RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The uncertainty of what lies ahead for the pandemic along with social restrictions in place has created the perfect environment to increase feelings of anxiety and depression.

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“We’re all under this incredibly stressful event and stressful times that keep changing from day to day,” said said Dr. Crystal Schiller, an assistant professor of psychiatry in the UNC School of Medicine.

New data from the CDC showed levels of anxiety and depression have increased since August 2020. It found the percentage of adults with recent symptoms of an anxiety or a depressive disorder increased from 36.4 percent to 41.5 percent since that time.

“We really have this epidemic of anxiety and depression in our country right now,” said Schiller.

The CDC survey also found a slight increase in the number of people who felt they needed but did not receive mental health care. That percentage went up from 9 percent to almost 12 percent.

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A quarter of people surveyed said they sought out prescription medication or therapy in the last few weeks.

It’s something Schiller said no one should be ashamed of. We’re all experiencing different levels of anxiety.

So when is it time to ask for help?

Schiller said if your emotions are getting in the way of enjoying time with your loved ones or getting through the day, it may be time to look for help.

“Or you’re able to do it but it’s much much harder than before and you’re really having to pull yourself up by the bootstraps to get through each day, that’s a sign that its time to reach out,” Schiller said.

Mental Health Resources

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255); En Español 1-888-628-9454
The Lifeline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Lifeline connects callers to the nearest crisis center in the Lifeline national network. These centers provide crisis counseling and mental health referrals. People who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have hearing loss can contact the Lifeline via TTY at 1-800-799-4889.

Crisis Text Line
Text “HELLO” to 741741
The Crisis Text hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout the U.S. The Crisis Text Line serves anyone, in any type of crisis, connecting them with a crisis counselor who can provide support and information.

Veterans Crisis Line
Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and press 1 or text to 838255
The Veterans Crisis Line is a free, confidential resource that connects veterans 24 hours a day, seven days a week with a trained responder. The service is available to all veterans, even if they are not registered with the VA or enrolled in VA healthcare. People who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have hearing loss can call 1-800-799-4889.

Disaster Distress Helpline
Call 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746
The disaster distress helpline provides immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. The helpline is free, multilingual, confidential, and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.