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Supplementary Material for: Embitterment as a Specific Mental Health Reaction during the Coronavirus Pandemic

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posted on 28.07.2021, 06:01 by Muschalla B., Vollborn C., Sondhof A.
Introduction: Embitterment can occur as a reaction to perceived injustice. During the pandemic and restrictions in daily living due to infection risk management, a range of many smaller or severe injustices have occurred. Objective: The aim of this study is to investigate what characterizes persons with high embitterment, mental illness, embitterment and mental illness, and those without embitterment or mental health problems. Methods: We conducted an online survey including persons from the general population in November 2020 and December 2020, the phase during which a second lockdown took place, with closed shops, restaurants, cultural and activity sites. 3,208 participants (mean age 47 years) gave self-ratings on their present well-being, burdens experienced during the pandemic, embitterment, wisdom, and resilience. Results: Embitterment occurred among 16% of the sample, which is a high rate in comparison with 4% during pre-pandemic times. Embitterment was weakly correlated with unspecific mental well-being. There were more persons with embitterment than those with embitterment and a mental health problem. Persons with embitterment reported less coronavirus-related anxiety than persons without embitterment. However, embittered persons reported more social and economic burdens and more frequent experiences of losses (job loss and canceling of medical treatments). Embittered persons perceive their own wisdom competencies on a similar level as persons with mental health problems or persons without mental health problems. Conclusion: Embitterment is a specific potentially alone-standing affective state, which is distinguishable from general mental health and coping capacities (here: wisdom). The economic and social consequences of pandemic management should be carefully recognized and prevented by policy.

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