Covid-19: the anxiety of the French reaches a level close to that of the first confinement

PSYCHOLOGY – According to the CoviPrev survey published on October 21 and which follows the evolution of the mental health of the French since the beginning of the epidemic, mental health indicators have deteriorated compared to July.

If the health situation in France seems to be stable, especially in metropolitan France, this is not the case for the mental health of the French. In fact, Public Health France has observed a deterioration in certain indicators since the beginning of the school year, showing in particular an increase in anxiety and depression.

Thus, 26% of the French show signs of a state of anxiety and 16% of them have presented symptoms of a depressive state. Among those surveyed, 9% declared a state of both depression and anxiety.

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Increasing anxiety states

If the situation does not change significantly with respect to the last wave studied, that is, from August 31 to September 7, the mental health of the French has deteriorated considerably compared to what was observed in July. Thus, the CoviPrev survey observes since the beginning of the school year an increase in depressive and anxious states with an increase of three and seven points respectively.

With 26%, the level of anxiety states almost reached the level that had been observed during the first confinement, which later reached 27%. This is not the case of depressive states, which remain below what was observed in this period, but which has followed a “significant” trend since July, according to the French Public Health bulletin after having decreased between April and July. .

The survey, which polls a representative panel of 2,000 people over the age of 18 on the Internet each month, also observes that the percentage of people who show sleep problems has also increased dramatically and is even at a higher level than observed. confinement, with 70% of the French declaring sleep disorders, against 59% last July and 20% in March 2020.

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Last indicator studied, the prevalence of suicidal thoughts. The level has remained stable since the 1st measurement point, last February, but remains at a high level, since it stands at 10%. In contrast, 5% of French people reported having suicidal thoughts during the year during the out-of-epidemic period (Health Barometer 2017).

Whatever the indicator considered, the profiles of the population most in difficulty are the unemployed, both people who state they have a history of psychological disorder and those who report a difficult economic situation. If the epidemiological bulletin issued by Public Health France does not explain the reasons for this deterioration in mental health in the country, remember that “the health crisis has affected the mental health of the population in a lasting and significant way.”

“In the presence of signs of depression (sadness, loss of interest, energy) or anxiety (tension, irritability), it is important to inform yourself and talk about it to be advised on the aid and available solutions,” recalls the national agency. A toll-free number is open at 0 800 130 00 and the Psycom site also provides information on the subject.

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