We’re well into our third year of a global pandemic, and if you feel depressed, wondering when and if you’ll see an end to all this upheaval, you’re not alone. And even if you’re moving through this pandemic with your mental health relatively intact, just watching the news can bring on feelings of anxiety and depression.
So, it won’t surprise you that mental health conditions are on the rise: Depression among adults in the United States tripled in the early months of the COVID pandemic. And new research shows that this only increased in 2021, with depression affecting one in every three American adults.
Just some of what may be contributing to these mental health issues are:
- Uncertainty about the future
- Financial pressures
- Altered daily routines
- Information overload
- Rumors and misinformation
- Fear of getting sick or dying
- Social isolation
- Anger and divisiveness in the country and the world
- Grief over the loss of loved ones
- Mental health issues after recovering from COVID
A June 2020 study by the CDC reported on the results of a survey done on over 5,400 US adults:
- 40% said they were struggling with mental health or substance use
- 31% reported symptoms of anxiety disorder or depressive disorder
- 26% had trauma/stressor-related disorder symptoms
- 13% said that they had started or increased substance use
- 11% reported that they had seriously considered suicide
We are now almost two years past that study, and the mental health toll is only getting worse. In fact, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S. and has been on the rise for teens and adults. The most recent statistics show that 8.9 percent of youth in grades 9-12 reported that they had made at least one suicide attempt in the past 12 months.
If you are feeling suicidal, please call 911. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). Additionally, we have listed some resources at the end of this article that may help.
How to Take Care of Your Mental Health
Fortunately, there seems to be a bit of light at the end of the tunnel, as cities and countries are easing restrictions and infection rates drop. However, with all that’s going on, we see very little emphasis placed on our mental health. Here at BrainStim Centers, we care about your mental health. And we want to help you heal.
It begins with doing whatever you can to reduce the stress in your life. While you may not be able to control what’s happening in the world around you, you can do your best to take care of yourself and your mental health.
Here are some healthy ways the CDC recommends for coping with pandemic-related stress and anxiety:
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to the news. Try limiting it to a couple of times a day.
- Take care of your body by eating healthy, exercising, and getting plenty of sleep.
- Breathe — take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate.
- Avoid consuming too much alcohol, tobacco, or other substances.
- Know what to do if you are sick and are concerned about COVID-19, and contact your healthcare professional.
- Have information on hand about any other support services, such as counseling or therapy.
- Make time to unwind and do some other activities you enjoy.
- Talk with people you trust about how you’re feeling. It helps to connect with others.
- Become more involved with your community or faith-based organizations.
How We Can Help You: MeRT Treatment for Depression
While you do everything you can to ease the stress from this pandemic, sometimes the depression can still be overwhelming. And perhaps you haven’t responded to medications or other treatments as well as you’d hoped.
Depression is often initially treated with antidepressants, psychotherapy, or in many cases both, but sometimes these treatments don’t work fully on everyone. And sometimes people don’t tolerate the side effects well.
We have another option for treatment. It’s called MeRT, or Magnetic e-Resonance Therapy. MeRT is a long-lasting treatment for depression that is non-pharmaceutical and non-invasive, and MeRT is FDA-approved for the treatment of Depression and Major Depressive Disorder.
MeRT is a highly personalized treatment that focuses on balancing your brainwave activity to ease symptoms of depression. Patients who are clinically depressed have markers that we can see in their EEG studies, so the first step of MeRT is performing a qEEG, or brain map, to clearly locate those markers. Once we identify the imbalance, we can strengthen the brainwave activity through a highly personalized treatment plan using TMS.
Treatment for depression with MeRT has proven highly successful in permanently relieving patients of symptoms of depression, anxiety, and more.
Learn more about our proven treatments for depression here.
Additional Mental Health Resources
- Call 911
- Disaster Preparedness, Response, and Recovery: 1-800-985-5990 (press 2 for Spanish), or text TalkWithUs to 66746.
- Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or Lifeline Crisis Chat
- Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522
- Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4AChild (1-800-422-4453) or text 1-800-422-4453
- Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or Online Chat
- The Eldercare Locator: 1-800-677-1116 TTY Instructions
- Veteran’s Crisis Line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or Crisis Chat or text: 8388255
Find a health care provider or treatment for substance use disorder and mental health:
- SAMHSA’s National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357) and TTY 1-800-487-4889
- Treatment Services Locator Website
- Interactive Map of Selected Federally Qualified Health Centers