If you’re worried about the state of your mental health throughout this pandemic, you aren’t alone.
Indeed, a new set of numbers are in—and they aren’t pretty: Prescriptions for antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, and sleep aids rocketed more than 20 percent between mid-February and mid-March.
You know… the exact timeframe when stay-at-home orders started rolling out across the country… and pandemic panic really began to take hold.
A different kind of “surge”
This study’s findings stem from claims on prescriptions filled between mid-January and mid-March of this year, among a sample of more than 30 million Americans with commercial health insurance.
Numbers show that anti-anxiety prescriptions rose the highest—by a whopping 34.1 percent. In fact, anti-anxiety drug use jumped 18 percent in the very first week. (For context, these prescriptions had seen a 12 percent decline in the five years leading up to this latest report.)
Meanwhile, antidepressant prescriptions increased by nearly 19 percent between mid-February and mid-March—while insomnia medications spiked by almost 15 percent. (Again, this is following an 11 percent decline over the last five years for both.)
New scripts have leveled off in recent weeks. But the message here is crystal clear: As pandemic fears mount and isolation increases, more people are struggling with mental health now than ever.
But it’s also worth pointing out that these COVID-19 trends are just one snapshot from a larger body of statistics collected over the last five years, including…
- 40 million: The number of American adults who struggle with anxiety every year.
- 3 million: The number of American adults who experienced major depression in 2017.
- 50 to 70 million: The number of Americans who deal with sleep disorders.
Clearly, these numbers point to a problem that far predates COVID-19. And needless to say, that’s just as concerning.
A safer way to weather the storm
Let’s be clear: Anxiety, depression, and sleeplessness are nothing new for Americans.
But these are strange and difficult times—and we’re all grieving losses in one form or another. For some, it’s the death of family members and friends. Others have lost jobs. Ultimately, everyone is mourning their pre-pandemic lives in some way or another.
Add in the relentless 24-hour news cycle and uncertainty over how and when any of this will end, and it’s no wonder people are clamoring for relief. The whole country has been collectively teetering toward a nervous breakdown for weeks now.
So I can’t think of a better time for this critical reminder: You don’t need to lean on risky drugs to carry you through this crisis.
Why? Because once again, cannabidiol (CBD) can do that naturally. In fact, it’s quickly becoming my treatment of choice for managing both anxiety and sleeplessness.
CBD does not have psychoactive effects like its cannabinoid counterpart, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—but clinical studies show it has a potent positive effect on serotonin receptors in the brain… without the mood swings, insomnia, and sexual dysfunction that so often accompany drug treatment for depression and anxiety.
I’ve said it before, but this plant really can do it all. And finally, the loosening restrictions on medical marijuana mean it’s easier to access than ever before. But of course, that also means consumers need to be more wary, too.
The CBD product I recommend to my patients is high quality and rigorously tested to assure you’re getting exactly what you’re paying for. In fact, it’s full spectrum hemp, carried in olive oil—and because it’s a simple liquid in a dropper, you can adjust your dose to your specific needs.
And really, I can’t think of a safer or more user-friendly way to take the edge off of chronic anxiety, depression, or sleeplessness.
Of course, CBD is just one way to boost mood and protect your mental health… and we all need as much support as we can get in the weeks and months ahead. Which is why I’m proud to be featured in a brand new, comprehensive learning protocol devoted specifically to natural, science-backed approaches for combatting stress and anxiety. It’s set to launch any day now and, as a Reality Health Check and Logical Health Alternatives reader, when it’s ready, you’ll be the first to know. So, as always, stay tuned!
“COVID-19: Striking Uptick in Anxiety, Other Psych Meds.” Medscape Medical News, 04/17/20. (medscape.com/viewarticle/928901)