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Family members and close friends of people with COVID-19 have elevated symptoms of depression and anxiety, a study from Karolinska Institutet published in The Lancet Regional Health – Europe reports. According to the researchers, the results of the study indicate a possible unmet public health need.

Dr Lovik and her colleagues have examined how the pandemic affected the mental health of people who had a close relationship with someone who contracted COVID-19. Data was gathered from over 160,000 adult volunteers who replied to online surveys over 22 months of the pandemic. The participants were based in four countries: Sweden, Iceland, Norway and the United Kingdom.

“The study shows that people who had a family member or close friend with a COVID-19 diagnosis were more prone to reporting symptoms of depression and anxiety than people who did not have a close friend or relative with COVID-19,” says Dr Lovik.

The proportion of people reporting significant symptoms of anxiety and depression was between 7 and 8 per cent higher in those who had a COVID patient amongst their close family or friends compared with those who did not, the study found.

This article discusses the heightened mental health burden experienced by family and friends of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ongoing crisis has impacted the patients directly and significantly affected their loved ones emotionally and psychologically. The article emphasizes the critical need for recognizing and addressing the mental health challenges the extended support network faces surrounding those affected by the virus.

The piece delves into the article’s insights, focusing on the various stressors that families and friends grapple with, including fear, anxiety, grief, and the strain of caregiving responsibilities. It underscores the necessity for widespread awareness and accessible mental health support to alleviate the emotional toll on this group.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction or grappling with mental health concerns exacerbated by the challenges of the pandemic, RehabNear.Me is here to help. Call us at 855-339-1112, and our compassionate team will provide guidance and connect you with appropriate addiction treatment resources tailored to your unique needs. Taking steps towards seeking help can lead to a brighter and healthier future. Reach out today.


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Fel Clinical Director of Content
Felisa Laboro has been working with addiction and substance abuse businesses since early 2014. She has authored and published over 1,000 articles in the space. As a result of her work, over 1,500 people have been able to find treatment. She is passionate about helping people break free from alcohol or drug addiction and living a healthy life.

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