According to ONS data over 21% of adults have experienced depressive symptoms between the January 27 and March 7, 2021. This has increased from 10% before the pandemic hit.
Those who are worst effected are women (43% of those aged 16-29), disabled (39%) and clinically vulnerable (31%) people, adults renting homes (31%) and adults living in deprived areas (28%).
Those living in Yorkshire and the Humber and London were expected to experience more depressive symptoms with 22% of adults experiencing these, compared to 18% in the South East.
The symptoms of depression, according to the mental health charity Mind, include feeling down, restless, worthless and isolated. People also take little or no pleasure in things they previously enjoyed and have no self-confidence.
Philip Boddey, a Lincolnshire counsellor with over 20 years experience and mental health specialist, believes that depression and anxiety are on the up and that the change of structure associated with lockdown is to blame.
He said: “It’s the inability to find a structure or find control of their lives and their emotions. I think with the lockdown a lot of people are faced with a change of structure or a change of ability to take control of a day’s events.”
When asked whether he had noticed a key demographic in trouble Mr Boddey highlighted the danger to young people and the concern that it was causing parents who were, in turn, getting in touch with him for help.
In terms of alleviating depression Mr Boddey was key to note the difference between situational and clinical depression.
For situational depression he recommended exercise, giving a different structure and looking at the world as a whole rather than their particular position in it.
However, for those suffering from clinical depression the picture is a little more bleak: “If it’s clinical depression it will be there if you are happy or sad, active or inactive. It is a hormonal state”.