Mental Health During COVID-19

Posted on February 11, 2021

COVID mental health

Mental Health Treatment During the Pandemic

Rising Phoenix Wellness Services is a mental health treatment facility in Scottsdale, Arizona. Taking care of one’s mental health is important, especially in today’s time during the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to help avoid the spread of COVID-19, many individuals have practiced social distancing through means such as working or attending classes remotely from home. Although these actions are necessary during a pandemic, they can lead to feelings of isolation or loneliness. Some individuals have had to face challenges such as a loss of income or the passing of a loved one. Experiencing bereavement or a sense of grief or loss may become apparent for them. Those who have had to continue working or being around others may experience an increase of fear or constantly be on edge due to the possibility of being exposed to COVID-19. These conditions can lead to heightened stress levels and other adverse consequences such as sleep disturbances or irritability. Isolation, bereavement, and emotionally negative feelings can contribute to triggering or worsening symptoms of anxiety, depression, or other mental illnesses.

Anxiety is a normal reaction to a threatening situation and results from an increase in the amount of adrenaline from the sympathetic nervous system. An anxiety disorder is a disorder where feelings of fear, apprehension, or anxiety are disruptive or cause distortions in behavior; they are psychiatric illnesses that are not useful for normal functioning. At times, an underlying illness or disease can cause persistent anxiety. Anxiety can affect people of all ages and sexes. There are many different types of anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety, and panic disorder. Individuals struggling with anxiety may have altered sleeping patterns, feelings of lightheadedness, chest pains, and the inability to relax. Mental health treatment of the illness or disease will alleviate and lessen the anxiety.

Sometimes individuals struggling with anxiety may also suffer from depression. Depression is believed to be caused by an imbalance of neurotransmitters which are chemicals that are responsible for delivering messages throughout the brain. Depression can drastically affect the person’s life as well as others around them. Factors from the external environment such as adversities experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic are also thought to cause depression. Some symptoms can be minor while others can be major and change the lives of people in many ways. Symptoms can include a constant sad or empty mood, feelings of hopelessness, guilt, and a decrease in energy. These symptoms of depression can last for various time intervals depending on the severity of the depression. Some may experience weight fluctuation, thoughts of suicide, or irritability and restlessness. Addressing the illness with proper treatment can be beneficial in alleviating these symptoms and preventing them from worsening.

Coping Mechanisms for Mental Health During the Covid Pandemic

Having proper coping mechanisms is a good tool to have especially during this pandemic. Coping mechanisms involve conscious mental and behavioral actions to help alleviate stressful situations. Some healthy coping mechanisms include exercising, talking with friends, meditating, or practicing breathing exercises. Some individuals may lean towards unhealthy means of handling stress such as the use of substances like alcohol or drugs. This can lead to worsening symptoms of present mental illnesses or issues with substance abuse. Substance abuse is the maladaptive use of an addictive substance such as alcohol or various drugs causing harmful consequences. Consequences may include the loss of a job, unhealthy relationships patterns, and a possible physical toll on the individual’s body. Developing good coping skills and seeking treatment can help prevent these issues from occurring.

Mental health treatment consists of a mixture of medication and counseling, finding the most useful combination for each patient. Counseling includes a variety of possible therapeutic techniques including but not limited to behavioral therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Behavioral therapy focuses on changing specific actions and uses methods such as breathing exercises and exposure therapy – gradually exposing patients to what frightens them and helping them cope with their fears. Cognitive-behavioral therapy teaches patients to react differently to situations and bodily sensations that may trigger symptoms of mental illnesses like anxiety. Many people have experienced mental behavioral disturbances from the COVID-19 pandemic and can benefit from obtaining proper treatment. Individuals seeking treatment for their mental health should research what program will be the best fit for them.

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