Anxiety, depression and fear: Study looks at impact of COVID-19 on mental health

By KYW Newsradio 1060

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — It’s been six months since COVID-19 hit the Philadelphia-area, and in addition to the ongoing health threat it poses, the virus also continues to cause an enormous emotional impact on people.

“Anxiety and depression is skyrocketing in my patients right now,” said Dr. Vicki Bralow, a Philadelphia-based family practitioner who still fields phone calls on the regular from panicky patients.

“Like, I’m having headaches, do you think I should get my blood pressure checked? If I come in, how many people are gonna be in the waiting room? Can I stand outside? They get themselves worked up just coming in to see the doctor. So it’s very disconcerting,” she explained.

Bralow is a member of MDVIP, a national physician’s group that partnered with Ipsos to check the country's COVID-19 mental state. The survey’s findings are grim.

Nearly 2 out of 3 adults say they’re depressed or anxious, and 2 out of 5 have experienced brain fog. Bralow said she tries to reassure her patients that anything they feel from COVID-19 will go away, and that it’s situational.

MDVIP chief medical officer Andrea Klemes said the survey also found the group that’s taken the hardest emotional hit has been those between 35 and 49, who make up the "Sandwich Generation."

“You know, the ones taking care of their parents and their kids, 1 in 2 of those people said they felt like they were losing their minds at some point,” Klemes said. “And I would have thought the over 65 would have been more affected because they’re the ones who are at higher risk of COVID. So it’s really taken its toll on everyone.”