Depression: Covid-19 as a trigger?

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Depressive disorders are among the most prevalent mental disorders. The effects of the Corona pandemic are further exacerbating symptoms in sufferers.

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According to a WHO estimate, 4.4% of the world's population suffer from depressive disorders. In Austria, this figure is even higher. Around 400,000 Austrians (5.1% of the population) regularly struggle with depressive symptoms. Thus, depressive disorders are among the most widespread.

In times like these, where our everyday life is strongly determined by the coronavirus, it becomes more and more difficult for society to follow its habits. Sports fans go to the stadium, culture vultures go to the theatre and party animals go to the nightclub. All those activities that many of us engage in as a balance to our daily lives are being severely curtailed due to the measures needed to contain Covid-19.

But now what if that balance is removed? It doesn't take a degree in psychology to realize that the new daily routine caused by Corona takes its toll on the human psyche. Quarantine regulations and restrictions on social contact are particularly noteworthy. That man is a social being was already recognized by Aristotle in his research on philosophy and politics.

As more and more studies now show, the Covid-19 measures intensify the classic symptoms of depression: lack of drive and joy, eating disorders, symptoms of exhaustion, to name but a few. In the brain, serotonin and norepinephrine levels continually decrease and a negative view of life increases. Consequently, negativity becomes increasingly centered in the emotions.

Background of depression

It is also worth noting that a depressive illness usually occurs as a result of several circumstances. Those circumstances can be further broken down into internal and external factors. Corona measures can be quickly and easily narrowed down as an external factor. Special events in the life of the affected person, such as a separation or the loss of a job, can also trigger such an illness. However, there does not always necessarily have to be a specific trigger for the illness. In some sufferers, depression is the result of an imbalance of various messenger substances in the brain. Depression can therefore affect anyone, regardless of personality or living environment.

A foreseeable end to the exceptional situation is not yet in sight. The psyche of the world's population will continue to be strained in the near future and will be confronted with mental challenges. One can only hope that existing and new support agencies will continue to do their best to see the global population through the pandemic.


If you are affected or suspect you are suffering from a depressive illness, please be sure to seek help. Listed below are phone numbers and websites for various counseling services that those affected can contact.

DE:

Tel: 0800 / 11 10 111
Tel.: 0800 / 11 10 222

www.telefonseelsorge.de
E-Mail: telefonseelsorge@diakonie.de

AT:

Tel.: 142

www.telefonseelsorge.at

CH:

Tel: 143

www.143.ch


Sources:

https://www.springermedizin.de/covid-19/akute-depressive-episode/coronavirus-pandemie-verstaerkt-symptome-von-depression/18064208

https://www.deutsche-depressionshilfe.de/corona

http://www.depression.at/ueber-depression/depression-was-ist-das/was-ist-die-ursache-einer-depression-2/

www.sozialministerium.at/depressionsbericht

Author

Markus Falkenstätter

Last Update

29.10.2020

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