Depression rates have DOUBLED since coronavirus hit Britain

Depression rates have DOUBLED since coronavirus hit Britain: 20% of adults were depressed in June — up from 9.7% before the pandemic, official data shows

  • The Office for National Statistics (ONS) released the report, carried out in June
  • One in eight British adults developed depressive symptoms during pandemic
  • While the others — around 6.2 per cent — were already affected before Covid-19
  • Young women were affected most by the virus and the government’s lockdown

Depression rates in Britain have doubled since the Covid-19 pandemic, government research has revealed. 

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) found 9.7 per cent of adults had some sort of depression between July last year and this March. 

But when the same group of people was assessed again in June, the figure had risen to 19.2 per cent — almost one in five.

The data, released today, showed young women were affected most by the virus and the government’s coronavirus-controlling lockdown.  

Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that nearly one in 10 (9.7 per cent) British adults suffered some sort of depression between July 2019 and March 2020. But when the same group was assessed again in June, the figure had risen to 19.2 per cent – nearly one in five

Statisticians also found depression rates soared among Britons ‘unable to afford an unexpected expense’ and the disabled. 

The ONS research examined answers from the same 3,500 British adults both before and during the pandemic.  

Depressive symptoms include low mood, as well as a loss of interest and enjoyment in ordinary things. 

Researchers also examined the levels of depression — which are classified as mild, moderate or severe. 

One in eight adults developed moderate to severe depressive symptoms during the pandemic, while the others were already affected. 

Eighty-four per cent of people experiencing some sort of depression cited stress and anxiety affecting their wellbeing.

And 42 per cent said their relationships had been affected.

Of those experiencing moderate to severe depressive symptoms in the pandemic, 62 per cent said they felt lonely ‘often or always’. 

In comparison, the rate was four times lower (15 per cent) for those with no or mild depressive symptoms. 

Just 3.5 per cent of Britons saw an improvement in their symptoms during the same period, according to the data. 

Tim Vizard, from the ONS, said: ‘Today’s research provides an insight into the mental health of adults during the coronavirus pandemic. 

‘Revisiting this same group of adults before and during the pandemic provides a unique insight into how their symptoms of depression have changed over time. 

‘Nearly one in five adults were experiencing some form of depression during the pandemic, almost doubling from around one in 10 before. 

‘Adults who are young, female, unable to afford an unexpected expense or disabled were the most likely to experience some form of depression during the pandemic.’   

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