Twice as many Brits 'bottling up' mental health issues

Compared to 2019

Adam Saville
clock
Twice as many Brits 'bottling up' mental health issues

Bupa study shows vast majority of UK adults have experienced poor mental health symptoms

Despite the fact that 82% of Brits have suffered from issues such as continuous low mood, anxiousness, low self-esteem or hopelessness during lockdown, almost half (44%) said they have not told anyone, new research by Bupa has revealed.

The results show a significant rise from 2019 when one in four (22%) said they have bottled their feelings up.

Despite increasing symptoms of poor mental health during the Covid-19 crisis, just one in 20 (5%) admitted to speaking to a medical professional, while almost half (45%) said they will not seek help in the future. Others said they plan to wait almost two months (49 days) before coming forward, while one in five said they are planning to wait until things are ‘back to normal' before reaching out.

The study showed there is a tendency for people to ‘grin and bear' the pressure they are under (43%) and others (23%) said they felt as if now is not the right time to make a "fuss" about their mental health. This is particularly common for baby boomers (over 55s), who wait on average 65 days before seeking help. Women, meanwhile, leave it 15 days longer on average than men, the research suggested.

The study also revealed that the UK public's mental health is being hit as lockdown measures continue to ease.  Over half of adults (52%) said they are worried about what life will be like as we move towards a ‘new normal' and a similar number feel anxious about the prospect of using public transport or being around lots of people.

Previously, research by Bupa showed that 65% of people are anxious about returning to the office, and one in four expect their mental wellbeing to worsen as normal life resumes.

Early diagnosis

Pablo Vandenabeele, clinical director for Mental Health at Bupa UK Insurance, said: "There's no getting away from the fact that this has been a really tough period for our mental health. High levels of anxiety and depression have been reported while the country has been in lockdown, and as we remain in a period of uncertainty and change, mental health professionals expect these issues to continue.

"But it's extremely concerning to see that so many people don't feel that they can come forward to discuss their symptoms - either with friends or family or with a health professional. We can't simply wait and hope these issues will pass. Early diagnosis is so important for improving outcomes, and with the number of services and resources available people shouldn't suffer in silence or think that nothing can be done.

Bupa recently extended its remote healthcare services as part of Bupa From Home and it offers a free online resource, which can be found at its Coronavirus Information Hub

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