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As someone battling depression, I know how much the mentally ill are suffering during the Covid-19 lockdown
This story is from RT.com but is very relevant to people in all the lockdown countries as it is reported suicide rates are up at least 20% if not more. The media completely ignore the fact that the lockdown is killing far more people than the disease due to the total disruption to normal life. This story covers just one but important aspect of that, mental health.
Suicide remains the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK. The ‘house arrest’ we’re all under is leaving vulnerable, mentally unwell people alone with their demons.
I start every day with a small cocktail of moderately powerful medication. Quetiapine and amitriptyline washed down with a black coffee. There’s little doubt about breakfast being the most important meal of the day for me, as it literally keeps me sane.
UPDATE: California doctors say they've seen more deaths from suicide than coronavirus since lockdowns
In pre-corona times, the NHS had an upper waiting time limit of 18 weeks for consultant medical treatment. I know from my experience that had I had to wait this long for proper help, I would have been in very serious trouble. People seeking help for mental health reasons have often waited too long before they ask for it in the first place, if they even do so at all. With the added worry of Covid-19 and the inordinate amount of focus the NHS has placed on battling the virus, waiting times seem certain to rise.
Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK – it is a figure that never fails to shock regardless of how often it is raised. This category is broadly unlikely to suffer serious ill health if they do contract Covid-19, yet keeping them isolated is highly likely to leave them more vulnerable to damaging themselves. In the long list of “avoidable deaths,” surely the young who end their lives by their own hand should be the most avoidable of all.
Mental ailments like depression and anxiety already cause people to draw in on themselves. In my case, I became uncommunicative with my loved ones. I lived on my own at the time so hiding away was easy (but inadvisable), and I grew more and more introverted and leaned heavily on the bottle.
The evil thing about this sickness is that you need support from friends and family, but you do not feel you deserve any of it, so don’t seek it out. The social distancing and lockdown measures would have made it virtually impossible for me to get any of the support which I am absolutely convinced saved my life.
The Samaritans, an organisation that provides help for those in a crisis in the UK..... They tell me they have been as “busy as ever” during this time, answering calls from people in lockdown Britain
Younger people are suffering too. According to a survey conducted by employment consultancy firm ERICA, at least 55 percent of Generation Z said they were struggling with their mental health during the lockdown. All members of this group are, at their eldest, in their early 20s and for the most part at very limited risk of serious illness from Covid-19. Is it fair that we compromise the mental health of the young in favour of the physical health of the already old and unhealthy? By its overbearing actions, the UK government seems to have turned this into a needless false dichotomy.
An 18-year-old student named Betty, who, like me, suffers from clinical depression, revealed that on top of her usual mental struggles she now had the added worry of what was going to happen to her education and career prospects.
And then, at the other end of the spectrum, there is the psychological damage being done to the otherwise healthy old. Loneliness is well known to affect the elderly dreadfully. Old people deprived of the ability to meet friends or grandchildren potentially face the longest isolation so they can be ‘shielded’ to protect their health. [How ironic?]
It is at best an odd society and at worst a cruel one that tells its elderly they essentially have a choice between isolation and death. Professor Sucharit Bhakdi of Mainz University in Germany is particularly concerned about the wellbeing of otherwise healthy old people. He fears that this lack of stimulation will lead them to suffer and possibly even impact their health in worse ways than the virus.
Large scale studies conducted by Brigham Young University in Utah show that by far and away the two most important factors in increasing longevity are close relationships and social integration. Our current methods make both of these factors virtually impossible.