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COVID Anxiety effect on your mental health

By HopeQure

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13 Oct 2020

Lockdowns, isolation, loss of jobs, uncertainty, clouds of bad news, economic instability, the list may go on and on. These are some of the words that pop-up when we hear about this “COVID Pandemic”. Guess what all these factors have in common?They are all enemies of a healthy stable mind. “Mental health” is one of the most affected human characteristics after the “Physical heath” that has been affected in this situation. One of the major components that affect Mental health is anxiety.

Anxiety in the pre-in-post COVID time is and would be the most widespread mental imbalance. Individuals have been affected on many levels. The grief of missing important life milestones like birthdays, anniversaries, graduations to voidness caused because of losing your loved ones. Such is the anxiety-ridden reality of not just India, but the whole world. With the huge array of the population that exists, some can cope well but some can’t. But as this pandemic keeps on dragging the emotional coping mechanism & resilience might come to a standstill. Many experts like Jane Webber from around the globe have started comparing the “COVID-anxiety & related mental conditions” to PTSD’s (post-traumatic stress disorder) of that of the soldiers of wars.

Quoting Jane Webber, a professor of counselor education at Kean University, New Jersey “We’re living constantly with a level of fear, a heightened state of arousal, much like Vietnam vets and Iraqi vets live with every day.” With her experience with counseling the survivors of the 9/11’ aftermath, she believes that the human SNS (sympathetic nervous system) can only stay in this frenetic state for so long before it crashes. Another psychologist Shauna Spriner, who specializes in the domain of military veterans-related PTSD is of the opinion that the situation that we face now is the state of chronic threat response. The long-term continuing state of being in the hyper-aroused survival mode.

Now, focusing on the effects that the COVID-anxiety brings with it, we first come to the most common health condition “Poor Sleep”. It is a double-edged sword that the whole world is under right now. It’s like a feedback look mechanism with anxiety leading to poor sleep followed by lack of REM sleep leading to anxiety, stress, depression. Another common symptom that is associated with the problem turning big is when an individual focuses mainly on the negative aspect of things. Things in our case is the news headlines reporting the increased number of cases of people with Covid-19 and the increased number of deaths due to the same. Taking an example, if an individual hears good news followed by bad news & the latter takes all the attention then this is a bad sign. According to some psychologists, if we are spending our time engrossed in what may happen, waiting for bad news, that’s another sign that conditions are getting inclined towards the clinical range. Another issue that is adding to the anxiety & is faced by many, especially the young adults is the guilt of gushing out feelings on loved ones. This is likely to happen when individuals are in close proximity with people for a long time & they haven’t adjusted to that.

Another major anxiety pothole is the loss of pleasure & interest. When individuals lose the taste for socializing, connecting with others, and stop reaching out to family & friends things start getting ugly. This is an immediate sign that speaks to get help and support.

With all these negative emotions & state what should an individual do? The first & foremost thing to do is to reach out & connect. Stay socially connected with friends and loved ones even if you are physically unreachable & apart. Also, a good practice would be to not just rely on social media but actually, call your inner circle on a rotation basis. This is especially required if you know that the person could be isolated. Be there for others & others would be there for you. Giving a platform & space to our loved ones to open up about their experiences and anxiety during this pandemic era and sharing your own experience will help you ease out. If we connect, we survive. Well biologically speaking we humans as a species did survive because of our corporation & social behavior. Another thing to add up to your to-do list during these anxiety filled days would be to breathe deeply, meditate. Well, this might be an obvious one but ask people who have been through therapy. The most common reply would be “deep breathing is the most important thing; it doesn’t cost anything and it works”.

Different things work for different people. Try the above-mentioned things, practice gratitude, look after your mental health. Consult a psychologist if necessary, make a schedule, learn the skill that you wanted to learn, crack a smile, and stay optimistic.

COVID Anxiety effect on your mental health

References

·     Korin Miller Updated March 26, & Miller, K. (n.d.). 5 Things to Do if You re Feeling Anxious About Coronavirus. Retrieved September 22, 2020, from https://www.health.com/condition/anxiety/coronavirus-anxiety

·         LaMotte, S. (2020, May 05). Signs your coronavirus anxiety has turned serious, threatening your mental health. Retrieved September 22, 2020, from https://edition.cnn.com/2020/05/05/health/anxiety-coronavirus-turns-dark-wellness/index.html

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