Dr Chris George said patient after patient was presenting with problems brought about by factors including job losses and relationship breakdowns.
The GP said that others are likely to be suffering in silence and that more work needs to take place to reach out to people in despair.
He gave a snapshot of the situation on the ground to a news outlet after charities raised concerns about the impact of the health emergency on people’s mental health.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, key signs of distress, including isolation and suicidality, have worsened throughout the pandemic.
Dr George said that on the ground there’s an enormous abundance of patients presenting with mental health problems and that you could call it a pandemic in mental health problems.
And that it’s been like that since the start of the pandemic when the country went into lockdown in March, and he said there’s been a tremendous amount of mental health in clinic, in particular, and that people who’ve had mental health problems in the past have found it has worsened.
For other people, it’s the first time they’ve had difficulties and they’re mainly experiencing depression and anxiety.
He said that he only sees the proportion of people who come forward and that there must be so many more people struggling by themselves and not knowing where to turn or how to ask for help.
Dr George, 33, lives in London and works in Surrey and has been on the frontline and attends calls at community settings including care homes.
His frontline duties also include working for the 111 services and he was a volunteer for the London Nightingale Hospital before it was stood down.
Outside of his professional brief, he serves as a spokesperson for the Healthcare Worker’s Foundation, which supports bereaved families of NHS workers.
Dr George said that it’s sad hearing the patient’s stories and you want to help as best you can.
And he said that some of the issues people encounter include the loss of their job and not having an income, stress on relationships with partners, marriage breakdowns and panic attacks and that people are having panic attacks at work and crying in the bathroom or crying on the way home after dropping the kids off at school, and that this has only increased as the pandemic has gone on.
Now even the mentally strong are beginning to suffer, let alone the ones who were struggling to begin with.
Being kept away from family and friends, losing jobs and businesses and delayed medical treatment – the Government needs to end this now and take us out of lockdown, open everything up and let us all get back to normal and live our lives.
It’s already been established that the vaccine probably won’t give us immunity. Masks don’t protect us fully and why are Subway and Costa permitted to be open but a pub or restaurant can’t, even though they both sell food and drinks, which is considered to be essential.
And it all seems like a sick joke and loads more people are likely to be presenting with poor mental health as a side effect of the pandemic and its restrictions, but nobody seems to be getting any help.
Many people are at breaking point, many of whom are feeling suicidal with a few self-harm attempts, with not being able to pull themselves out of that black hole, and it disgusts me that mental health is never given the funding it needs and never truly gets taken seriously.