Largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdowns imposed in various jurisdictions around the world, mental health issues have become the new topic of discussion.
According to the Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, the psychological torrent from COVID-19 is likely to develop into a completely distinct pandemic of its own. Other organizations such as the United Nations and World Health Organization have also cited the possible mental health emergency as something that should not be ignored.
A study carried out by JAPNA highlights the need for new and better mental health interpositions as a way to prepare for people who will seek counseling and therapy.
So, what are the causes of the Mental Health Pandemic?
With millions of people infected globally and hundreds of thousands dead, there is an elevated risk for PTSD, depression, sleep disturbance, cognitive dysfunction and poor quality of life, especially among those who survived treatment in the ICU, notes JAPNA.
In addition to this, healthcare workers who’ve been on the frontlines are more likely to experience severe psychological trauma, anxiety, PTSD and depression from COVID-19. Family members of coronavirus patients may also face increased distress levels, anxiety as well as fear, which are likely to be provoked by hospital visit restrictions as well as lack of testing.
The study shows that people who may not have dealt with COVID-19 directly may also experience mental health troubles such as anxiety. The media’s inconsistent coverage of the crisis only adds to the confusion, resulting in hysteria, extreme fear and information overwhelm.
The nationwide lockdown is also having a negative impact on mental health. Specifically, lack of social interaction is a well-known risk factor for anxiety disorders and depression, among other mental health conditions. It should be noted that the longer these policies remain in effect, the more risk they pose to those with preexisting mental health issues.
There is a high probability that there’ll be a surge in the number of behavioral disturbances, mental health problems and substance-use disorders, because extreme stressors may aggravate or cause psychiatric problems.
With more than 40 million Americans filing for unemployment benefits since mid-March, there is bound to be a rise in depression, anxiety as well as substance abuse seeing as job security equates to financial stability for many and is generally tied to a person’s mental wellness.
Additionally in the U.S., suicide rates are directly related to unemployment. When all these factors are combined, a mental health catastrophe seems imminent.
How can psychedelics be used to help?
MDMA, psilocybin and ketamine used in combination with psychotherapy indicates positive results in the treatment of many mental health conditions, some of which come about as a result of the pandemic.
Studies have shown that psilocybin-assisted therapy reduces depression and anxiety in patients with life-threatening diseases such as cancer. Patients also stated that they felt less hopelessness and demoralization as well as their fear of death reduced.
MDMA-assisted psychotherapy also brings major relief from pandemic-related trauma. This could be beneficial to survivors of COVID-19, healthcare workers as well as those who lost loved ones to the virus, as all these can impose serious trauma, which may result in PTSD.
Ketamine treatment is especially effective in relieving the tension of treatment resistant depression, chronic pain, bipolar disorder and PTSD, all of which could be worsened by pandemic-related aggravators.
However, it is important to note that the use of psychedelics at home is not the same as in a clinical setting. This is because pandemic-related aggravations may negatively affect a person’s psychological state.
Psychedelic industry actors like Pure Extracts Corp. are certain that psychedelics can help stem this looming mental health crisis, if only these substances can be given a chance.
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