Anxiety symptoms increased during the pandemic, Google Trends show

Anxiety symptoms increased during the pandemic, Google Trends show
A fresh study has found a substantial rise in persons searching Google for anxiety symptoms during the pandemic.

New research found that in america, Google looks for ‘worry,’ ‘anxiety,’ and therapeutic ways to manage worry and anxiety have increased through the pandemic.

The study, featuring as a commentary in the journal Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, highlights the burden the COVID-19 pandemic has located not merely on people’s physical health but also their mental health.

COVID-19 and mental health
COVID-19 has already established a profound effect on people. The world is approaching one million recorded deaths from the condition. And, some of these who recovered from the original virus effects continue steadily to suffer long-term symptoms that are yet to be fully understood.

Once the knock-on ramifications of the disease element in - for instance, overwhelmed critical care units prolonging treatment times for folks with other serious illnesses - then it is clear that the pandemic has had a devastating influence on people’s health all over the world.

However, as well as people’s physical health, it is also becoming clear that the pandemic is drastically affecting their mental health.

Early in the pandemic, there have been anecdotal reports that people’s mental health was worsening, including people that have pre-existing mental medical issues and the ones whose mental health was normally well. As time has truly gone on, more research has began to corroborate these reports.

Google Trends
In today's study, the researchers wished to explore an alternative method of deciding the pandemic’s effects on mental health: analyzing Google search requests.

Google Trends allows anyone to see the search conditions that persons use for various populations, globally and locally. As Dr. Michael Hoerger, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at Tulane University Cancer Center, New Orleans, and his co-authors note:

“Although in no way a ‘window in to the soul,’ people’s search conditions reflect relatively uncensored desires for information and so lack lots of the biases of traditional self-report surveys.”

Previous health science research has made make use of Google Trends data in studies, and today's study’s investigators wanted to see how effective it may be in the context of mental health in today's pandemic. 
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