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Mental health issues double in one year

Published: May. 13, 2021 at 9:48 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - When comparing this year’s percentages of mental health symptoms to last year’s, the numbers have doubled, according to a psychologist with Albany Area Primary Health Care.

Dr. Nick Carden said in his 36 years of practice, he has never seen an increase in cases like this. He said being quarantined at home the way we have has led to more mental health issues over the past year.

“This is the first time this is really ever happened that we’ve gotten statistics saying that our statistics are almost doubled in terms of anxiety, depression, substance abuse, general stress symptoms and people that are feeling suicidal,” said Carden.

Dr. Nick Carden, Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Nick Carden, Clinical Psychologist(WALB)

Carden said the last time Albany had a noticeable increase was during the flood of 1994.

Job loss, food concerns, isolation and the feeling of loneliness are all factors Carden said have contributed to more mental health issues.

The normal recommendation for those struggling would be to interact with family and friends, but during the peak of COVID-19, those options weren’t available.

“As human beings, we are all geared toward connection, so this period of time where we’ve had to isolate or figure out how to connect through technology, that doesn’t necessarily get it for people,” said Carden.

Now that a vaccine is an option, he said he’s seen a change.

“More of my visits are in person than Zoom visits with my patients, so that’s a good thing that people are reaching out,” said Carden.

Over the past year, he’s seen over 2,000 people. He said there should be no stigma attached to getting help.

“Everybody in the world has problems. We all have problems of varying degrees of varying times of our lives. If you feel broken or something’s not right, go see a professional that can help discern whether or not this is something that needs to be treated or will be something that will dissipate over time,” encouraged Carden.

Dr. Carden said if you are struggling with your mental health, the best thing to do is call for help.

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