If you’re one of the millions of people in the US living with mental health issues, such as depression or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you may be vulnerable to the added stress and uncertainty of our current world brought on by the ongoing pandemic.
According to experts, the number of Americans experiencing mental health issues is on the rise. Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that symptoms of anxiety disorder and depressive disorder increased significantly between April and June 2020 compared to the same time last year. In a recent survey of US adults, more than 40 percent of respondents reported at least one adverse mental or behavioral health symptom, according to the CDC report.[i]
To compound matters, the winter season may bring on mental health challenges for many across the country. “As we approach the winter months, it’s important to be vigilant about our mental health,” says Serina Fischer, Vice President, Neuroscience Franchise. “People who are struggling at this time need to know they are not alone. Our teams at Takeda are committed to helping people who may be unable to advocate for themselves and, through our work with advocacy partners, we aim to connect those in need with experts who can help.”
We must also consider the impact that the uncertainty in today’s world may have on those living with ADHD.
The pandemic has forced working adults to adjust to a new normal of working from home and juggling work with child/family care. Parents are being asked to play the role of educator overseeing home-schooling for their children. The distractions of siblings, pets, and family together confined to a limited space could prove difficult for anyone to deal with, but for adults and children with ADHD, these distractions could present additional challenges.[ii]
According to online ADDitude Magazine, a recent survey of its readers found that over 50 percent of adults with ADHD have experienced worsened social connection, productivity/motivation, sleep, diet, self-care, and exercise during the last six months. The results are similar for children with ADHD.[iii]
In another recent ADDitude Magazine survey, 73 percent of those surveyed feel anxious and worried. Two-thirds have been formally diagnosed with anxiety. In addition, 44 percent of the adults surveyed made changes to their treatment plan to help manage their new reality.[iv]
“It’s important to remember the struggles that many of us are living with right now. It’s critical that we acknowledge the importance of mental health today and help those dealing with mental health challenges find ways to stay healthy and feel supported,” says Fischer. “At Takeda, we are passionate about addressing the unmet needs of patients living with mental health issues, and specifically we advocate for accepting, embracing, and supporting neurodiversity. Furthermore, we seek to provide educational resources to enhance proper diagnosis, initiation of treatment, and ongoing access considerations, in the areas of ADHD, depression, and other neurological conditions.”
For more information and helpful resources about mental health and ADHD, visit National Alliance on Mental Illness at https://bit.ly/2KtumZn and CHADD at https://bit.ly/2S7ta2d.