It’s been more than two years since the start of the pandemic, and yet, new data shows that nearly a quarter of Canadians are still reporting a high level of anxiety – the number has remained largely unchanged since 2020. .
Researchers from the University of Waterloo examined survey data collected by Mental Health Research Canada. The survey found that 23 percent of Canadians are experiencing high anxiety while 15 percent are experiencing high depression.
“Before the pandemic, these levels were at about four or five percent. It’s an increase of four or five times, so it’s worrying,” said Gustavo Bettini, a PhD student at the University of Waterloo who has long been studying mental health for COVID. The effects of 19 told CTV news channel on Saturday.
Bettini says it is particularly concerning that rates of anxiety and depression have changed little since voting began in April 2020, with Canada’s high level of vaccination and few remaining COVID-19 restrictions .
“It’s surprising to us that these levels… haven’t changed since 2020, when we started this poll. So, it’s about moving forward,” he said.
Bettini says individuals from marginalized groups, such as younger Canadians and the LGBTQ 2S+ community, are more likely to experience higher levels of pandemic-induced anxiety and depression.
“One thing we see very commonly is that young adults are struggling a little more than the general population. The same is true for women, especially women with young children and health care providers and For members of the LGBTQ+ community,” Bettini said.
Long-term COVID patients face greater mental health challenges
For people who become infected with the virus and experience prolonged COVID-19 symptoms, it can be even more difficult to keep their mental health under control.
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has long documented reports of more than 100 possible symptoms of COVID. The most common, according to the PHAC, include fatigue, memory problems, anxiety, depression and even post-traumatic stress disorder.
At the University of Toronto, Dr. Roger McIntyre, professor of psychiatry and pharmacology, is leading a trial to better understand how long COVID affects the brain.
“What we’re trying to do is we’re trying to understand what’s going on in the brain, which is this very debilitating, very complex syndrome post-COVID,” he told CTV news channel on Saturday. are experiencing.”
McEntry says inflammation caused by an immune response to exposure to the virus may be a culprit when it comes to pinpointing why some people have prolonged COVID symptoms. He says his trial is also testing a treatment that affects the immune system, which may also have benefits.
“The aspects of brain fog and fatigue that are so ubiquitous in this condition.”
It is not clear how many people are affected by prolonged COVID symptoms. Preliminary data from the World Health Organization showed that 10 to 20 percent of people infected with the virus could become covid over a long period of time, but Tam said Friday that indicated more up-to-date research. Get that it can be really high as 50 percent.
But in the absence of treatment options, McIntyre says for now, prevention through vaccination is the most important tool to prevent long-term COVID symptoms.
“The best treatment is always prevention. And there’s a clue in our literature telling us that if you get vaccinated … you may be less likely to get longer COVID. Longer may reduce the severity of COVID ,” They said. “As we go about protecting ourselves, the vaccine is clearly an important tool for us.”
With files from the Canadian Press