COVID-19 Changes Mental Health
Since the beginning of COVID-19, many have encountered changes in their lifestyles. Quarantine brought different daily routines, financial fear and forced isolation. It’s unrealistic to think life can go back to how it was and to think the time of isolation has no effect on your mental health. In reality, COVID-19 affected the entire nation’s mental health.
The media informs the public about the physical health related to COVID-19 and how to preserve your physical well-being, including masks, social distancing and limiting stores to only “essentials” being open. Since the start of quarantine, people have been hit with a new reality, one very different from the reality they felt comfortable in previously.
What has been overlooked is the mental health decline accompanying the pandemic. Anxiety has risen with the continued uncertainty about the future, getting infected and losing incomes. Being isolated with anxiety can drive some crazy with negative thoughts and even lead to depression. The news can also spread misinformation and rumors, leading individuals to spiral out of control and become emotionally exhausted.
The longer in quarantine, the higher the chance of developing PTSD. Though many have these feelings, speaking about your mental health may still seem taboo and becomes overlooked, only worsening your health. In a recent study, the results showed that one-third of Americans reported the pandemic taking a serious toll on their mental health, and 60% reported it affecting their now day-to-day life. It is important to remember during this time that we’re all together – you’re not alone!
In order to feel better, you have to address the emotions causing you to be unwell. Do not be afraid to seek help from a mental health professional. Remember that you’re not the only one feeling this way. If you want to try other outlets first to better your mental health, minimize your news and social media coverage, take walks to absorb the sunlight, exercise or start a new hobby. Keep your mind busy! If you still feel like each day is harder than the last, let someone close to you know. During times of uncertainty, it’s OK to not be OK.
Don’t let an event out of your control completely dissolve your mental health by worsening established diagnoses or creating new ones. Eventually, the world will reopen again without the same limits, and you’ll want to enjoy it! Try your best to stay positive, and if not, ITM is ready to help.