COVID-19 Had Minimal Impact on Mental Health, Study Claims


| LAST UPDATE 03/17/2023

By Elena White
Covid-19 Pandemic mental health
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With the constant lockdowns, fear of the unknown, and lack of social interaction, the COVID pandemic was a difficult time for most of us. The physical and medical risks aside, many people saw their mental health taking a hit during these trying times. Now, with life mostly back to the pre-pandemic days, scientists have been investigating the longer-term impacts of COVID on our mental health. According to the findings published in the British Medical Journal on March 8, COVID-19 did not significantly damage people's mental health beyond the pandemic. While some question these conclusions, others believe there are some reasonable explanations behind them.

During the height of the pandemic, our lives were significantly disrupted. For this reason, people reported being prone to mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety, during this time. If this is the case, how is it possible for it not to have far-reaching effects? According to experts, this is because human beings are resilient creatures and have shown time and time again to adapt and recover from different kinds of threats. "Adversities do not cause most people over time to be incapacitated," said Tel Aviv University professor Bruria Adini.

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While historical anthropological patterns may support this theory, nuances in the study's results suggest there is more to the story than initially concluded. One hundred thirty-seven studies that monitored people's mental health before the start of 2020 and mid-2020 were brought together and analyzed for this project. By combining these individual research papers, results could be gathered from thousands of people from 32 countries. Most participants were from middle-to-high-income groups. Overall, the analysis found no fundamental differences in self-reported depression and anxiety symptoms. Those belonging to gender and sexual minority groups, as well as parents, did show a slight decline in mental health compared to the rest of the population.

In response to the publication of these results, many have come forward on social media to tweet their skepticism toward the validity of these findings. "I built my cat a mech suit out of cardboard," laughed comedy writer Jess McLaren, emphasizing how insane she went during the pandemic. Experts, however, defend their findings and state these tweets prove the adaptability of people who can cope and connect in different ways. They believe this is the reason more severe mental health issues were prevented, thus supporting their findings rather than opposing them.

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