Depression rate in UK more than DOUBLES since start of Covid-19 pandemic, 1 in 5 people affected – govt stats

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The number of adults reporting symptoms of depression in the UK more than doubled in early 2021, compared with pre-pandemic levels recorded in 2019, with one in five people suffering from “some form” of depression.

The number of adults reporting symptoms of depression in the UK more than doubled in early 2021, compared with pre-pandemic levels recorded in 2019, with one in five people suffering from “some form” of depression.

A report published by the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Wednesday revealed that around 21% of adults in Britain experienced “moderate to severe” symptoms of depression in the period between the end of January and beginning of March, compared with 10% before the coronavirus outbreak began in early 2020.

Young adults and women were said to be the most vulnerable to depression, with 43% of women aged between 16 to 29 experiencing symptoms, compared with 26% of men of the same age. 

Also at risk are people living with a child aged under 16 years. People over the age of 70 were least likely to suffer from depression, although there was still a rise in that bracket from 5% before the pandemic to 10% in the early 2021.

Around four in 10 (39%) disabled adults experienced depression, while more than a quarter of those living in England’s most deprived areas experience some symptoms.

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The survey polled nearly 26,000 adults in the UK aged 16 and over. The data was collected between January 27 and March 7, 2021 during the UK’s third national lockdown.

Among the measures in place were a stay-at-home order and the closure of schools to most pupils. The government began to gradually lift the restrictions in March but some form of lockdown is set to remain in force until June 21. 

Psychologists have been raising concerns since last year that the restrictions introduced during the pandemic may have a long-term impact on mental health due to a lack of social interaction and increasing financial worries. 

There have been nearly 4.5 million Covid-19 infections reported in the UK and more than 127,000 coronavirus-related deaths since the pandemic began.

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