There has been a lot of talk recently about how the coronavirus pandemic has unleashed a mental health epidemic of depression and anxiety.
That the pandemic has amped up our stress levels is certainly true. Indeed, there have been a few highly publicized surveys showing that levels of general psychological distress are on the rise. But I worry that calling this a wave of clinically significant depression or anxiety might be premature. What if we’re just bored out of our minds?
Many of my patients who have struggled with depression and anxiety have, surprisingly, not experienced flare-ups of their psychiatric illnesses over the course of the past few months. They do, however, say that they feel bored and frustrated. Lots of friends and colleagues, too, say that life has taken on a stultifying quality of sameness.