Mental health is a concern 75% of BraziliansAccording to the results Survey of World Mental Health Day 2021, conducted by Ipsos Research Institute With 21,513 people between the ages of 16 and 74 in 30 countries. Data were collected from August 20 to September 3, 2021 and placed Brazilians as the most concerned with mental health among respondents from the 30 countries assessed, followed by South Africa (73%) and Peru (71%). The global average is 53%. In terms of physical well-being, the numbers are similar: the topics of interest to 74% of respondents in Brazil. The overall average is 68% and Brazil ranks tenth out of 30 countries. In this case, South Africa leads, where 85% of the population cares about the health of their body. But as sports psychologist Adriana Lacerda explains, Physical and mental health go hand in hand, and caring for one affects the other. This has become even more evident in this period of the Covid-19 pandemic, when cases of anxiety and depression have increased worldwide.
Physical activity releases hormones related to pleasure, lowers the risk of depression and reduces anxiety – Photo: Iatuk Getty Images
– All intervention strategies today already take into account that physical exercise will have a significant impact not only on the health of the body, but also on mental health. Man is a holistic subject, these aspects intersect, and it is difficult to isolate mind and body – assesses Adriana, who cites Study collaborators with Covid Mental Disorders published in October in the scientific journal The Lancet Published in October this year.
According to this work, there were 53.2 million cases of depression in the world between January 1, 2020 and January 29, 2021, an increase of 27.6% over the previous one. And in the case of anxiety disorders, there were 76.2 million new cases, an increase of 25.6% compared to the period immediately preceding the pandemic. Special concern for Brazilians regarding issues related to mental health dialogues with the large number of people suffering from anxiety and depressive disorders in the country. According to data released by the World Health Organization (WHO) in May 2020, Brazil is the country with the highest rate of people with anxiety disorders in the world, with 9.3% of Brazilians affected, the fifth in depression, affecting 5.8% of the population country.
Adriana knows that there is no way to care for the mind without caring for the body, just as it is difficult to pursue physical well-being without working on the mind. During the pandemic, social isolation, increased sedentary lifestyle due to lockdown and the need to adopt home-office and online classes have had a significant impact on the growth of cases of mental disorders. Other factors include the unpredictability of the situation and fear of the virus, as well as grief in many cases.
Many people chose to exercise at home, but even so, the social factor of physical activity was still lacking. Many simply stop exercising.
– Everything was so new. When there is a pandemic and the athlete is not excited, what do you do? Being outdoors is very important to some people. Others have adapted to training at home. But there has been an increase in sedentary lifestyles, and taking physical activity out of the routine is affecting mental health. You are left without a tool that has a significant impact on your well-being – Adriana reviews. – During physical exercise, the prefrontal cortex releases dopamine and serotonin, which are hormones associated with pleasure that lead to feelings of fullness and balance. You see effects on neural connections, which affect the entire emotional side. There is no separation between mind and body.
The psychiatrist explains that physical activity contributes to controlling breathing and heart health, increasing quality of life and helping reduce anxiety. The way it affects the brain also reduces symptoms and the risk of depression. You also remember that a balanced diet and good sleep are key, and that exercise helps at least in terms of sleep.
One of the factors increasing the incidence of anxiety disorders and depression in the pandemic is a social factor. We are social beings, we need to connect. When the connection is lost, the impact is significant. And physical activity also contributes to increasing the social circle of a person – it complements, enhances: – Concerns about mental health and physical well-being go hand in hand, they complement each other. There is a clear intersection.
Source: Adriana Lacerda She is a psychologist, and president of the Sports Psychology Association of Rio de Janeiro and has extensive experience with both amateur and high-performance athletes, having worked in sports such as soccer, judo, shooting, synchronized swimming, and beach tennis.
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