Rise of Depression and Alcoholism During the Pandemic

The rise of depression and alcoholism during the pandemic has had a lasting impact on people around the world.  Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, from lockdowns to serious illness, we have faced one obstacle after another, making it hard to cope with daily life. We all hoped the pandemic would be over by now, but it continues on, and as it does, it affects our mental health. While the COVID-19 pandemic impacts each person, it has been especially challenging for those with mental health difficulties to weather the storm and adjust to the “new normal.”

Depression is Prevalent

One of the most common mental health issues people have faced during the pandemic is depression. A study conducted by researchers at Boston University revealed that 27% of American adults had experienced depression during the first year of the pandemic. This is a significant increase compared with the 8.5% incidence of depression among adults before the pandemic. It is crucial to recognize the signs of depression in ourselves and our loved ones so we can know how to respond and when to seek treatment for depression.

Signs of depression include:

  • Lack of interest in activities previously enjoyed
  • Changes in sleeping patterns (sleeping more or insomnia)
  • Low energy
  • Concentration difficulties
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Low self-esteem, or feeling worthless

Alcohol Use On the Rise

The pandemic has turned our lives upside down, and many people are turning to alcohol to cope. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in the number of people who drink alcohol and drink heavily. According to a recent study, more people have been turning to alcohol as a means to cope with the stress of the pandemic. Using alcohol as a coping mechanism can lead to alcohol abuse, a type of addiction that requires treatment to overcome.

Why are more people drinking?

  • To cope with depression and anxiety
  • Unemployment stress
  • Grieving the loss of a loved one
  • Social Isolation
  • The loss of financial stability

Before the pandemic, there were many healthy ways to readily cope with stress, such as going to the gym or seeing a movie. But because now many people fear contracting COVID-19 in public places, they are avoiding the beneficial social and physical activities they formerly enjoyed.

Pandemic-related restrictions on activities cause us to experience even higher levels of anxiety and depression. Unfortunately, as a result, many people have turned to alcohol and other substances to find relief. However, the relief alcohol provides is only temporary, and consuming alcohol can actually increase the amount of anxiety you experience when its effects wear off.

Signs you may be drinking too much

 

Signs You May Be Drinking Too Much:

If you have increased your alcohol usage during the pandemic and don’t know how to stop, CAST Centers’ day treatment program and Luna program offer the support you need to overcome the addiction and recover from alcohol abuse. CAST Centers treatment programs can help you learn the tools you need to cope with depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns that are preventing you from living your best life.

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