Depressive symptoms including low mood and loss of interest and enjoyment in ordinary things are on the rise in the UK as a result of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. That’s according to a report recently released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The ONS used the same type of questionnaire that is sued by health professionals which asked people to score themselves against various statements. The results were used as a basis for judging if the individual was showing signs of mild, moderate or severe depression.
Key findings of the report include
• The number of adults who reported experiencing some form of depression has almost doubled to nearly one in 5 (19.2%) in June 2020, compared with 9.7% (nearly one in ten) in the period July 2019 – March 2020.
• Over the 12 months to June 2020, one in eight adults (12.9%) have developed moderate to severe depressive symptoms, while 6.2% of the population already had this level of depressive symptoms. Around one in 25 adults (just 3.5%) saw an improvement over this period.
• The report also highlighted that the group most likely to be evidencing characteristics of some form of depression were primarily aged 16 to 39, female, and were either unable to afford an unexpected expense or were disabled.
• Of adults who were experiencing some form of depression, 84.9% felt their well-being was being affected by stress or anxiety (the most common response). Over two in five (42.2%) said their relationships were being affected.
Commenting on the findings, Tim Vizard from the Office for National Statistics said:
‘This 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 1 in 5 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.’