Many report feeling pandemic stress, ‘losing their mind’ in new brain health survey

Health News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – You’re working from home while your children are in the next room taking part in online school.

Later, there will be dinner to make and more chores. Tomorrow, you will need to shop for groceries and make an effort to be safe while doing that. And it’s been this way for months.

If you feel stressed, you’re not alone.

A new nationwide poll on brain health (from MPVIP/Ipsos) tells many what they already knew, i.e. that the pandemic is not only threatening our physical health but also mental well being. Take the quiz here.

Dr. Andrea Klemes from MPVIP says results show new stressors are affecting more people. The results indicate that nearly 2 out of 3 adults reported feelings of depression and anxiety and that 2 out of 5 have experienced forgetfulness or memory loss during the pandemic.

“About half said their mood changed, their personality changed and they had brain fog. So, it really has taken a toll on our mental health,” said Dr. Klemes.

“We found the most affected generation is that ‘sandwich generation’ between 35 and 49 who are taking care of their kids and their parents. One in two of them said that they felt like they were losing their mind, and 60% said it affected their relationships,” said Klemes.

While stress may be natural at a time like this, Klemes says the results of the survey indicate that most people don’t know that many physical factors can contribute to brain decline or that a healthier lifestyle may improve brain health

“Diet, eating healthy and getting enough sleep (are essential),” said Klemes. “But from the brain perspective, it’s also maintaining social connections.”

She says isolation is a concern especially for those already diagnosed with bran health problems. “So, it just makes it that much worse if you are an older person and you have some cognitive decline.”

You’re advised to keep in touch with older relatives. It may not only improve their mental outlook but your own.

“You may have to do Zoom or telephone calls but just try to keep people active and engaged and present every day,” she said.

She also says there are a list of physical issues such as diabetes that can contribute to brain health issue but that many patients don’t have the medical advice they might need to improve brain health or the lifestyle choices that may be needed.

“You need to partner with a physician to understand your risks,” said Dr. Klemes.

Other major results of the brain health quiz according to MDVIP:

* 2 out of 3 Americans worry about developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
* 1 out of 3 Americans have a close relative with dementia or Alzheimer’s
* 80% of Americans want to reduce their risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s
* 77% have never been coached by their doctor on lifestyle habits that support brain health

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