Stress, uncertainty, fear, and grief became a part of us all in 2020 and still clings to most. It’s a new year and a perfect time to resolve to take care of your mind, along with your body. 2020 took a toll on people’s mental health. Joining research studies are one way to help get you back on track. If mental health isn’t on your resolution list for this year, it should be.
Adult Depression and COVID-19
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, depression rates in adults have tripled in all demographic groups. Shockingly, these rates surpass some of recent history’s large scale traumatic events like 9/11. The impacts of the virus created the perfect environment for depression and other mental health issues. Symptoms include:
- Feeling hopeless, helpless, or self-loathing
- Loss of energy
- Lack of sleep or oversleeping
- Anger, irritability
You should start with getting help from your health provider if you feel depressed. As a result, treatment can keep your symptoms from worsening. Lifestyle changes can also help to stabilize your mood and improve your mental health. Here are some examples:
- Exercise regularly
- Connect with others for support
- Avoid junk food and eat mood-boosting options like Omega-3 fatty acids
- Care for a pet, volunteer, or pick up a new hobby
How is Your Teen Coping?
Adolescent and teen anxiety was a growing issue before the pandemic. Now it’s getting worse. Lockdowns, remote schooling, and social distancing take a toll on us all. Talk with your teen daily and look for signs they may be struggling. These include:
- Irritability, conflicts with loved ones, rage, and other non-typical mood changes
- No interest in things that they once enjoyed
- Drop in academic work
- Lack of sleep
Work with their pediatrician on how to help your teen manage stress and reduce anxiety symptoms. Here are some ideas of where to start at home:
- Encourage them to learn more about COVID-19. If they have the right information, they may feel more in control.
- Keep them social with their friends from a distance.
- Each day should incorporate ways to relax, get activity, and do something they enjoy.
- Set a schedule for breaks if remote learning. Reduce time spent watching the news or other media.
Volunteering in Research Studies
Giving back to others as a volunteer has many mental health benefits. It combats depression, reduces stress and feelings of isolation. Giving back through research as a clinical trial volunteer is one of the many ways to help others and yourself. Research studies evaluate the safety and effectiveness of potential new therapies for conditions like anxiety and depression.
Participating also helps you learn more about your condition so you can better manage it. Finger Lakes Clinical Research is looking for participants to join upcoming studies for adult depression and anxiety for children and teens aged 7-17. To learn more, call .