Health

Suicidal Thoughts Have Become More Common During the Coronavirus Pandemic

suicidal thoughts during the pandemic
Image: geralt (pixabay.com)

The coronavirus pandemic has significantly changed the way of life in all countries around the world. Not only are people doing activities including going to work and buying groceries in a changed way but have also started viewing life as a whole from a different perspective. While some people have assessed the current situation in a positive manner, others have not been coping as well and are having suicidal thoughts during the pandemic.

For some people, the ongoing health crisis has made big differences in their work routine, diet, and other daily habits. However, apart from alterations in lifestyle, their mental health remains to not be stable and may improve due to the conditions of the pandemic.

This is because many reports have shown that a number of people have started socializing with their families and friends more often than before.

According to some such people, the crisis has made them realize how life can change dramatically and they may not be able to do many things they could have easily done before such as spending time with loved ones without the fear of contracting and spreading a possibly deadly infection.

However, such positive changes and effects are limited to a specific population of people who live in certain areas and are from upper socio-economic classes. For others, the coronavirus pandemic is no less than a nightmare which has caused extreme difficulties.

Read also: Conspiracy Theories About the Coronavirus Continue to Spread 

Many of the fundamental requirements for controlling the health crisis, including months-long lockdown, have affected people’s jobs, relationships, and other parts of life. As a result, economic uncertainty has increased along with emotional burnout.

During the three months lockdown period, there were several reports of families experiencing emotional burnout, fights, and other problems due to constantly staying in a compact space and not being able to go anywhere outside homes.

At the same time, people living alone or far away from families and friends also reported having more depressive episodes due to being socially isolated and cut off. This problem was especially common in older adults and other age groups which were taking more precautions due to being more vulnerable to the coronavirus infection.

New reports have now highlighted that all similar problems and incidents have added to the problem of an increase in suicidal thoughts during the pandemic.

For instance, the latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), which was published in the second week of August showed an eleven percent increase in suicidal thoughts during the pandemic. In comparison, the previous report from 2018 showed merely four percent of the adults thought about suicide in the entire past year.

Secondly, the report by the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention showed that nearly forty-one percent of the participants were experiencing emotional distress and mental health issues, many of which were even coping through excessive alcohol consumption.

Among the people who contemplated suicide, the majority were young adults between the ages of eighteen to two-four. Racial and ethnic minorities including black and Hispanic people were more likely to have suicidal thoughts.

Such reports hint towards an incoming mental health epidemic as the conditions of the current crisis are not expected to improve any time soon. At the moment, there is not only a need to make mental health facilities more accessible for all socio-economic groups but also of reminding people that suicide ideation can be treated with help.

About the author

Abeera I. Kazmi

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