Anxiety and Depression with the Coronavirus Pandemic
Anxiety and depression increase the burden of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. They also significantly impact underlying mental health disorders such as substance abuse and violence at home.
The Pandemic of 2019 has brought not only infection but isolation due to quarantine and, consequently, an increase in anxiety, and depression. These largely unforeseen problems are affecting the young and old, healthy and those who are chronically ill. There will long-term effects for years to come from missed births and graduations to weddings and funerals. The stress takes its toll on the healthcare workers, and caregivers.
What emotional reactions can be expected from the coronavirus pandemic?
- Fear and worry about your own health or the health of your loved ones.
- Anger and frustration due to lack of information, inability to control the situation.
- Stress emerging from monitoring yourself and others.
- Loneliness and sadness due to isolation from family and friends.
- Guilt about not been able to work or perform normal activities.
Seek professional advice to tackle depression
Telling Anxiety and Depression Apart
Anxiety is defined as a feeling of worry or nervousness. Typically, it’s about something imminent or with an uncertain or unknown outcome. Symptoms of anxiety can include irritability restlessness and hyper vigilance. Other symptoms can include lack of concentration or unwanted thoughts.
Physical symptoms in the body can include fatigue, sweating, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, stomach discomfort, shaking of hands or arms. Anxiety is common in all age groups from children to adults and especially the elderly. These symptoms can manifest in different severity based on individual experiences and coping mechanisms.
Depression is also common and may occur concurrently with or without anxiety. Depression is defined by the following symptoms.
- Feeling hopeless or sad.
- A loss of interest in doing things.
- Trouble falling asleep.
- Feeling tired or with decreased energy.
- Poor Apetite.
- Feeling bad about yourself or the circumstances.
- Moving slow or feeling lethargic, or the opposite which is restlessness.
- Difficulty in concentrating on work, household chores, getting along with others (irritability).
All these symptoms of anxiety and depression are known to increase the burden of a Chronic illness such as diabetes hypertension and heart disease. This also has a significant impact on underlying mental health issues and or disorders such as substance abuse and violence at home.
What can be done to cope with the stress, anxiety and depression?
These health conditions typically do not need to be medicated with anti-depressants unless severe. You should ensure to follow the following guidelines when to overcome as well as prevent anxiety and depression.
- Stay informed with trusted source for news information.
- Limit the amount of time spent checking on updates of the pandemic.
- Stay away from the news or phone updates if they make you nervous.
- Do not pass on stressful information through the phone or other media.
- Talk to someone such as a friend or family if there is a worrisome update.
- Think locally with information in your area and do not respond to the global issues.
- Focus on what you can control.
- Write in a Journal your thoughts and feeling.
- Find a purposeful activity or something you can do at home such as read a book.
- Meditate, do yoga, exercise as physical activity has shown to help reduce anxiety.
Seeking professional help and therapy will be ideal for those who are not able to use coping skills to maintain balance.
Do you carry any of these symptoms?
Serious weight loss due to loss of appetite and not taking care of self with routine medication and exercise can cause underlying health issues to worsen requiring hospitalization.
If these symptoms are not responding to methods used above, then seeking advice from a health professional can get you on the right path. Assisting children, parents, and friends can stimulate the social community efforts to help each other in this time of great uncertainty.