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Alongside the physical and economic effects, the coronavirus is pushing America into a mental health crisis.
With the abrupt change to daily life, many people have found themselves in prolonged situations of economic stress, residential uncertainty, and are facing a world that has more questions than answers. These often compound pre-existing mental health and substance use conditions as well as other daily stress catalysts that existed prior to Covid-19.
Help For Depression, Anxiety & Mental Health Concerns After COVID-19
The question now becomes: what spectrum of mental health issues are most impacted by Covid-19 and quarantine, and how can we address them? Among the exacerbated issues are depression, substance use, and general access to care.
While there have been mid-term concerns with mental health issues and treatment during Covid-19, the good thing is that there are also more resources than ever for help and treatment.
While many families are re-organizing their priorities, delaying some plans and adjusting their life schedules, it is important to remember that health and happiness is always the chief concern. Do not delay or cancel doctor appointments, counseling sessions, therapies or other health priorities. If a loved one is displaying symptoms of mental health issues or is struggling with handling current events, it is vital that these issues are acknowledged and professional assistance is sought.
Mental Health Needs Post Covid-19
As the world was learning about the danger and far-reaching ramifications of a pandemic early in the year, it foreshadowed issues that would trend upward in the coming months.
Businesses began to shutter, meaning job loss and financial burden for an entire economy. As this effect took place, it caused a crisis in the ability to pay rent, mortgages, and loans. Granted, the government stepped in with stimulus, and these moves are widely recognized as stop-gaps for what is a damaged fiscal environment.
With the money and livelihoods of families now being affected worldwide, this now places a burden on entire households. When couples feel uncertain about their future financially, they fight at a much higher percentage. When the safety and future of children become involved, the stress becomes exponential.
The result of all this added stress is a more fragile mental health state, especially for those with pre-existing conditions. When combined with a quarantine that promotes lack of exercise and an influx of junk food and alcohol consumption, everyone is in a more exposed and vulnerable condition.
Those struggling with mental health and substance abuse issues still need immediate help, even in these strange times. Therefore, we recommend getting immediate help for your loved ones via addiction treatment, counseling, mental health diagnosis, and therapies. If you are struggling to find resources for your loved one’s treatment, Family First Intervention’s family services can help you to find options that are still viable for treatment of substance abuse and dual diagnosis during COVID-19.
Post-Covid Mental Health Issues
MENTAL STRESSORS & ANXIETIES THAT WILL WORSEN SUBSTANCE ABUSE ISSUES
While we addressed the current state of Covid-19 and how the past year has created systematic stress, there is still an uncertain future to consider.
The world will have different job markets, housing situations, and social dynamics than when we entered into quarantine. People will be forced to relocate their homes and work, and certain industries might not even exist.
To add to the financial concern, there is going to be paranoia about a second wave or different iteration of the virus. These are valid concerns to have, though they do nothing to make anxiety or depression easier to cope with. When combined with the sedentary nature of quarantine and the easy accessibility of alcohol and other substances, there can be long-trending patterns of abuse that form.
In short, the life stressors that have been brought on by COVID aren’t stopping, and there is a multitude of additional stressors that are coming in the months and years following the COVID-19 Pandemic. It is important to deal with the stress and its effects on existing mental health concerns now, before the issues compound and transform.
CONCERNS THAT WILL WORSEN DEPRESSION & MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES
Fake News, Media Obsession and Mental Health Post COVID-19
Paranoia is going to manifest or be exacerbated by a world full of valid concerns. Combatting it can be tricky, as so much of the news is necessary to follow for our physical health and well-being. Finding news sources that do not put spin on their stories or only relay critical information is one way to escape excess paranoia.
Family Member Believes COVID-19 is The End of the World
As with any major world event, many will claim that the world might be ending because of COVID-19. Those that focus obsessively on biblical, end-times ideas, and even the futility of current event issues are only going to put added stress on their mental state – even if their beliefs are plausible or true. It is the dwelling on the ideas that causes such a negative effect, not the ideas themselves.
COVID-19 and Panic Attacks
During COVID-19 and its subsequent social effects, many people are reporting having anxiety and panic attacks that have never experienced these symptoms before. Anxiety, panic, and panic and anxiety attacks are the main symptoms of numerous serious mental health issues including: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Depression, and panic disorders. Panic attacks , as well as generalized anxiety, are also symptoms of drug and alcohol addiction and withdrawal. If a loved one has developed anxiety and panic attacks recently, it is important to screen for any underlying mental health or substance issues.
COVID-19, Agoraphobia, and Substance Abuse
Finally, with a pandemic in our midst and the real-world fallout just beginning to accumulate, Agoraphobia is at risk of becoming more prevalent. This is an anxiety disorder regarding extreme fear of specific places or leaving a comfortable environment. It doesn’t always mean a fear of leaving home, and yet with Covid-19 creating a world that has seemingly fewer safe spaces by the day, it is understandable to see agoraphobia on the rise.
For any of these conditions, it is important to talk to a counselor, interventionist or therapist about your worries and to practice consistently healthy habits when you can create a baseline for your health.
The Need for Post-Covid Substance Abuse Help
While COVID-19 has contributed to new substance abuse issues, it has also pushed existing substance abuse cases further into serious addictions.
It is quite likely that if someone had been abusing without intervention prior to the pandemic, that condition has gotten significantly worse. With fewer day-to-day check-ins (such as a physical job site or as much social interaction), people are at risk of slipping into an even more dangerous pattern currently.
If you think that someone’s sobriety is in danger -whether for the first time or a relapse- it is important to work with an interventionist. Our intervention specialists can help go over strategy for a family intervention, as well as long-term planning to help mitigate relapse and future substance abuse issues.