Pandemic and Mental Health

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If you are like me this COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful and taxing on my mental health. The Fear and anxiety about this new disease and what could happen is super overwhelming and causing a lot of strong emotions and feelings for me.   Public health actions, such as social distancing, are making me and other people I know, feel isolated and lonely; it is also causing an increase in stress and anxiety. However, these actions are necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Coping with stress in a healthy way will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.

Mental Health is an important part of overall health and wellbeing. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It may also affect how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices during an emergency.  People with pre-existing mental health conditions or substance use disorders may be particularly vulnerable in this pandemic situation. Mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia affect a person’s thinking, feeling, mood or behavior in a way that influences their ability to relate to others and function each day. These conditions may be situational or short-term, but most are chronic or long term conditions. People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment and be aware of new or worsening symptoms.

I know for me this has been especially difficult to make sure I keep up with my services. There have been times that I have felt so depressed lately that I would cancel my therapy session thinking I did not need it, but that has not helped or worked in my favor.  During these difficult times especially it is super important to reach out for help and reach out to people that can help get you through. One thing I have found especially helpful is face timing or using zoom to video chat with my family and friends. Even though we cannot physically be together it has helped make the distance and separation more bearable. 

Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can sometimes cause the following:

Are you experiencing any of these below symptoms? If so it may be time for you to seek professional help.

  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones, your financial situation or job, or loss of support services you rely on.
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns.
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating.
  • Worsening of chronic health problems.
  • Worsening of mental health conditions.
  • Increased use of tobacco, and/or alcohol and other substances.

Healthy ways to cope with stress during this difficult time:

  • Know what to do if you are sick and are concerned about COVID-19. Contact a health professional before you start any self-treatment for COVID-19.
  • Know where and how to get treatment and other support services and resources, including counseling or therapy (in person or through telehealth services).
  • Take care of your emotional health. Taking care of your emotional health will help you think clearly and react to the urgent needs to protect yourself and your family.
  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including those on social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • Take care of your body.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
  • Connect with your community- or faith-based organizations. While social distancing measures are in place, consider connecting online, through social media, or by phone or mail.

During this time it can be especially difficult to ask for help; you may feel embarrassed or ashamed and there’s nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about. If you need assistance please reach out, there is always someone there to assist you when you are in times of need.

Get immediate help in a crisis

Find a health care provider or treatment for substance use disorder and mental health

Author: Amanda Paige

I am a 30 year old woman, i have two children and i work full time. I am far from normal, but that is a good thing. I go through everyday challenges with friends, family, loved ones, and work just like any other person would. But at the end of the day I am me and no one is going to change that. Your true happiness is all that matters at the end of day. Life may not be fair but you can sure make it fun!! Living my best life; Life is long so make sure you live every day to the fullest Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or Licensed Psychologist please seek help if you need it.

17 thoughts on “Pandemic and Mental Health”

  1. These are such helpful tips thank you. I have been struggling a lot during this time. It has been so tough not being able to see family and friends.

    Like

  2. This pandemic has brought out the depression and anxiety for so many of us. The unknown is just so scary and not knowing what will happen in the future just makes it worse.

    Like

  3. this pandemic has been so difficult on my mom who suffers from bipolar disorder. Reading your article helped her and I feel like she is not alone. It really made a difference for her to see that others are struggling just like her. And i agree taking a break from the news right now is so important. To much bad on there

    Like

  4. sometimes i wonder what the people who are not taking this pandemic seriously are thinking. I see everyone on Facebook hanging out, partying, taking trips and it makes me so angry. There are all these people dying in hospitals because of COVID, do these people even care what those peoples mental health is going through and experiencing. This world and the people in it right now make me sick. thanks for sharing this mama.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. i hate how this pandemic was handled and it just makes the anxiety and stress build even more because of it. Nothing was done properly and it shows every single day

    Liked by 1 person

  6. this is such a huge deal and topic that is being discussed in many of my facebook groups right now. A lot of people are stressed and depressed so these tips will be super helpful for sure. i am going to share your article in my groups

    Liked by 1 person

  7. i just want this covid to go away. I just want to be happy again and I just want everyone with mental health issues to be able to stick together to get through this because we got this.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have severe bipolar disorder and really bad anxiety and just going to the store and wearing this mask has increased my mental health issues drastically. I appreciate these tips you wrote about in your post

    Liked by 1 person

  9. this was such an awesome and well thought out post. I really appreciate your tips on how to handle this pandemic. I really have been struggling lately and I know so many others who have been as well. So this will really help them a lot

    Liked by 1 person

  10. THANK YOU for this! I really needed a reminder that feeling all of this is normal. I often just push through everything and forget to tell myself that it’s okay to not feel good 100% of the time.

    Liked by 1 person

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