A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlights the emotional toll that the coronavirus pandemic is taking on Americans.
According to the results of a survey conducted between June 24 and June 30 and released Friday, more than one out of ten respondents reported they had “seriously considered suicide in past 30 days.”
In a summary noting that communities “have faced mental health challenges related to COVID-19–associated morbidity, mortality, and mitigation activities,” the CDC reported 10.7 percent of adult respondents weighed suicide.
That number is more than double the percentage of adults who said in a 2018 Department of Health and Human Services survey that they had considered taking their own life in the past 12 months.
“Suicidal ideation was also elevated; approximately twice as many respondents reported serious consideration of suicide in the previous 30 days than did adults in the United States in 2018, referring to the previous 12 months (10.7% versus 4.3%),” the CDC said.
In another troubling find, 25.5 percent of respondents age 18-24 reported suicidal ideation.
“During June 24–30, 2020, U.S. adults reported considerably elevated adverse mental health conditions associated with COVID-19,” the report said.
“Younger adults, racial/ethnic minorities, essential workers, and unpaid adult caregivers reported having experienced disproportionately worse mental health outcomes, increased substance use, and elevated suicidal ideation.”
The true scope of the psychological impact of the disease and its effects on society revealed that four out of 10 respondents reported experiencing at least one adverse mental health issue.
“Overall, 40.9% of respondents reported at least one adverse mental or behavioral health condition, including symptoms of anxiety disorder or depressive disorder (30.9%), symptoms of a trauma- and stressor-related disorder (TSRD) related to the pandemic (26.3%), and having started or increased substance use to cope with stress or emotions related to COVID-19 (13.3%),” the report found.
The report said that 30.7 percent of those who identified themselves as unpaid caregivers for other adults said they had seriously considered taking their own life.
The study on the adverse effects of the pandemic also found that men (12.6 percent) were more likely than women (8.9 percent) to report having thoughts of suicide.
“Suicidal ideation was more prevalent among males than among females,” the report stated.
The report concluded that some groups of Americans were more likely than others to report a decline in mental health.
“Mental health conditions are disproportionately affecting specific populations, especially young adults, Hispanic persons, black persons, essential workers, unpaid caregivers for adults, and those receiving treatment for preexisting psychiatric conditions,” the CDC said.
Among all groups, adult unpaid caregivers for other adults had the second-highest share of respondents who reported feeling suicidal thoughts.
The only group with a higher share was adults with post-traumatic stress disorder, 44.8 percent of whom reported seriously considering suicide in the past 30 days.
The report surveyed 5,412 adult Americans, who were invited to participate in the web-based survey.
Author and syndicated columnist Phil Kerpen shared the results of the study CDC report on Twitter:
As CDC director Redfield has said, the coronavirus “has very limited pathogenicity under age 45.”
Lockdowns, college closures, sports cancellations. These things are driving young people toward suicide.
— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) August 13, 2020
Here is the best historical comparison we have, which several have asked for.
— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) August 14, 2020
Kerpen previously shared a video of remarks from CDC Director Robert Redfield, who said last month: “But there has been another cost that we’ve seen, particularly in high schools.
“We’re seeing, sadly, far greater suicides now than we are deaths from COVID,” he added.
“We’re seeing far greater deaths from drug overdose that are above excess, that we had as background, than we are seeing deaths from COVID.”
CDC re school closures, particularly high schools: “We’re seeing, sadly, far greater suicides now than we are deaths from COVID. We’re seeing far greater deaths from drug overdose that are above excess, that we had as background, than we are seeing deaths from COVID.” pic.twitter.com/TTdEtCNfIA
— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) July 29, 2020
Many experts in the early days of the social and economic lockdowns due to the coronavirus warned of the pandemic’s adverse effects on mental health.
Speaking with Fox News in March, President Donald Trump warned that prolonged lockdowns could lead to “thousands” of suicides.
“Look, you’re going to lose a number of people to the flu, but you’re going to lose more people by putting a country into a massive recession or depression,” he said.
“You’re going to lose people. You’re going to have suicides by the thousands. You’re going to have all sorts of things happen. You’re going to have instability,” Trump added.
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