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Study: Depression rates spike during pandemic

Posted at 5:52 PM, Oct 11, 2021

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — A new study out of Boston University shows the depression rate is rising during the pandemic.

The study shows a 5% leap in depression symptoms in a group surveyed before and during the pandemic. According to the study, participants' symptoms were at 27.8% in 2020 but rose to 32.8% in 2021.

The factors associated were marital status, income, and other pandemic stressors, according to the study.

Doctor Amy Munoz, the vice president for utilization management at CODAC, said the pandemic is unique.

“Unlike regular natural disasters and different public health emergencies, the pandemic has been unique in that it's not just one and done," she said.

She said Pima county has seen a similar trend.

“We've seen between April 28, and May 10, 2021, according to the census bureau, our rate has been around 29% and that's specific to anxiety and depression,” she said.

Dr. Munoz said while depression looks different on everyone.

Common symptoms include:

  • lack of sleep or too much sleep
  • low energy
  • low motivation
  • lack of concentration

“Also, [an] increase in substance use, so if you find yourself, drinking more using illicit substances or partaking in any sort of substances more than usual. That can be a sign a warning sign that you need to pay attention to as well," she said.

Dr. Munoz said there are two hotlines those who may be suffering can call.

  • 24/7 CODAC Crisis Hotline: 520-202-1870
  • NAMI Crisis Hotline: 520-622-6000

"You can use utilize those anonymously if you choose to do so that you can get a feel for what types of support are out there. You don't have to give out your identity right away and you can just have an honest conversation about what you're going through and how to address that," she said.