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Dr. Robert G. Lahita M.D., Ph.D. - Autoimmune and Rheumatic Disease

Dr. Robert G. Lahita M.D., Ph.D. (“Dr. Bob”) is the Director of the Institute for Autoimmune and Rheumatic Disease at Saint Joseph Health in Paterson, New Jersey, and the author of IMMUNITY STRONG: Boost Your Body's Natural Healing Power and Live to 100.

Dr. Bob is the ultimate expert on the immune system and is consulted constantly by media across the globe including Reuters, Newsmax, Fox Business, Fox News, NBC Now, MSNBC, EWTN and CBSN. Dr. Bob is the author of more than 150 scientific papers, and has written or edited 14 books, including Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, which is now in its 6th edition. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, a Master of the American College of Rheumatology, and Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians. He's a reviewer for some 15 medical journals and on the editorial boards of three.

Tags: fertility | isolation | depression | covid

Pandemic Increased Isolation, Depression

Dr. Robert G. Lahita M.D., Ph.D. By Friday, 21 October 2022 04:25 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

I have interviewed many women who have been infertile for reasons that were associated with stress, long after multiple fertility studies were completed. After resolution of that stress through psychotherapy or through appropriate drug use to combat the stress, they would suddenly become pregnant, which is something far fewer women were doing globally during the pandemic.

The birth rate during the pandemic was the lowest observed since 1973, with hundreds of thousands of fewer births reported in the United States. Many countries are reporting similar declines, including China, which expected a decline of more than 10 percent, and Italy, which expected a decline of more than 21 percent.

Demographers and economists rightly worry about this baby bust and whether it is temporary. I worry about whether it might also say something about the pandemic increasing our isolation and desocialization.

COVID-19 limited our ability to socialize the way we had before for more than a year for most of us. Levels of stress leading to depression and suicidality increased by double digits during the pandemic.

According to the COVID Impact Survey by NORC at the University of Chicago, approximately two-thirds of Americans surveyed said they felt depressed and lonely or hopeless once during the previous week during the pandemic and almost 20 percent felt that way more than three times.

Data from prisons and many long-term care facilities where people were isolated reveal major issues revolving around a lack of activity.

Simply put, isolation or the lack of socialization is not healthy for anyone. Like prisoners in solitary confinement, it can lead to depression and lowered host resistance at any age.

This was a major topic of discussion and concern about children not being able to socialize with friends and being kept from their classmates for most if not all of a school year and longer because of the pandemic shutdown and worry about spreading the virus. The effects on their mental and physical health are only just beginning to be understood.

For seniors, the effects of isolation were of particular concern during the pandemic as well but were well understood long before. Getting old is stressful, and immunosenescence is inevitable as we do, but our biological soul wants to try and keep us living long lives.

Isolation, and by extension loneliness, is affecting its purpose deeply.

“Social Isolation and Loneliness in Older Adults,” a 2020 study from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, linked both conditions to serious health conditions like dementia and premature death from all causes that could be as harmful as smoking, obesity, and a lack of physical activity.

© 2023 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.


DrRobertLahita
COVID-19 limited our ability to socialize the way we had before for more than a year for most of us. Levels of stress leading to depression and suicidality increased by double digits during the pandemic.
fertility, isolation, depression, covid
434
2022-25-21
Friday, 21 October 2022 04:25 PM
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