The number of British adults reporting some form of depression almost doubled during the coronavirus pandemic, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a new report on Tuesday.
The rate of depression jumped from 9.7% between July 2019 and March 2020 – the date of the previous survey – to 19.2% in June 2020.
One in 8 adults, around 12.9%, of adults said they had developed symptoms of depression over the last year.
Tim Vizard, principal research officer at the ONS, said in a statement: “Today’s research provides an insight into the mental health of adults during the coronavirus pandemic. Revisiting this same group of adults before and during the pandemic provides a unique insight into how their symptoms of depression have changed over time.
“Almost 1 in 5 adults were experiencing some form of depression during the pandemic, almost doubling from around one in 10 before the pandemic. Adults who were young, female, unable to afford an unexpected expense or disabled were the most likely to experience some form of depression during the pandemic.”
Of those aged between 16 and 39, 31% said they had moderate to severe symptoms of depression, compared to 11% in the previous survey.
Almost a quarter of women experienced moderate to severe symptoms of depression in June 2020, compared to just 1 in 8 in the previous survey.
Just over 1 in 3 adults who were unable to afford an unexpected expense also had moderate to severe depressive symptoms during the pandemic, compared to 1 in 5 before the pandemic.
In June 2020, disabled adults were more likely to experience moderate to severe symptoms of depression than non-disabled adults, with the figures being 35% and 12% respectively.
Over two in five, 42.2%, adults experiencing some form of depression during the pandemic said their relationships were being affected, compared with one in five, 20.7%, adults with no or mild depressive symptoms.
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