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VIENNA, April 22 -- One in three Austrian citizens has experienced mental health issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a fresh study by Sigmund Freud University (SFU) in Vienna, reported Sputnik.
The study was conducted by researchers of the SFU Institute for Social Aesthetics and Mental Health, led by Michael Musalek and Oliver Scheibenbogen, who compared data from May 2020 to March 2021.
The researchers found that in May of last year a quarter of Austrians felt the increased mental pressure due to the epidemiological situation, while in March of this year the stress spread further to one-third of the population.
"The pandemic acts as an intensifier, and the difference in the population is growing. Mental stress has increased especially in the age group of 18-30. One in two young people today speaks of mental stress. Women are more affected than men," Scheibenbogen said.
Over the past 10 months, more Austrians have been reporting sleep problems, syndromes of depression, anxiety and panic attacks. Every second respondent has shown increased irritability, while almost every third Austrian has chronic irritability. The major trigger of mental health problems reported in Austria, according to the SFU study, is the COVID-19 pandemic and the related restrictions, as well as economic and employment uncertainties.