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Depression rates almost double during Covid crisis

Adults are twice as likely to have suffered from depressive symptoms during the Covid-19 pandemic than they were before, new figures from the Office for National Statistics show. 

A new ONS report reveals that 19.2 per cent of adults were likely to be living with depression in June 2020, up from one in 10 in the preceding period.   

The ONS tracked the same group of adults from July 2019 to March 2020, and then again for the month of June this year to compare people’s symptoms before and during the pandemic.

One in eight reported developing moderate to severe depressive symptoms during the pandemic, with just one in 25 saying their symptoms improved over June.

Individuals who were aged 16-39, female or disabled, or who said they were unable to absorb unexpected financial outgoings, were the most at risk.

Increased feelings of stress and anxiety were the most commonly reported impact on people’s wellbeing, with 85 per cent experiencing this.

Feelings of loneliness were also widely reported, with 61.7 per cent of those with moderate to severe depression saying they felt lonely “often or always,” compared to 14.9 per cent among those with no or mild depressive symptoms.

ONS principal research officer Tim Vizard said: “Today’s research provides an insight into the mental health of adults during the coronavirus pandemic. Revisiting this same group of adults before and during the pandemic provides a unique insight into how their symptoms of depression have changed over time.”

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