The world is in crisis and people are hurting in countless ways. Many are those who are distressed and struggling without one empathic look, one word or deed of sympathy. The religion of Christ is about love and compassion for “our neighbors”. It is about identifying our interests with those of humanity and supporting people in their needs independently of their culture, color or creed.
“My panic attacks go from 0 to 100 in an instant. It feels like I am dying, I am having a heart attack or I am losing my mind.”
“People think I'm weak. The fact is, they just don't know now how much I am struggling every single day to stay alive.”
Among all mental illnesses, anxiety disorders are the most frequent and affect 8,4 % of Europeans over a 12 month period according to the European Study of the Epidemiology of Mental Disorder1. They include generalized anxiety disorders, phobic disorders, social anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorders and post-traumatic disorders.
Like depression or suicide, the prevalence of anxiety disorders has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, related containment measures and socio-economic consequences.
In the US, a survey on 60 000 individuals shows that the share of respondents showing signs of anxiety disorders has been multiplied by 4 since the beginning of the pandemic, with rates going from 8,2% to 36,9 % between June 2019 and December 20202.
Length of exposure to the pandemic and social measures have also been associated to an increase of anxiety symptoms in Europe, especially among individuals with pre-existing anxiety disorder, among those infected with COVID-19 or suffering from a chronic physical illness3.
Protective factors against the development of anxiety symptoms include living with family members andsatisfaction with one’s own life3.
IS A CALL TO CARE!
1. Borwin B., Michaelis S. (2015) Epidemiology of anxiety disorders in the 21st century, Dialogues Clin Neurosci.
2. Pandemic causes spike in Anxiety & Depression - Statista.com
3. Fiorillo A. et al (2020) Effects of the lockdown on the mental health of the general population during the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy, European Psychiatry Vol 63.