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Depression and insomnia patients on the rise in S. Korea amid prolonged pandemic: Study Updated: 2021-10-20 09:15:22 KST

The number of people undergoing treatment for psychiatric disorders has increased since the start of the pandemic.
According to data provided by South Korea's National Health Insurance Service, the number of people suffering from depression, insomnia, panic disorders or ADHD,.. increased in 2020 compared to the year before.

The number of people with being treated for depression increased by 4.1 percent, from just under 800-thousand in 2019 to more than 830-thousand last year.
Over the same period, the number of people with sleeping disorders rose by 3.2 percent, topping 656-thousand people.
The study also found that patients with ADHD or panic disorders had gone up as well.

"After COVID-19, business owners faced lots of economic difficulties. I think that would have had the biggest impact. I think for some, conditions got worse because of this situation, others may have been diagnosed for the first time."

Medical expenses have also risen during the course of the pandemic.
Depression sufferers used an additional 17 U.S. dollars on-year in 2020 on treatments while those being treated for panic disorders spent 25 dollars more.

Data from the Ministry of Education also showed that the number of students receiving psychological counseling increased significantly.
The number jumped from just below 470-thousand in 2019 to 617-thousand in 2020.

"Seeing more people come to get counseling made me realize that the number is not just increasing but actually going up drastically. We’re probably seeing an uptrend now… because symptoms of depression appear a bit later. If COVID-19 isn’t contained this year, the number of patients will grow even more next year."

Some experts say the number of patients may stop surging once the nation begins to live with Corona.
But the rising trend is prompting officials in South Korea to call for better mental health welfare.
Choi Min-jung, Arirang News.
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