In 2020, cases of major depressive disorder increased an estimated 27% globally, according to the World Health Organization. Cases of anxiety disorders increased by more than 25%.
"We’ve seen an increase in people who are feeling really unwell. And at the same time, they are seeking services at a lower rate,” Dr. Mariam Wahby with Memorial Hermann Health System, said. She is a manager of behavioral health education.
Before the pandemic, one in eight people globally lived with a mental health condition. Experts say certain pandemic-related factors may have made that rate climb in certain areas.
“Factors that are contributing there, things like financial factors. So someone who has lost their job or had their hours changed. Or they've had to change careers because of cuts and different things. So financial stress, changes in childcare, isolation,” Dr. Wahby said.
There are some tips Dr. Wahby has to help with anxiety and depression.
“Anything that makes you feel good but in a really intentional way,” she said. “Journaling, art, outside exercise, anything that you naturally are kind of drawn to is probably your best bet.”
She said not to underestimate the importance of a routine, too.
“Picking back up as much of your routine as you can will really help give you a piece of normalcy that can really help reduce some anxiety,” Dr. Wahby said.