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One year of COVID-19: how has pandemic affected people mentally? Updated: 2020-12-04 15:21:11 KST

30-year-old Lee Yeji loves traveling so much that she quit her previous job as a marketer and now makes travel videos for a living.
But after the pandemic stopped her from following her passion, she fell into a depression that stuck for half a year.

"As I kept worrying about my future, I felt the corona blues. I also love meeting people, but I couldn't meet anyone and had to stay home, so my depression just got worse."

The emotional distress triggered by COVID-19 is known as the 'corona blues'.
In a survey of one thousand people, more than 40-percent answered that they have felt the 'corona blues' with symptoms like depression, loneliness or helplessness.
Research suggests that this year, the number of people seeking medical help with their depression or other mood disorders was more than 7 percent higher than last year.

"A lot of young people are feeling anxiety about not having a job, not being able to meet friends, and being stuck at home. With no social communication, it's easy for them to fall into a pit of despair and lethargy."

The largest increase in people seeking medical help due to depression was seen in women aged from 19 to 44.
The increase was twice that of men in the same age group.

"The crisis calls we receive from young women have increased more than twice. Our phone calls tell us that that they're more vulnerable to depression because they get fired more easily, so it's easier for them to find themselves in financial difficulties."

Exercise and talking with others can help alleviate the symptoms of depression.
But medical experts say the safest bet is to reach out for help.
Kim Yeon-seung, Arirang News
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