The era of Covid ambivalence: what do we do as normalcy returns but Delta surges? (The Guardian)

The Guardian: The era of Covid ambivalence: what do we do as normalcy returns but Delta surges?. “For many, the exhilaration of long-overdue hugs is offset by the anxiety of interaction. Optimism bumps against grief. Gratitude, tempered by the sobering rise of the highly contagious Delta variant of the Covid-19 virus (and frustration with the vaccine hesitation that has enabled its rapid spread in the US). As spring turned to summer, new uncertainties took the place of others. Hope keeps pace with pain. A new phase of the pandemic is upon us: the dual reality.”

NPR: Pinterest Bans All Weight Loss Ads

NPR: Pinterest Bans All Weight Loss Ads. “Pinterest is saying goodbye to weight loss ads. It’s banning them altogether, becoming the first major social platform to do so. The National Eating Disorders Association guided Pinterest in updating its policy as searches for healthy eating, healthy lifestyle and fitness tips grew within the past year.”

Washington Post: Will hiding likes on Instagram and Facebook improve users’ mental health? We asked experts.

Washington Post: Will hiding likes on Instagram and Facebook improve users’ mental health? We asked experts.. “Facebook is touting its latest feature, which will allow Facebook and Instagram users to hide like counts on posts, as a move that aims to ‘depressurize’ people’s experiences on its platforms. The change comes amid ongoing concern about the potentially harmful mental health effects of social media. But although the action may be a positive step, many experts say, it isn’t likely to have much effect on the lower levels of psychological well-being seen in some users.”

There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling: It’s Called Languishing (New York Times)

New York Times: There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling: It’s Called Languishing. “Colleagues reported that even with vaccines on the horizon, they weren’t excited about 2021. A family member was staying up late to watch ‘National Treasure’ again even though she knows the movie by heart. And instead of bouncing out of bed at 6 a.m., I was lying there until 7, playing Words with Friends. It wasn’t burnout — we still had energy. It wasn’t depression — we didn’t feel hopeless. We just felt somewhat joyless and aimless. It turns out there’s a name for that: languishing.”

New York Times: We Have All Hit a Wall

New York Times: We Have All Hit a Wall. “Call it a late-pandemic crisis of productivity, of will, of enthusiasm, of purpose. Call it a bout of existential work-related ennui provoked partly by the realization that sitting in the same chair in the same room staring at the same computer for 12 straight months (and counting!) has left many of us feeling like burned-out husks, dimwitted approximations of our once-productive selves.”

PsyPost: Belief in COVID-19 conspiracy theories linked to increases in anxiety, according to new research

PsyPost: Belief in COVID-19 conspiracy theories linked to increases in anxiety, according to new research. “A new study published in Personality and Individual Differences provides evidence that conspiracy theories about COVID-19 can have a negative personal impact on individuals who adhere to such beliefs. The research indicates that COVID-19 conspiracy beliefs predict heightened levels of mental distress.”

Medical XPress: COVID-19 pandemic impacts mental health worldwide

Medical XPress: COVID-19 pandemic impacts mental health worldwide. “A study conducted at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health reports a high global prevalence of both depression and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic and shows how implementation of mitigation strategies including public transportation and school closures, and stay-at-home orders impacted such disorders. The results are published in Psychological Medicine.”

CNN: A year into the pandemic, it’s time to take stock of our mental health

CNN: A year into the pandemic, it’s time to take stock of our mental health. “We’ve lost so much in this year of devastation, so many of the normal markers of life we typically take for granted. We’ve missed graduations, holidays, sports seasons, plays, weddings, funerals, hugging, spontaneity and just connecting face to face with friends and family. Many of us have lost people we love. Meanwhile, negativity and judgment run high, with most every issue being politicized, down to the wearing of masks. As a result, people feel disconnected and isolated. More of my clients report experiencing a higher sense of self-doubt than ever before. Many of us feel a degree of hopelessness and despair we could not have imagined a year ago.”

AP: Global rise in childhood mental health issues amid pandemic

AP: Global rise in childhood mental health issues amid pandemic. “Pediatric psychiatrists say they’re also seeing children with coronavirus-related phobias, tics and eating disorders, obsessing about infection, scrubbing their hands raw, covering their bodies with disinfectant gel and terrified of getting sick from food. Also increasingly common, doctors say, are children suffering panic attacks, heart palpitations and other symptoms of mental anguish, as well as chronic addictions to mobile devices and computer screens that have become their sitters, teachers and entertainers during lockdowns, curfews and school closures.”

TIME: Insurance Claim Data Show How Much Teen Mental Health Has Suffered During the U.S. COVID-19 Pandemic

TIME: Insurance Claim Data Show How Much Teen Mental Health Has Suffered During the U.S. COVID-19 Pandemic. “In a new study by the nonprofit FAIR Health, investigators combed through a database of 32 billion U.S. health insurance claims—focusing on the two billion or so from 2019 to 2020—to calculate the numbers filed for health services in the pediatric age group, which they defined as ages 0 to 22. The researchers focused particularly on the emotionally turbulent years from 13 to 18, and to a somewhat lesser extent on claims filed by those ages 19 to 22. In both groups they found sharp spikes from pre-pandemic 2019 to 2020 in a range of psychological conditions including major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, adjustment disorder, self-harm, substance abuse, overdoses, OCD, ADHD and tic disorders.”

New York Times: The Boredom Economy

New York Times: The Boredom Economy. “By limiting social engagements, leisure activities and travel, the pandemic has forced many people to live a more muted life, without the normal deviations from daily monotony. The result is a collective sense of ennui — one that is shaping what we do and what we buy, and even how productive we are.”