42% of Romanians suffered mood disorders during coronavirus pandemic, study reveals

Beyond the unprecedented health emergency, the Covid-19 pandemic represents a new big challenge for mental health researchers and clinical practitioners in Romania and around the world.

A large number of people have been severely impacted in terms of development of mood disorders. On top of that, many people have suffered anxiety, depression, sadness, sleep problems and perceived social isolation.

Mood disorders are rising exponentially due to fatalities, economic downturn and isolation.

Little attention is also given to health workers and practitioners, who are severely affected and overwhelmed by this emergency.

A study has revealed that 42% of Romanians have reported mood disorders during the pandemic.

The study carried out by the Socola Institute of Psychiatry, which is part of the Medicine and Pharmacy University in Iasi, is the first of its kind done during the pandemic.

It concluded that many people were sadder, angrier and more anxious of had exacerbated feelings of loneliness as direct cause of the health crisis. A total of 42% said they were more stressed, while a third reported being more irritable.

The study was carried out o 2,000 people aged 28-50, and the responses were analyzed by experts at the institute,  and the Romanian Association of Psychiatry  and Psychotherapy, and the Transylvania University.

„The study shows that the coronavirus pandemic can be extremely stressful for some. Fear and anxiety can be overwhelming for adults and also children. Preliminary data shows that pre-existing conditions have intensified for many patients while others are anxious, depressed or feel unable to face new challenges,” the study said.

About seven out of ten people interviewed said they spent more time reading the media to cope with the situation. Other ways of handling stress and passing the time were physical exercise, walks, finding a new hobby, spending time with pets or having sex.

Slightly more women were stressed than men  Women tended to find a new hobby, spend time online or go for walks.Men preferred games or sexual activity to deal with stress.

The best way to deal with the challenges is “to keep calm, to think through every action  rationally before doing it and to accept we are going through a situation we can’t control and to create a daily routine,” said Ovidiu Alexinschi , a psychiatrist at the Socola Institute of Psychiatry who coordinated the study.

“If we stay at home, get our information from trusted places and set aside time for relaxation, or meditation, be it long baths, music, sport or yoga and if this doesn’t help, reach out to our doctor for specialized help.”

 Confinement, future instability, and fear not only exacerbated pre-existing issues, such as domestic violence, social phobias and depressive symptoms, but also trigger new psychopathological problems, sometimes escalating even in suicide.


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