Psychological impact of COVID-19
From The American Psychological Association Date created: April 16, 2020
Know the signs of anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and suicide.
The coronavirus pandemic is an epidemiological and psychological crisis. The enormity of living in isolation, changes in our daily lives, job loss, financial hardship, and grief over the death of loved ones has the potential to affect the mental health and well-being of many.
Even in this time of physical distancing, it’s critical to seek social support and connection with others. It’s also important to know the signs of anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and suicide so you can easily identify them, not just among your family, friends, and neighbors, but for yourself.
Signs of anxiety
- Persistent worry or feeling overwhelmed by emotions.
- Excessive worry about a number of concerns, such as health problems or finances, and a general sense that something bad is going to happen.
- Restlessness and irritability.
- Difficulty concentrating, sleep problems and generally feeling on edge.
Signs of a panic attack
- Sweating, trembling, shortness of breath or a feeling of choking.
- A pounding heart or rapid heart rate, and feelings of dread.
- Such attacks often happen suddenly, without warning.
- People who experience panic attacks often become fearful about when the next episode will occur, which can cause them to change or restrict their normal activities.
Signs of depression
- A lack of interest and pleasure in daily activities.
- Significant weight loss or gain.
- Insomnia or excessive sleeping.
- Lack of energy or an inability to concentrate.
- Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt.
- Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.
Risk factors for suicide
- Talking about dying or harming oneself.
- Recent loss through death, divorce, separation, even loss of interest in friends, hobbies and activities previously enjoyed.
- Changes in personality like sadness, withdrawal, irritability or anxiety.
- Changes in behavior, sleep patterns and eating habits.
- Erratic behavior, harming self or others.
- Low self-esteem including feelings of worthlessness, guilt or self-hatred.
- No hope for the future, believing things will never get better or nothing will change.
Help is available
If you or someone you care about is exhibiting these signs, help is available. Use the links on this page to access prevention and crisis resources.
- National Suicide Prevention Hotline
(800) 273-TALK (8255)
- Crisis hotlines and resources
- APA COVID-19 information and resources