More people than ever are experiencing feelings of anxiety, isolation, and fear during the novel coronavirus pandemic — and there has been an onslaught of data-based evidence that suggests Americans may be more likely then to develop depression. A landmark study completed by the U.S. Census Bureau and five different federal agencies found that a third of Americans, on average, are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic; 47% of young adults between 18 and 29 within the study’s 40,000 participants have exhibited symptoms associated with clinical depression since the pandemic began. A new Harris Poll found that one in four Americans report a lack of energy or sleep in their new routines, with women being more likely to experience these negative impacts than men (42% versus 34%, respectively). And even if people aren’t losing sleep or can’t drag themselves off the couch, it’s hard for many people to feel truly happy as the pandemic rages on. The COVID Response Tracking Study, conducted by the NORC at the University of Chicago, found that only 14% of Americans feel “very happy,” which suggests Americans are more unhappy now than in any of the last 50 years’ of previously compiled data.
But when do feelings of unhappiness, loneliness, or general anxiety turn into something that you’re not able to deal with on your own? All of the data compiled by scientists during the pandemic suggests that some Americans may be experiencing these symptoms for the first time. Below, experts recount telltale warning signs associated with depression, how you might work to overcome them at home, and when you should reach out to a professional for help.