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All About Imposter Syndrome: Definition, Health Effects, and Coping

Click here for the article published by Psychology News Service. Source: APA PsycPORT™: Psychology Newswire In 1978, two psychologists defined something called “impostor phenomenon” as an experience of feeling like an intellectual phony. The phenomenon is marked by persistent self-doubt and, often, a fear of being exposed as a fraud or imposter—even though, in reality, …

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The effects of the pandemic on mental health in persons with and without a psychiatric history

Prospective studies are needed to assess the influence of pre-pandemic risk factors on mental health outcomes following the COVID-19 pandemic. From direct interviews prior to (T1), and then in the same individuals after the pandemic onset (T2), we assessed the influence of personal psychiatric history on changes in symptoms and wellbeing.

Two hundred and four (19–69 years/117 female) individuals from a multigenerational family study were followed clinically up to T1. Psychiatric symptom changes (T1-to-T2), their association with lifetime psychiatric history (no, only-past, and recent psychiatric history), and pandemic-specific worries were investigated.

At T2 relative to T1, participants with recent psychopathology (in the last 2 years) had significantly fewer depressive (mean, M = 41.7 v. 47.6) and traumatic symptoms (M = 6.6 v. 8.1, p < 0.001), while those with no and only-past psychiatric history had decreased wellbeing (M = 22.6 v. 25.0, p < 0.01). Three pandemic-related worry factors were identified: Illness/death, Financial, and Social isolation. Individuals with recent psychiatric history had greater Illness/death and Financial worries than the no/only-past groups, but these worries were unrelated to depression at T2. Among individuals with no/only-past history, Illness/death worries predicted increased T2 depression [B = 0.6(0.3), p < 0.05]. Conclusions As recent psychiatric history was not associated with increased depression or anxiety during the pandemic, new groups of previously unaffected persons might contribute to the increased pandemic-related depression and anxiety rates reported. These individuals likely represent incident cases that are first detected in primary care and other non-specialty clinical settings. Such settings may be useful for monitoring future illness among newly at-risk individuals.

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