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COVID-19 Pandemic Led to Stark Rise in Depression and Anxiety Disorders Globally

Manwon Lender

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In 2020, cases of major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders increased by 28% and 26%, respectively. Women were affected more than men, and younger people were more affected than older age groups. Countries with high COVID-19 infection rates and major reductions in the movement of people – a consequence of measures such as lockdowns and school closures – had the greatest increases in prevalence of major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders.


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I remember in the Spring of 2020 I was almost depressed, but I managed not to give into it. I had a wave of emotion that I was in the middle of an apocalyptic pandemic, but I knew better than to believe this. Thankfully, I have the privilege of being able to lean on more than one essential job, so I was never out of work. I can't imagine how it must feel to be locked out of school and work for a year, that must cause anxiety.

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