The COVID pandemic could be linked to greater mental illnesses and distress. There have, however, been no noteworthy studies on the results of Covid-19-related stressors. In the second year of the pandemic, we sought to see if Covid-related stress was associated with depressive symptoms, mental disorders, and anxiety symptoms.

A cross-sectional observational epidemiological survey was done from June to October 2021. An interview of the representative sample of adults (18-65 years) in Serbia in the 2nd year of the virus breakout, when huge portions of the population had already been affected in various ways. A multilevel probabilistic domestic sampling method was used to sample the adults in sixty municipalities. To assess mental disorders, in-person interview sessions were done using the Mini International Neuropsychiatric. Anxiety and depressive symptoms were assessed using the PHQ-9 and GAD-7 scales. During the pandemic, Covid-related stressors (Sars-CoV-2 illness, infection of a relative or friend, self-isolation, as well as a lack of safety equipment at the job) were measured alongside other stressors (not directly connected to the possibility of infection). Univariable and multivariable regression analyses were used to investigate the relationships between depressive symptoms, mental disorders, and anxiety.

Among 1203 interviewed (average age 43.7 and 48.7 percent male). The number of people (67.8%) had already been exposed to Covid-related stressors. 20.1 percent have had the infection,43.2 percent had a close family member who had Covid, 28.2 percent reported inappropriate protection; and 27.5 percent were quarantined), and roughly half had been vaccinated. 15.2 percent of people had a mental disorder (95 percent confidence interval (CI) 13.2-17.2), with mood disorders accounting for 4.6 percent, anxiety disorders accounting for 4.3 percent, and substance abuse problems accounting for 8.0 percent. The GAD-7 average was 2.1, and the PHQ-9 average was 3.2. The absence of protective gear was found to be loosely associated with a high prevalence of anxiety and depression (p = 0.023), whereas the other stress was found to be significantly associated with many groups of mental illnesses and illness levels.

CONCLUSIONS: According to our findings, there is no proof that mental illness exceeds the pre-pandemic data.  Despite widespread media coverage, the occurrence of mental disorders was unaffected by covid-related stressors. By providing appropriate workplace equipment, anxiety disorders can be reduced.

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