After a peak in early April, pandemic-related feelings of anxiety and depression among Americans lessened by late May, according to a national survey conducted by the University of Southern California (USC) Dornsife Center of Economic and Social Research.
Since mid-March, around 7,000 U.S. adults participated in the survey, which asked participants about the coronavirus and its personal, psychological impacts.
The survey found that the height of anxiety and depression occurred in early April. At that time, 40% of U.S. residents said they felt anxious, and 29% said they felt depressed. The percentage of distressed people — feeling either anxiety or depression — was higher amongst those who lost their jobs.
By late May, the percentage of people feeling anxious dropped to 27%, while depression levels dropped only slightly, to 25%.
"I think these results point towards what is part of the natural human condition; there is a tendency towards survival, coping and more resiliency so that people can move forward," said T. Em Arpawong, an assistant professor of research at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology in a press release.
The survey also found that Americans are more lonely since the pandemic began. One in three Americans reported feeling lonely at least one day per week now, compared to one in five prior to the pandemic. The young adult population, defined as people between 18 to 30 years old, reported the highest levels of loneliness. A majority of young adults described feeling lonely at least one day per week.