A study involving 1,460 Brazilians suggests that symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress may have doubled from the first to the fourth week of quarantine, casting concerns over the psychological impacts of The Great Lockdown on the population.
While the first batch of online trials had a 4 to 5 percent prevalence of symptoms, the ratio increased to 7 to 8 percent in the second phase, according to one of the study’s authors, psychologist Alberto Filgueiras. Mr. Filgueiras added that the most vulnerable groups are those living with senior citizens, people with pre-existing conditions putting them at risk of Covid-19, and workers that are unable to isolate.
Mr. Filgueiras says that while depression symptoms are rising, the search for professional help has decreased. The exception is among health professionals, who are at the forefront of the fight against Covid-19 and are seeking help to deal with the psychological burden of their work.
“Besides experiencing all the social changes going on, [health professionals] fear infection and spreading the virus, so they experience a position of emotional helplessness,” said psychologist Evelyse Stefoni de Freitas Clausse, one of the creators of the voluntary initiative Network of Psychological Support, in a press statement.
In order to provide assistance to these workers, the project offers free online support for health professionals for as long as the pandemic lasts. According to its website, they already have 4,000 volunteer psychologists providing online assistance.