If you are suffering from depression and anxiety due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you are certainly not alone. Many were loved ones who had died and were heartbroken. Some coronavirus survivors are suffering from catastrophic health conditions and many others have lost their jobs and businesses.
Even those who did not suffer heavy casualties endured months of disrupted schedules, canceled milestone celebrations and daily logistical challenges. No wonder so many people feel lonely, depressed and vulnerable physically, emotionally and financially.
As the pandemic continues and hope for an end grows, there are ways to identify mental health issues and get the help you or a loved one may need. Here is some useful information from neuropsychologistsΔρ. Tracy Van Nosdal, which talks about the impact of the coronavirus and the pandemic on anxiety and depression, what to look out for, and the types of treatments available to help you or someone you care about.
How the pandemic is stressing us - and who is at risk
Van Nosdal said the research confirms what doctors are seeing in practice. "Of course this pandemic is causing pain," he said.
"Emotional distress, anxiety and depression in general are increasing," he said. “We are also seeing increasing numbers of patients with alcohol use and sleep disorders, which help us regulate our emotions and can lead to emotional difficulties. People with pre-existing mental or physical health problems are particularly at risk."
The pattern of anxiety and depression seems to occur in waves like COVID-19 itself: As the number of new coronavirus cases begins to rise, so do anxiety and depression, he said. However, he added that there are reasons for optimism.
“We benefit when we feel in control, that there are things we can do to influence our circumstances. As more knowledge and prevention strategies such as a vaccine become available and life returns to normal, people may feel less helpless than they did in the early days of the pandemic."
4 ways to fight stress and depression in a pandemic
Depression and anxiety can be serious, but both conditions are treatable. Van Nosdal highlights four ways you can maximize your mental health and prevent anxiety and depression from taking over:
- normal life.
When the pandemic started, many people's lives were disorganized and monotonous, but lately that is changing. "We're returning to a new feeling or normality and structure," Van Nosdal said. "Compared to 2020, we are more used to working productively from home and developing a work and school routine." For those struggling, simple steps to restore structure can help, he said. Restore your sense of balance. "Wake up at the same time every day. Get dressed. Set yourself at least one achievable goal every day."
- Take care.
The mind-body connection is vital. "Practice self-care," advises Van Nosdal. "Prioritize good sleep, good nutrition, fresh air and exercise. Find a safe way to socialize and stay in touch with your friends and family.”(Video) Anxiety and Depression are Surging During Covid-19
- Be careful with drugs and alcohol.
"Excessive drug use poses risks for people with anxiety and depression," van Nosdal said, adding that substance abuse disorders can become a serious problem in their own right.
- Get help: Mental health telemedicine is easier than ever.
If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression, you can seek help. In addition to face-to-face counseling sessions, new options can bring therapy as close as your phone or laptop.
"Telemedicine has exploded," Van Nosdal said. "This is a real bright spot in this pandemic. Teletherapy and telemedicine platforms expand access and help patients interact with professionals without having to physically go to the doctor's office. It's more convenient for patients and the evidence shows it's very effective."
Whether you work with a therapist or not, it helps to get some data about yourself and spot patterns, she says. "There are apps that can help you track your mood, sleep, and stress levels, or you can keep a journal to understand what's affecting your sadness or anxiety levels."
Coronavirus and mental health: Can coronavirus infection cause depression or anxiety?
could. Vannorsdall cares for patients withnew coronavirusexistsPostakutes COVID-19-Team der Johns Hopkins University (JH PACT)The clinic works with multidisciplinary medical professionals to help patients recover from the long-term effects of COVID-19 and its treatment.
Severe disease COVID-19 can have devastating consequences for patients. In addition to organ damage and ongoing symptoms, the loss of physical, emotional, and even financial health can leave "distance runners" feeling depressed and anxious.
Treatment in an intensive care unit (ICU) is also a risk factor.Post-intensive care syndromeIt affects those who spend extended periods of time in the ICU and, if left untreated, can cause long-term, debilitating anxiety and panic.
Van Nosdal said researchers are studying the inflammatory response to coronavirus infection and how it affects the brain. COVID-19 itself can cause physical changes that manifest as cognitive problems (thinking, memory, and reasoning).
“One of the challenges in managing ongoing symptoms of COVID-19 is how individuals behave differently in terms of illness and recovery. The PACT team treats people with a variety of symptoms. We see anxiety, depression, loss of function, etc. The frequency of cognitive changes continued to increase and lasted for several months.
"The course of recovery is unclear, but short-term interventions are helping survivors of COVID-19, even those with ongoing symptoms and physical changes."
Some patients treated for COVID-19 were already living with anxiety and depression before the pandemic, Vannorsdall added. "Covid-19 has brought them into the health care system where they can be diagnosed and treated."
Mental Health Crisis: How Can I Help a Friend or Family Member?
Everyone has bad days of sadness, lack of motivation or worry, especially when dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, Van Nosdal points out that there are warning signs of anxiety and depression that should never be ignored:
- we're talking about self-harm
- Hopelessness (believe it will never get better)
- gift a personal item
- Inability to perform normal daily activities
If you notice these things in someone you know, it might be time to speak up. Van Nosdal says it's not always easy, but she has some advice.
"Knowing how to intervene in a way that people feel comfortable with is often challenging and there is no one-size-fits-all approach," she said. "But sometimes you can reach a person who is struggling with an aspect of their life that they really value, like their children, their family, their job, or something else that they think could be improved."
"We often have to help people redefine their ideas about mental illness and health care," he said. “People can remind themselves or their loved ones that the mind and body cannot be considered separate entities. Emotional stress has an underlying biological component. A person is not debilitated by a mental health problem and should be relieved in the same way as any physical pain. relieved." and".
Mental health during COVID-19: When will it get better?
Van Nosdal said the general outlook for our collective well-being has improved. "We're getting a new sense of normalcy," he said. "Since the outbreak, we have adapted to many changes, such as working and studying from home and adopting new daily habits."
"In the beginning we didn't know that much. Many people were horrified. We now realize that with a vaccine and safety precautions we can take steps to protect ourselves. We are no longer completely under the influence of this coronavirus. at mercy."
If you are recovering from COVID-19, you may have a range of emotions. These may include feeling depressed (low), tired, anxious or tearful. Your sleep may be disrupted or you may have distressing memories of your experience. There are things that you can do to help yourself cope with unpleasant feelings.Is anxiety a side effect of Covid? ›
Everyone experiences feelings of anxiety – it's a normal reaction when we're in danger or under threat. Ongoing anxiety can start when we don't feel in control. A stressful event like having coronavirus (COVID-19) or experiencing a stay in hospital can cause anxiety.How do you overcome COVID-19 anxiety? ›
- Be kind to yourself. ...
- Maintain a routine as best you can. ...
- Take time out for activities you enjoy. ...
- Get out in nature, if possible. ...
- Find ways to exercise. ...
- Avoid self-medicating.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, you may experience stress, anxiety, fear, sadness and loneliness. And mental health disorders, including anxiety and depression, can worsen.Why is my anxiety so bad right now? ›
Various factors can cause anxiety to worsen. The triggers vary between individuals but include ongoing stress, a bereavement, financial problems, and key events, such as a job interview. Anxiety can lead to feelings of nervousness, apprehension, and worry.