Almost one in five adults in the UK has experienced some form of “depression” during the COVID-19 pandemic – almost double the rate of individuals who suffered from it before the lockdown, official figures show.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures, for June, show that 19.2% of adults suffered some form of depression during the month, up from around one in ten (9.7%) before the pandemic, from July 2019 to March 2020.
Mental health charities and specialists are warning that while some form of low mood is to be expected during a crisis, a pandemic or a “lockdown”, the spike is worryingly sharp.
Younger adults were more likely than other adults to have some form of depression during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (Great Britain, July 2019 to June 2020)
They also say that the ONS figures, released today (Tuesday), are even more concerning given that they show that one in eight adults (12.9%) are thought to have developed “moderate to severe” depressive symptoms during the pandemic.
Women were more likely than men to be experiencing some form of depression during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (Great Britain, July 2019 to June 2020)
The ONS statistics suggest that adults who were aged 16 to 39 years old, female, unable to afford an unexpected expense, or disabled, were the most likely to suffer some form of depression during the pandemic.
In terms of gender, almost a quarter of women (23.3%) experienced moderate to severe depressive symptoms during June, compared to one in eight (11.9%) before the pandemic.
Feeling stressed or anxious was the most common way adults experiencing some form of depression felt their well-being was being affected (Great Britain, June 2020)
Overall, adults experiencing moderate to severe depressive symptoms during the pandemic were more twice as likely to say that their relationships were being affected (42.2%) than those with no or mild depressive symptoms (20.7%).
Over a third (35.1%) of adults with moderate to severe depressive symptoms said that access to healthcare and treatment for non-coronavirus-related issues was being affected, compared with 21.5% of adults with no or mild depressive symptoms.
The full report, including detailed analysis on gender, age, work status, disability and other variables, is available to download from the ONS website here.