our nation’s mental health.
The American Psychological Association found that 60% of adults feel that the issues the country is facing are overwhelming.
Whether they’re related to the pandemic, the economy, racial unrest or the upcoming election, the issues some people are facing this year are having an impact on mental health, according to Dr. Christine Cauffield, a clinical psychologist and the CEO of LSF Health Systems.
“We have seen such an upsurge in individuals at LSF Health Systems that are complaining about increased depression, increased anxiety," Cauffield said.
Cauffield said some people are reporting feelings of unease, inability to concentrate and weight loss, adding this year is different than years past.
“The research is showing that we are more polarized as a nation than ever before, and this splintering causes extreme," she said. "And individuals especially that are watching TV, listening to the radio or are very much involved in politics, it is causing a real uptick in their depression and anxiety, as well.”
According to a recent survey from the American Psychological Association, nearly one in five adults in the United States say their mental health is worse than this time last year, while nearly 80% of adults say the pandemic is a major stressor.
To cope, Cauffield said it is important for people to be mindful of their mental health, take a break from what is causing stress and focus on positive activities like projects around the house.
“We are so overloaded with stress and anxiety and we really need to bring joy into our lives," she said. “We really need to balance our mental health challenges with things that bring us joy, that we find pleasurable, and let us defocus on the amount of pressures we are feeling right now.”