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6.4% of Spaniards needed psychological help during the pandemic, the majority due to anxiety and depression

Publication: Wednesday March 17, 2021 1:02 PM

6.4% of Spaniards needed professional help due to a psychological problem in the past year marked by the coronavirus pandemic and up to 5.8% admit they were prescribed a psychotropic drug to deal with these problems.

This is data revealed by the latest CIS barometer on citizens’ mental health during the pandemic, released earlier this month. The survey also found that the most common problems among people who sought help were anxiety (43.7%), depression (35.5%), and conduct disorders (5.1 %).

Regarding the psychotropic drug prescribed, 58.7% were prescribed anxiolytics (lorazepam, valium, clonazepam, lexatin); antidepressants (fluoxetine, sertraline, escitalopram) (41.3%), sleep regulators (21.2%) and analgesics or antipsychotics (risperidone, quetiapine) (3.9%).

Regarding the length of their treatment, 77% say they always maintain it; 68.7% took the treatment for more than three months or took it longer than this period, 15.6% took it between 1 month and 2 weeks and 14% took it 2 weeks.

In addition, 4.7% said a family member had been prescribed a psychoactive drug for showing mental symptoms since the start of the pandemic.

Before the pandemic, 17.5% said they had been treated by a psychologist or psychiatrist, mainly because of a depressive disorder (39% of those who attended), anxiety disorder (33.1%) and conduct disorder (5.7%).

Before the start of the pandemic, because of their psychological problems, 8.8% used certain drugs: in particular antidepressants (53.7%), anxiolytics (47.8%), sleep regulators (19.9 %) and analgesics or antipsychotics (6.6%).

Sánchez announces a “big leap” in mental health in public health

The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, assured on Wednesday that mental health would be the “next big leap” of the national health system (SNS) and announced that the national strategy would be updated in order to broaden the lines of action. and care is provided quickly and universally.

An announcement that was made after MP Íñigo Errejón asked about worrying CIS data on mental health, when a PP MP shouted “go to the doctor”. The cry was silenced by the applause of a majority of deputies, applause that Pedro Sánchez himself thanked in his speech because “questions like this are the ones that honor this House”, he said. he declares.

In his speech, Sánchez clarified that the update of the mental health strategy has an endowment of 2.5 million euros, he opted for the prevention of mental health and the detection of suicidal behavior as well as support for helping families and institutional coordination with mental health. associative teams and networks.

Sánchez indicated that the creation of a new specialty in child and adolescent psychiatry was being considered to meet the needs of these groups, and indicated that this royal decree was awaiting the report of the Council of State.

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