Hard-hit by Kovid-19, Latino endures mental health burden for 8 months in epidemic

Ana Urbina is so afraid of contracting Kovid-19 that she also worries about going out to throw out the trash. Staying indoors all the time means that Urbina is watching more TV than usual – including news, which then increases her anxiety.

“I’m very stressed,” said Urbina, 60, a Miami resident. “My health condition is getting more complicated, and it stresses me out.”

According to an April 23 to November 9 analysis by the National Center for Health Statistics in partnership with the Census Bureau, Uribina is among about 40 percent of Latino nationwide who experienced persistent symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder. The rate peaked in mid-July and early November when about 50 percent of Latino people experienced such symptoms. Black Americans report a similar pattern

Symptoms of anxiety and depressive disorder among White and Asian Americans remained at around 30 percent while Black Americans reported similar symptomatic patterns compared to Latino.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Latino has been dissatisfied with the health and economic consequences of the epidemic, including experiencing a proportionately higher percentage of Kovid’s 19 percent deaths.

Latino viruses are three times more likely to be infected and nearly five times more likely to be hospitalized than non-Hispanic whites.

Paul Velez, chief executive of Borinquin Medical Center in Miami, said people’s reports “are very concerned about financial matters, testing themselves positive for Kovid-19 and feeling more isolated”.

Anxiety and depression can have physical effects such as severe headaches, abdominal pain, chills, and difficulty breathing. For example, these traits overlap with Kovid-19, so it can create an additional layer of panic. Worrying symptoms may worsen, said Marissa Ichenki, a clinical psychologist at Merisa University and an associate professor at the university’s Department of Psychiatry.

“It is noticeable among Hispanic older women or mothers who try to be superwomen all the time and help everyone,” Echenick said. Everyone’s problem is their problem. “

‘Grief is indeed everywhere’

At Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, New York, Drs. Vladimir Gaska was working closely with several Latino families, whose relatives were hospitalized with Kovid-19, especially during the early days of the epidemic when the city was the center of the coronovirus crisis.

“In our hospital, there have been hundreds of unproven deaths among the Latino population,” said Gasca, director of psychiatric and behavioral health services at the Almaherst Hospital. He said that anyone who was hospitalized and intubated during the early stages of the epidemic was less likely to recover.

“Psychologists will ask families to prepare for the eventual demise of their loved ones,” Gaska said. “And once they had actually passed, we continued to provide completely free treatment services over the phone to hundreds of families in the community.”

An assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Texas, Drs. For Fabrizio Delgado, the growing mental health in his community due to the outbreak of epidemics on Latino has become more evident since October, when an increase in coronav cases and deaths made El Paso, Texas the new epicenter of the epidemic. More than 80 percent of the city’s population is Hispanic.

He said that many Delgado patients experience extreme anxiety, inability to sleep, insomnia and lack of energy. “Grief is really everywhere right now, either because people have lost their family members or because they have lost their jobs or because they have lost normalcy in their lives.”

Delgado, who heads counseling services at the University Medical Center of El Paso, said economic instability is taking increased mental health over a lot of Latino small-business owners in El Paso. The economic downturn caused by the epidemic has made Latino particularly difficult after seeing unemployment levels higher than the previous peak Hispanic unemployment rate of 13.9 percent in January 2010.

“Many of them have become very worried,” he said. Some of them have developed depression and many of them are coming to the hospital. “

Dr., vice president of behavioral health and recovery services at the Bhandara Center in Springfield, Massachusetts. Madeline Aviles-Hernández said that a lot of stressed families are struggling with how long an epidemic will occur.

“That level of uncertainty that creates a lot of stress,” especially on people “who were part of the ‘normal’ labor force and became essential workers overnight,” Avilis-Hernández said.

Family counseling, even beyond boundaries

Geska has seen some of his patients develop depression and others who were already living with chronic conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and severe depression worsened their condition. He said that the mental health impact of Kovid-19 among Latino has also crossed the boundaries.

When a young Mexican man was hospitalized with Kovid-19 in New York, Gasca began counseling for the man’s wife and two young daughters – in Mexico, where they live. The man was working in the United States to support his family.

“Eventually, he died,” Gaska said. “Now, I have this poor woman with two poor daughters, don’t know what to do because they had no other relatives here. They used to ask me: ‘What should I do with the body? How can I get ashes in central Mexico? ‘It was a truly horrifying scene, and I can tell you that it was repeated hundreds of times throughout the city. “

Four out of four people who survived coronavirus said it had changed their lives in a big way, Gaska said, leading them to develop mental health conditions, such as obsessive compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. , Citing several studies.

The younger generation is also feeling its effects.

While Velez has seen a general increase in patient referrals, he was surprised to see an uptick among children and adolescents, reporting increased symptoms of depression and anxiety.

“It was completely unpredictable,” he said, adding that his population has had a great deal of difficulty closing school at an age to be tied to their learning environment. Those who have not returned to school are using distance education and are isolated from their peers.

“There is no recreational time and no interaction with other children,” Velez said. “There is also a fear of acquiring the virus itself and an increase of self-isolation.”

Suicide, substance abuse

Eichnyk said she is seeing more Latino in Miami-Dade County, with a Hispanic population of 70 percent of people seeking mental health services during the epidemic.

Miami was a hot spot of epidemic during the summer and was one of the worst areas in the country when its residents faced food insecurity and scarcity. But she has not already seen an increase in suicide in care, which “speaks to the importance of being in care.”

Echenique said that many of those who commit suicide are not able to receive mental health treatment.

Del Pasado said suicide attempts in El Paso occur frequently during the epidemic.

Aviles-Hernández said the epidemic has exacerbated current issues related to trauma, depression, anxiety, domestic violence, suicide and substance abuse among Latin families.

Velez said he has seen an increase in referrals at his clinic in Miami for the treatment of drug disorders, especially for opioid patients.

Like Avilés-Hernández and Velez, Gasca stated that they have also seen an increase in substance abuse disorders in Latino patients who relapse. Many lacked access to frequent outpatient services due to epidemic-related closures or were unable to transition to tele-psychiatric services.

Under normal circumstances, El Paso lacks addiction providers and services, said Delgado, who is seeing a higher proportion of drug abuse patients.

“Their wait to get services is getting longer because we are sending them to get treatment,” he said.

Tips and resources to cope

With the holidays around the corner, Avilis-Hernández said Latino families should not underestimate the effects that such celebrations can have on mental health and emotional stability.

“We are in the midst of an epidemic and these celebrations will look somewhat different, and many people will not be able to spend it with their families.” Talking to a trusted community member or calling someone’s primary care physician is a good starting point for those seeking mental health support.

Delgado said it is important to keep in mind good lines of communication between family members or to identify relatives who may have to struggle and need additional help. There are four stages that can help people at home, he said, counteract coronovirus stress:

  • be kind to yourself.
  • Remember why we are doing this: to control the spread of the virus and save lives.
  • Maintain social interaction using any available technology.
  • Practice basic self-care activities, such as drinking enough water and sleeping at regular times.

If you or someone you know is at risk of suicide, you can call the US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, text TALK to 741741 at 800-273-8255 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resource for additional resources.

Nicole Acevedo reported from New York and Carmen Sesin from Miami.

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