As a result of COVID-19, physical distancing has become our way of life and it’s resulted in some very big changes to our day to day routines and it can have a significant effect on our mental health.
“In our survey, we found about 32% of respondents had symptoms that would indicate major depression.” — Shawna Lee, University of Michigan School of Social Work
To get a sense of how people are feeling at this time and how to try to find moments of ease and even joy amid the stresses of life during a pandemic, Detroit Today producers Jake Neher and Annamarie Sysling talk with two experts on the subject of mental health.
Listen: Mental health experts weigh in on how to cope with stresses of life in quarantine.
Shawna Lee, Associate Professor at the University of Michigan School of Social Work, recently led a study researching how Americans are experiencing high levels of depression and anxiety as a result from the pandemic, and the resulting statewide order to shelter in place. According to her study, nearly half of respondents report they are worried about their ability to pay bills, and half reported anxiety either every day, or several days a week.
She also found that many are turning to substances, as 28% of adults say they have used alcohol or drugs to feel better.
“In our survey, we found about 32% of respondents had symptoms that would indicate major depression,” says Lee, “which is more than double what you might expect normally in the population.”
She adds that “as much as we’re in it together, we’re also having very different experiences at the same time.”
Dr. Johanna Soet-Buzolitz, faculty member of the Michigan School of Psychology and co-owner of the Arbor Wellness Center in Ann Arbor, works with adolescents and adults on a broad range of mental health concerns. She describes how the individual experiences and levels of stress can vary even within the same household.
“Depending on your developmental stage, the coping mechanisms are very different. For a teenager, this is kind of their first experience of a really big crisis.” — Dr. Johanna Soet-Buzolitz, Michigan School of Psychology
“Depending on your developmental stage,” says Soet-Buzolitz, “the coping mechanisms are very different. For a teenager, this is kind of their first experience of a really big crisis.”